FEMA announced recently that it would be conducting a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA). Both were initially scheduled to take place on September 20th, but FEMA said today that the WEA test has been postponed until October 3rd. The delay is due to severe weather stemming from Hurricane Florence and ongoing response efforts.
Due to severe weather across much of the East Coast and ongoing response efforts, the national emergency alert test has been postponed to the backup date of Oct. 3, 2018 at 2:18 PM EDT.
If you have questions about the test, visit the FAQ at https://t.co/Op8T9AEpiF. pic.twitter.com/S9RYxyfdiv
— FEMA (@fema) September 17, 2018
This will be the first national test of the WEA system, which will allow the president to send alerts to cellphones regarding public emergencies. The test will now begin at 2:18 PM Eastern on Wednesday, October 3rd. Its header will say "Presidential Alert" followed by, "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed." While individuals can typically opt out of weather and AMBER alerts, they can't opt out of the WEA test.