Forewarned is forearmed. Tomorrow, on Wednesday, October 4, 2023 at 2:20 p.m. EDT, every TV, radio and cellphone in the United States should blare out the distinctive, jarring electronic warning tone of an emergency alert.
It’s a test – only a test.
It is a part of the Nationwide Emergency Alert Test. You know it’s a test and not an actual emergency because it’s accompanied by an explanation of the test.
The test is an important way to make sure that if something really bad – and really big – happens, Americans can be warned quickly.
The message will say, “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.”
Cellphones will get the warning as a tone, a vibration and as a text message:
“THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”
Phones on which the main menu set to Spanish will see this: “ESTA ES UNA PRUEBA del Sistema Nacional de Alerta de Emergencia. No se necesita acción.”
The alert will air at the same moment across every time zone in the country starting at 2:20 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, Oct. 4.
The test is scheduled to last approximately one minute. It will only go out once, there will be no repeats.