If you have a mobile phone, be prepared for it to make some noise during an upcoming emergency alert test.
On Wednesday Oct. 4, FEMA will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts system, including a message sent to all consumer cell phones. The test is scheduled to begin at 2:20 p.m. Eastern time and will be conducted for approximately 30 minutes to reach all devices switched on and in range of a cell tower.
The message will read “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.” If the receiving device’s language settings are set to use Spanish, the message will read “ESTA ES UNA PRUEBA del Sistema Nacional de Alerta de Emergencia. No se necesita acción.”
In a press release, FEMA said the test is to ensure that public warning systems continue to be effective during national emergencies.
The EAS portion of the test, the seventh of its kind, will be sent to radios and televisions.
If the test is postponed due to widespread severe weather or other events, the next attempt will be on Wednesday, Oct. 11.
Device owners should beware of scammers exploiting the nationwide test to attempt the theft of funds or personal information. Those in abusive domestic situations who own a mobile device they need to keep hidden are advised to turn the devices off during the day of the test.
A version of this article appeared in the September 27 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.