The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will conduct the IPAWS national test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) today, October 3, beginning at 2:18 p.m.
The EAS is a national public warning system broadcast through radio and television that provides the president with the communications capability to address the nation during a national emergency. The WEA system is used to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children and other critical situations through alerts transmitted to cellphones.
The national WEA test message will have a header that reads "Presidential Alert" and text that says: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.” and use the same tone and vibration that accompany all WEA messages, such as tornado warnings and Amber Alerts.
Users cannot opt out of the WEA test.
The test will assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether improvements are needed.
FEMA said that users may opt out of receiving alerts in the imminent threat and Amber categories but cannot opt out of receiving presidential alerts.