We interrupt a planned post to let you know—there's no reason for concern.
Alerts you will hear or see today are only test messages.
Today's alert will air at the same time across every time zone starting at 2:20 pm ET The time varies countrywide; it will air once. If postponed due to severe weather or other significant events, the back-up test date is Wed, Oct. 11.
This alert system, which dates to the 1950s, is seen as a way to ensure that if something threatening was or were to happen that those in America could be quickly warned. Other countries have performed similar tests for alert systems.
There won't be any advance sound. It's only meant to be heard when issued so that people will pay attention. WHY? according to experts, playing it before could lead to alert fatigue, simply stated, folks can immune and won't listen. Sort of like crying wolf.
What to Know
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the test has two parts that will happen together testing both the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA). The purpose of the test is to ensure that systems continue to be an effective means of warning people about emergencies, especially on the national level.
FEMA and the FCC are coordinating with EAS participants that include wireless providers, emergency managers and others to prepare for the nationwide test, minimize confusion and maximize public safety value.
The WEA portion will target cell phones. The message will display in English or Spanish depending on the device's language settings.This is the third nationwide test, but the second test to all cell devices.
THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System, No action is needed.
All wireless phones should receive the message once. ET cell towers will broadcast the test for about 30 minutes. WEA-compatible phones that are turned on, within range of an active cell tower, and whose wireless provider participates in WEA will get the test message.
The message will be sent over the cellular broadcast system so if a phone is set to wi-fi or airplane mode, the alert won't be received.
This part will also last a minute and will be conducted with the cooperation of radio and TV broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio, TV providers and wireline video providers. The EAS test portion will go out to TVs and radios. It will be the seventh nationwide EAS test. The message will be similar to regular monthly EAS test messages many are already have heard.
The first national emergency broadcasting system was created in 1951 so the U.S. Government could use radio networks to warn the nation of an enemy attack during the Cold War. It was refined and expanded in the 1950s-1960s with fears of nuclear attack. The first nationwide test of the most recent version of the Emergency Alert System was Nov. 9, 2011 at 2 pm (ET).
Ballistic Missile Threat Inbound To Hawaii. Seek Immediate Shelter. This is Not a Drill.
What happened? During a shift change, someone made a computer error—huge OOPS 😲. It took over a half hour to clarify the alert was caused by user error.