National Emergency Alert Test Oct. 3

September 26, 2018 | 3:12 am

Updated September 26, 2018 | 1:13 am

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Studies have shown an increase in disaster frequency and intensity in recent years. For this reason, it is vital to public safety to ensure emergency communications operate at optimal performance.

On Wednesday, Oct. 3, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in conjunction with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will conduct a nationwide test of the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System known as IPAWS.

Two of IPAWS main components, the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) and the Emergency Alert System (EAS), will be tested together for the first time.

The WEA notice will begin at 1:18 p.m. CST followed by the EAS notice at 1:20 p.m. CST.

The WEAs are emergency messages sent by authorized government alerting authorities through participating wireless providers. To date, WEAs have been issued for extreme weather and other threatening emergencies in our area, and AMBER alerts. This will be the first-ever, nationwide WEA test.

The EAS is a national public warning system that requires media providers to provide the U.S. President with the communications capability to address the nation during a national emergency. The system may also be used by state and local authorities, in cooperation with EAS Participants, to deliver important emergency information, such as weather information, AMBER alerts and local incident information targeted to our local area.

During the testing times on Oct. 3, most smartphones will receive the test message. Additionally, most broadcast media sources will be disrupted with a test message as well. In both cases, no response or acknowledgement is required.

September 26, 2018 | 3:12 am

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