On October 4, 2023, at approximately 2:20 p.m. ET, the national IPAWS (Integrated Public Alert and Warning System) test will take place. The test will check the capabilities of two systems, WEA and EAS. The purpose of the October 4 test is to ensure the national alerting systems continue to be effective means of warning the public about emergencies.
Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) will be sent to cell phones for 30 minutes, but mobile phones should only receive the alert once. The message will be displayed in either English or Spanish, depending on the user’s language settings. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) will be sent to radios and televisions.
WEA Test Message: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”
EAS Test Message: “This is a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System, issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, covering the United States from 14:20 to 14:50 hours ET. This is only a test. No action is required by the public.”
Once the alert is received, no further action is required.
What is IPAWS?
The Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS) is FEMA’s national system for local alerting that provides authenticated emergency and life-saving information to the public through mobile phones using Wireless Emergency Alerts, radio, and television via the Emergency Alert System, and on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Weather Radio.
What is WEA?
Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are short emergency messages from authorized federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial public alerting authorities. They can be broadcast from cell towers to any WEA-enabled mobile device in a locally targeted area.
Types of WEA: Presidential Alerts, Imminent Threat Alerts, Public Safety Alerts, AMBER Alerts, Opt-In Test Messages
What is EAS?
The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a national public warning system that works with radio and TV broadcasters, cable TV, wireless cable systems, satellite, and wireline operators. This allows the President to address the American people within 10 minutes during a national emergency. EAS messages can interrupt radio and TV to broadcast emergency alert information.