The emergency test sent to wireless phones on Wednesday will read, "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed." Photo courtesy FEMA
Aug. 11 (UPI) -- Americans nationwide will receive a government test alert on Wednesday from two systems designed to transmit critical information during an emergency.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency will send test alerts for the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alert System.
Officials said the alerts will go out at 2:20 p.m. EDT and each will last for about a minute.
FEMA regularly tests its public alert and warning systems to assess the operational readiness of supporting infrastructure. They are designed to identify technological and administrative improvements that are needed.
During the test, radios and televisions nationwide may interrupt normal programming to play the message, which is given in English and Spanish in certain locations.
The EAS message will say, "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."
The message sent to wireless phones will read, "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed."
FEMA said the wireless test will be sent to cellphone owners who have opted in to receive them.
FEMA said it's partnering with the Federal Communications Commission for the tests and other federal agencies -- including the National Weather Service, emergency management officials in New York City, Los Angeles and several other municipalities -- will assess their performance.
The EAS was launched in 1997 to replace the Emergency Broadcast System and is often used regionally to inform residents about emergencies like AMBER Alerts and weather-related events. The Wireless Emergency Alert System was established by Congress in the mid-2000s.