This afternoon, Wednesday August 7th at 2:20 p.m. EDT, FEMA will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission.
This afternoon, your TV and radio shows are going to be interrupted. Don’t be alarmed. It’s only a test.
The reason for the test is to make sure the alert system that enables the president to reach the entire country during a national emergency or disaster is working. This year’s test is to evaluate the readiness of the national alerting system in the absence of internet connectivity. The last Emergency Alert System test was in October 2018.
The 2019 test will begin with broadcast of the national test message from radio stations, “THIS IS A TEST of the National Emergency Alert System. This system was developed by broadcast and cable operators in voluntary cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Communications Commission, and local authorities to keep you informed in the event of an emergency. If this had been an actual emergency an official message would have followed the tone alert you heard at the start of this message. No action is required.”
Here’s how it works.
The initial message will be broadcast through Primary Entry Point radio stations and then within minutes the test message should be presented by all radio and television, cable, wireline service providers and direct broadcast satellite service providers nationwide.These alerts will occur on TVs and radios. Alerts will not go to cell phones.