The Federal Emergency Management Agency is scheduling the next nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System. It is proposed to take place on Thursday, September 20th at 2:18pm and for the first time ever, the alert will be sent on all mobile devices. FEMA says the first-ever Wireless Emergency Alert would include an 87 character message to be displayed on mobile handsets, similar to when an AMBER Alert or Tornado Warning is issued. It would display like this:

THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed

Since wireless emergency alert capabilities began six years ago, there have been several tests of the system targeting specific geographical locations. This time would be the first a WEA alert is distributed across the entire country as well as overseas in United States territories.

The test of both EAS and WEA that day would also be acknowledged in the alert that’s relayed by radio stations, television stations, and cable systems nationwide. The proposed new message would say:

This is a test of the National Emergency Alert System. This system was developed by broadcast and cable operators in voluntary cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Communications Commission and local authorities to keep you informed in the event of an emergency. If this had been an actual emergency an official message would have followed the tone alert you heard at the start of this message. A similar wireless emergency alert test message has been sent to all cell phones in the nation. Some cell phones will receive the message. Others will not. No action is required.

 

A backup date for both tests would be Wednesday, October 3rd.