The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) on Wednesday, August 7, 2019 at 11:20 a.m. PST. If conditions on the day of the test require the rescheduling of the test, a secondary test date is scheduled for Wednesday, August 21, 2019. The test message will clearly state that the alert is only a test of the EAS.
The test will assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether improvements are needed. The intent of this year’s test is to evaluate the readiness of the national alerting capability in the absence of internet connectivity.
The 2019 test will begin with broadcast of the national test message from radio stations, called Primary Entry Point or PEP stations, that participate with FEMA in the National Public Warning System, a component of the IPAWS. Other radio and television broadcast and cable stations in each state that monitor PEP stations will receive and broadcast the test message so that within minutes the test message should be presented by all radio and television, cable, wireline service providers and direct broadcast satellite service providers nationwide.
The test will not include a message on cell phones via Wireless Emergency Alerts. The test is scheduled to last approximately one minute.
The audio test message will be similar to regular monthly EAS test messages with which the public is familiar:
“THIS IS A TEST of the National Emergency Alert System. This system was developed by broadcast and cable operators in voluntary cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Communications Commission, and local authorities to keep you informed in the event of an emergency. If this had been an actual emergency an official message would have followed the tone alert you heard at the start of this message. No action is required.”
To learn more about the IPAWS National Test, click here.