On October 4, at precisely 12:20 p.m. MST and 2:20 p.m. ET a unified alert will resonate across every mobile phone and television in the United States. This simultaneous test will exercise the effectiveness of two critical emergency alert systems: the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) for mobile devices and the Emergency Alert System (EAS) for televisions and radios.
The national test will consist of two portions, testing WEA and EAS capabilities.
The WEA portion of the test will be directed to all consumer cell phones. This will be the third nationwide test, but the second test to all cellular devices. The test message will display in either English or in Spanish, depending on the language settings of the wireless handset.
The EAS portion of the test will be sent to radios and televisions. This will be the seventh nationwide EAS test.
According to the release, the cell tower test will last for 30 minutes. During this time frame, wireless phones that are WEA-compatible, switched on, in-range of an active cell tower and whose wireless provider participates in WEA should be able to receive the test message.
FEMA and the FCC are coordinating with EAS participants, wireless providers, emergency managers and other stakeholders in preparation for this national test to minimize confusion and to maximize the public safety value of the test.
For more information check out the FEMA website.