Presidential Alert Scheduled to Test Nation’s Emergency Warning System
First-ever joint test of the Wireless Emergency Alert System, Emergency Alert System to take place today
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), along with its state partners at the Illinois State Police (ISP) and Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) are notifying residents of an upcoming test of the emergency broadcast alert system. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) plan to conduction a first-of-its-kind test of the nation’s emergency communications infrastructure via a test called a “Presidential Alert.”
Today, a nationwide test of the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system will commence at 1:18 p.m.CST., followed by a national test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) at 1:20 p.m.
The WEA test message will read: THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.
This is the first time the Wireless Emergency Alert system has been tested on a national level. WEA is used to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children, and other regionally critical situations through alerts on cellular phones. WEA allows most customers to receive geo-targeted alerts of imminent threats to safety in their area. The October 3rd WEA test will be sent through the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS). Cell towers will broadcast the WEA test for approximately 30 minutes. During this time, cell phones that are switched on and within range of an active cell tower should be capable of receiving the message. Cell phones should only receive the message once. Some older phones may not receive the test message.
To view the full press release from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, please click on the link above.