Heads Up: Your smartphones going to start blaring Wednesday afternoon

FEMA to test emergency alert system Wednesday

The Wireless Emergency Alerts test will begin at 2:18 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, Oct. 3.

It will be followed at 2:20 p.m.by the more familiar EAS test which are broadcast monthly on TV and radio, according to FEMA. "No action is needed".

The test messages were supposed to be sent out September 20, but the transmission was postponed until Wednesday on account of the emergency response during and after the landfall of Hurricane Florence on the East Coast.

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While the Emergency Alert System has been tested before, the Wednesday test will be the first time the nationwide Wireless Emergency Alert system will be tested.

Johnson said the system will be used to notify US citizens of certain events of "national significance". Therefore, if you have a smartphone capable of receiving WEA alerts, your phone will receive the alert. Users can not opt out of receiving the WEA test.

A similar wireless emergency alert test message has been sent to all cell phones nationwide. The message will have an audible tone, and the text will read, "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System". The message will be active for approximately 30 minutes, so users could receive the alert within that time frame. FEMA warned if a "widespread severe weather or another significant event" occurs Wednesday, the scheduled test would be postponed, again.

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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 national test will use the same special ringtone and vibration as with all WEA messages (i.e. Tornado Warning, AMBER Alert).

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