(KXNET) — Get ready — around 1:20 p.m., Central Time, you’re going to see messages appear on your phone and flash across your TV screen testing the nation’s emergency alert and warning systems.
The Emergency Alert System is a national public warning system that’s designed to allow the president to speak to the American people within 10 minutes during a national emergency via specific outlets such as radio and television. And Wireless Emergency Alerts are short messages — 360 characters or less — that go to mobile phones to alert their owner to important information.
The Integrated Public Alert and Warning System sends out messages via the two systems.
The test is slated to start at 1:20 p.m. Central Time Wednesday. Wireless phone customers in the United States whose phones are on will get a message saying: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.” The incoming message will also make a noise and the phone should vibrate.
People watching broadcast or cable television or listening to the radio will hear and see a message lasting one minute that says: “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.”
Federal law requires the systems be tested at least once every three years. The last nationwide test was Aug. 11, 2021.
The Federal Emergency Management Administration, or FEMA, hos put together a detailed answer sheet on just about every question you can think of about the test. It also deals with a number of false rumors circulating in social media about the test. You can read and down the fact sheet below or from here.