The agency is required to conduct a nationwide test of its public alert systems no less than once every three years under the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Modernization Act of 2015.
The test is meant to ensure public safety officials have the methods and systems that will deliver urgent alerts and warnings to the public in times of an emergency or disaster.
The administration will also send a test alert via radio and television broadcasters two minutes after the cell phone alert, part of a system long in use for alerts on severe weather and other emergencies. And we find it interesting, and a sign of the times, that FEMA's notes about the test mention that the WEA test does not collect any personal data.
Users will have the option to opt out of receiving alerts for imminent threats and AMBER alert categories but will not be able to opt out of Presidential alerts. "No action is needed", the message will say.
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The system is also used to warn the public about unsafe weather, missing children, and other critical situations through alerts on cell phones. Any cellphone that is powered on, connected to a WEA member's network, and is within range of an active cell tower will receive the message once.
The WEA test will be broadcast over the course of about 30 minutes and sound the same as an AMBER Alert.
Officials in Alaska want to hear from residents and what they think about the effectiveness of a national emergency system.
The U.S. government is preparing to conduct the first nationwide test of a feature created to help the president reach the public during emergencies by sending warnings relayed through the country's largest wireless network providers to mobile phones within range.
If the test is postponed for some reason, the back-up date is Wednesday, Oct. 3. 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.