Special Announcement: IPAWS National Test of the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) and Emergency Alert System (EAS)

Hello to all…
The following is a press release for the National EAS and WEA test that will be held today, 10/3/18 beginning at 218 PM EDT. A web link to the press release and the press release itself appears below:
FEMA Press Release Web Link:
*PRESS RELEASE*

*THE NATIONAL EAS AND WEA TEST WILL BE HELD ON OCTOBER 3, 2018,
BEGINNING AT 2:18 P.M. EDT*

WASHINGTON – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in
coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will conduct
a nationwide test of the Wireless Emergency Alerts
<http://www.fema.gov/frequently-asked-questions-wireless-emergency-alerts/>(WEA)
and Emergency Alert System (EAS)
<https://www.fema.gov/emergency-alert-system> on October 3, 2018. The test
was originally planned for September 20, 2018 but was postponed until
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.

The EAS 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 EAS participants (i.e., radio and
television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television
providers, and wireline video providers) and is scheduled to last
approximately one minute. The test message will be similar to regular
monthly EAS test messages with which the public is familiar. The EAS
message will include a reference to the WEA test:

“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. A
similar wireless emergency alert test message has been sent to all cell
phones nationwide. Some cell phones will receive the message; others will
not. No action is required.”

##

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator
Home Phone #: (508) 994-1875 (After 6 PM)
Home/Data #: (508) 997-4503 (After 6 PM)
Work Phone #: 508-346-2929 (8 AM-5 PM)
Email Address: rmacedo@rcn.com
http://ares.ema.arrl.org
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