At 1:18 CT on Wednesday afternoon, millions and millions of people received a new type of alert on their phone.
📳 TODAY (10/3): At 2:18 PM EDT, we will be testing the Wireless Emergency Alert system nationwide. Expect a message box on your phone along with a loud tone and vibration.
— FEMA (@fema) October 3, 2018
FEMA, along with the FCC, conducted a nationwide test of the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) and Emergency Alert System (EAS) today. These were tested to make sure the readiness of the infrastructure of the national message and the distribution would work and if improvements would need to be made.
According to the FEMA website, WEA test was sent to all cell phones at 1:18 p.m CT and the EAS on 1:20 p.m CT.
The WEA will be used to warn the public in instances of dangerous weather, missing children and other critical situations with the cell phone alerts. Users cannot opt out of the WEA alerts.
The EAS is a national warning systems that will provide the President with the ability to communicate with the nation during a national emergency. The test is made available to EAS participants including:
- Radio and Television broadcasters
- Cable systems
- Satellite radio and Television providers
- Wireline video providers