Why Was There An Emergency Alert Test?

Just a few minutes ago, an emergency alert probably appeared on your TV or cell phone, and it could also be heard on your radio if you’re still using those. Though the alert may have startled you, there’s nothing to be worried about as a result of it. Earlier this month, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that it would conduct an emergency alert test on October 4 at 2:20 pm EST by sending out an alert to every TV, radio, and cell phone in the United States. The test was done in coordination with the Federal Communication Commission. Now that the test is complete, you’re probably wondering why it had to be done.

Why Was There An Emergency Alert Test?

The purpose of this test is to ensure that the systems in place continue to be an effective means of warning the public about emergencies at a national level. Additional information was given in a message that arrived with the test, which you can read below:

THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. The purpose is to maintain and improve alert and warning capabilities at the federal, state, local, tribal and territorial levels and to evaluate the nation’s public alert and warning capabilities. No action is required by the public.

Additional Details: Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are short emergency messages from authorized federal, state, local, tribal and territorial public alerting authorities that can be broadcast from cell towers to any WEA-enabled mobile device in a locally targeted area. WEAs can be sent by state and local public safety officials, the National Weather Service, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the FEMA Administrator or the President of the United States.