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) today.

What's that mean for you? It means this is going to show up on your phone at 1:18 and 1:20 Wednesday afternoon:

“THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”


So no, the president can't just text you what he tweets out. This test will reportedly assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether improvements are needed for this system.

In English, it means they're making sure everyone can get these emergency texts if there's an actual cause for alarm.

This test message will be sent to phones who are connected to wireless providers participating in Wireless Emergency Alerts.

Photo Courtesy of FEMA
Photo Courtesy of FEMA

This message was conducted in November 2011, September 2016, and September 2017 in collaboration with the FCC, broadcasters, and emergency management officials.


Today's test was originally supposed to happen on September 20, but was postponed due to FEMA's Hurricane Florence relief efforts.

So when you see that message, don't panic! It's only a test.

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