FEMA conducting test of Wireless Emergency Alert system on Aug. 11

WASHINGTON — The Federal Emergency Management Agency will conduct a national test of its Wireless Emergency Alerts and its Emergency Alert System on Aug. 11, according to agency officials.

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The test, in partnership with the Federal Communications Commission, will begin at 2:20 p.m. ET. Cell towers will broadcast text as part of the Wireless Emergency Alert test for about 30 minutes, according to FEMA. People who have opted-in to receive test messages from the agency will receive a message from which says, “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”

Mark the calendar! We'll conduct a national test of Wireless Emergency Alert & the Emergency Alert System on August 11...

Posted by FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency on Monday, August 2, 2021

The message will appear in Spanish on cellphones which are set to the language by default, officials said. A similar message will appear on radios and television stations as part of the Emergency Alert System Test.

The Wireless Emergency Alerts system was launched in 2012 with the aim of allowing government agencies to alert the public of national emergencies, dangerous weather, missing children and other “critical situations,” according to FEMA. The alerts are created and sent by authorized federal, state, local, tribal and territorial governments through FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System.

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The test scheduled for Aug. 11 will be the second of the Wireless Emergency Alerts System. Officials previously tested the system in 2018, although cellphone users then were not able to opt-out of the trial.

The Emergency Alert System test will be the sixth to be conducted nationally.

Officials said that if widespread severe weather or other events necessitate a postponement of the test, it will be held on Aug. 25 instead.

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