FEMA and the FCC are putting the Public Alert and Warning System through a nationwide test in the United States. That means that every phone on out every carrier will ring and vibrate with an emergency notification.
The alert test that FEMA is initiating will happen on October 4 at 2:20 p.m. ET, and it will affect just about every phone in the United States. During the test, your phone will ring with a unique alert and vibrate at the same time, much like an Amber Alert would. The notification will read the following:
This is a test of the national wireless emegency alert system. No action is needed.
The test is being put together by FEMA, the FCC, and local public authorities. Because this is a requirement by FEMA, all major carriers will have to send the alert through to the devices on those networks. Unless you don’t have cellular service on your phone, there is no way to opt out of the test alert.
According to FEMA, the national test will be transmitted for 30 minutes, though you should only see the notification once. That means that any device that is powered on during that 30-minute period after 2:20 p.m. will get an alert that will use both the ringer and vibrate motor, regardless of sound settings. Some phones do have certain settings that turn off national alerts. However, those settings will have no effect on FEMA’s broadcast. Again, carriers must broadcast it to your device.
If all goes well, the FEMA test will ensure that both the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) and Emergency Alert System (EAS) are working as intended, notifying millions of people with whatever message is needed. These alerts come into play when national disasters happen and do – ideally – play a part in saving lives.
Our sister site, 9to5Mac, has a great post on how this affects iPhone users and information in that area. As far as…
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