Agencies conduct nationwide ‘Presidential Alert’ text test 

Published: Wednesday, October 03, 2018 @ 8:32 AM
Updated: Wednesday, October 03, 2018 @ 2:26 PM

The IPAWS National Test for emergency alert systems takes place Oct. 3, 2018.
Federal Emergency Management Agency
The IPAWS National Test for emergency alert systems takes place Oct. 3, 2018.(Federal Emergency Management Agency)

UPDATE @ 2:25 p.m.:

Cell phones across the country have received the “Presidential Alert,” a test of the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alert system. 

RELATED: After delay, presidential emergency alert to be tested today

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The alert was scheduled to start at 2:18 p.m. Wednesday. 

RELATED: 7 things to know about the ‘Presidential Alert’ test today

The test was conducted to determine if the system for distributing national messages is functioning or if improvements are needed. 

FIRST REPORT

A nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts systems will cause millions of phones to buzz and vibrate.

Cell towers will broadcast the test for about 30 minutes, with the WEA portion of the test starting at 2:18 p.m., and the EAS portion at 2:20 p.m., according to a media release.

If a cell phone is powered on, in range of an active tower and the owner’s wireless company is taking part, the device will receive a message one time that says: “Presidential Alert: THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”

The test will determine if the system for distributing national messages is functioning or if improvements are needed. 

The test was delayed by two weeks and rescheduled to today due to the impact of Hurricane Florence.

Wednesday’s test will be the fourth EAS nationwide test and the first national WEA test. Previous EAS national tests were conducted in 2011, 2016 and 2017 in collaboration with the FCC, broadcasters and emergency management officials in recognition of FEMA’s National Preparedness Month, according to the release. 

Not all cell phones will receive the message. However, phones that can will get the message once.

The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.