U.S. emergency alert test is today. Here’s what to know.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (WHAT THE TECH?) — Today, you can expect every phone in the U.S. to get a text message and alert from the Emergency Alert System.
It is a test – and only a test – but what exactly will happen?
According to FEMA, the text will be similar to one sent to phones in 2018 that said “Presidential Alert: no action is needed.” It will happen around 12:20 p.m. Wednesday.
The test is to make sure the Wireless Emergency Alert system works and is effective. Some phones will not receive the alert if they are:
- Off or in airplane mode
- Connected to a VPN or virtual private network
- Opted out of receiving government alerts
- Not connected to a cell site broadcasting the alerts
If you’re in an office or are around other people, you’ll hear an alert sound from other phones. Each phone should receive the alert only once.
Conspiracy theorists are posting all kinds of false information on Facebook, YouTube and TikTok…it’s all false and unfounded.
If you don’t want to receive the alerts, turn off your phone or put it in airplane mode for about 30 minutes beginning at 12:20 p.m. Wednesday.
Still, it’s a good idea to leave the phone on to ensure you receive the alert. Later, FEMA will ask that anyone who doesn’t receive the alert contact them in order to find out why and make any changes to ensure everyone receives an alert in the event of an actual emergency.
The purpose of the test is to ensure that the systems continue to be effective means of warning the public about emergencies, particularly those on the national level.
If there is widespread severe weather or another significant event, officials will postpone the emergency alert test to October 11.
The phone alert is one of two Emergency Alert Systems. The other is for radio and television.
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