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USA: FEMA - Nat'l Test of the Wireless Emergency Alert system

David H. Lipman

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RE:  FEMA  - IPAWS National Test of the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) and Emergency Alert System (EAS)

"The National EAS and WEA test will be held on the backup date of October 3, 2018, beginning at 2:18 p.m. EDT.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will conduct a nationwide test of the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) and Emergency Alert System (EAS) on the backup date of October 3, 2018 due to ongoing response efforts to Hurricane Florence. The WEA portion of the test commences at 2:18 p.m. EDT, and the EAS portion follows at 2:20 p.m. EDT. The test will assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether improvements are needed.

The WEA test message will be sent to cell phones that are connected to wireless providers participating in WEA. This is the fourth EAS nationwide test and the first national WEA test. Previous EAS national tests were conducted in November 2011, September 2016,  and September 2017 in collaboration with the FCC, broadcasters, and emergency management officials in recognition of FEMA’s National Preparedness Month.

Cell towers will broadcast the WEA test for approximately 30 minutes beginning at 2:18 p.m. EDT. During this time, WEA compatible cell phones that are switched on, within range of an active cell tower, and whose wireless provider participates in WEA should be capable of receiving the test message. Some cell phones will not receive the test message, and cell phones should only receive the message once. The 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.”

The WEA system is used to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children, and other critical situations through alerts on cell phones. The national test will use the same special tone and vibration as with all WEA messages (i.e. Tornado Warning, AMBER Alert). Users cannot opt out of receiving the WEA test."


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Yeah, I freaked out today when my phone suddenly made that annoying sound and immediately killed it after seeing what it was then took to the net to find out what was going on.

A useful tool in a real emergency I suppose.  I just hope they don't start doing regular tests of it as frequently as they used to on my former cable provider (I cut the cord years ago, so no idea how it is now) which used to be at least 2-3 times a week (even though they always claimed it was only weekly).

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Hehe, not my pockets, at least not any more ;) 

I only use AT&T DSL now and have no complaints (except that it isn't fiber, but at least I get around 7 megabits instead of the 6 I actually pay for/which is the highest they offer; used to get around 8 but it wasn't super stable so the techs at AT&T fixed it, and while I did lose a bit of speed downstream, it is perfectly stable now and my upstream speed is 2~3 times what it used to be).

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