Nationwide emergency alert test to hit cell phones Wednesday afternoon

National / World

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) — Don’t be worried if your cell phone suddenly goes off on you Wednesday afternoon.

FEMA, along with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), is conducting a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA).

The national test will consist of two portions, testing WEA and EAS capabilities. Both tests will begin at 1:20 p.m. CT on Wednesday, Aug. 11.

The EAS national test is very similar to regular monthly tests typically originated by state authorities.

During the test, radios and televisions across the country may interrupt normal programming to play the EAS test message. The message may be delivered in English or Spanish.

The WEA test will be directed only to consumer cell phones where the person has opted-in to receive test messages, which will be in either English or Spanish, depending on the device’s language settings.

How to opt-in for WEA tests

For most Android devices, you can access your device’s alerting settings through one of the following options:

  • Tap Apps → Emergency Alerts → Menu (three dots in the upper right-hand corner of the screen) → Settings → Alert types.
  • Tap Apps → Settings → Apps & Notifications → Advanced → Wireless Emergency Alerts.
  • Tap Apps → Settings → Search for “Emergency Alerts” or “Public Safety messages.”
  • Tap your text messaging app → Menu (three dots in the upper right-hand corner of the screen) → Settings → Advanced → Wireless Emergency Alerts → Menu → Settings.

Then turn on “State/Local Test alerts” or a similar setting by tapping the switch to slide it to the “on” position. If the “State/Local Test alert” is turned on, the circle will be on the right-hand side of the switch.

For iPhones and other iOS devices, use the following instructions to turn alerts on:

  • Open the Phone app
  • Tap keypad.
  • Dial *5005*25371#
  • Tap the call button and you’ll get an alert that says, “Test Alerts Enabled.”
  • Tap the word “Dismiss” when finished.

To turn off alerts on iPhones and other iOS devices:

  • Open the phone app.
  • Tap keypad.
  • Dial *5005*25371#
  • Tap the call button and you’ll get an alert that says, “Test alerts disabled.”

For other phones, officials urge users to contact their wireless service provider or mobile phone manufacturer’s website for additional information on how to receive WEA test alerts.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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