FEMA and FCC national safety alert system tests scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 3
September 18, 2018
EAGLE COUNTY — The Federal Emergency Management Agency, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission, will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts on Wednesday, Oct. 3.
Cell towers will broadcast the wireless test for approximately 30 minutes starting at 12:18 p.m. Cellphones that are switched on, within range of an active cell tower and whose wireless carrier participates in Wireless Emergency Alerts should be capable of receiving the test message. Cell phones should only receive the message once.
The wireless test message will be sent to cellphones that are connected to participating wireless providers. This is the fourth emergency alert nationwide test and the first national wireless test. In May, the town of Vail also conducted a local wireless test.
The Emergency Alert System portion follows at 12:20 p.m. The test will assess the operational readiness of the system and determine whether improvements are needed.
The Emergency Alert System is a national public warning system that provides the President with the communications capability to address the nation during a national emergency. The test is made available to participants including radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers, and wireline video providers.
The test message will be similar to regular monthly Emergency Alert System test messages with which the public is familiar and is scheduled to last approximately one minute. The message will include a reference to the wireless test system, which is used to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children and other critical situations through alerts on cell phones. Users cannot opt out of the wireless test.
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Talk to your family about the tests so no one is alarmed, and visit http://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan to learn more about creating a family communication plan. Sign up for Eagle County emergency notifications via phone, text and/or email at http://www.ecalert.org.