Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced that on October 4, all electronic devices in the United States will receive an unexpected alarm. This includes mobile phones and radio and television stations. The alarm is part of the first test of the Federal Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), according to authorities.
The purpose of the test is to ensure that citizens are aware and prepared for future emergency drills or alerts. The sound of mobile phones will last for a short duration, with the main emphasis being on citizens paying attention to the alarm and remembering it.
The alarm is scheduled to reach devices at 2:20 pm Eastern Time. Additionally, media outlets are required to broadcast the distinctive and discordant electronic warning tone at full volume. The test will be conducted in two parts to evaluate the capabilities of WEA and EAS.
The WEA portion of the test will be initiated through FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Advisory System (IPAWS), a centralized internet-based system that allows authorities to send authenticated emergency messages over multiple communication networks. Cell phones will receive a test message stating, “THIS IS A TEST of the National Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”
WEA alerts, which are emergency messages sent by government agencies, are accompanied by vibration and a distinctive tone to ensure accessibility for everyone, including individuals with disabilities.
The test is expected to last for one minute and will not be repeated. It aims to familiarize the public with emergency alert systems and ensure preparedness in case of any future emergencies.