The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a national public warning system that allows government authorities to communicate critical information to the public during emergency situations.

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On October 4, 2023, the federal government will be testing the EAS using cell, radio, and television signals in New York and across the United States.

What Is the Emergency Alert System?

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will conduct the nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) using the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS). The EAS relies on a combination of technologies, including broadcast radio and television, cell phone towers, and other means of communication, to alert the public during emergencies such as natural disasters, national security threats, and Amber Alerts.

When Will the Test of the Emergency Alert System Take Place?

The EAS test will take place on October 4 and it will involve both a National Periodic Test (NPT) of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and a Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) test. The NPT will be sent to all radio and television stations, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers, and wireline video providers. The WEA test will be sent to wireless providers serving consumers throughout New York, the United States, and its territories.

What To Expect During a National EAS Test

During the test, residents will hear a message that says "This is a test." The message will be the same for both the EAS and the WEA test. In previous years, these tests have run for about a minute and have reached almost all residents. The purpose of the test is to check the effectiveness and reliability of the EAS and WEA systems and to help the federal government identify any areas that might need improvement.

What Time Will the National EAS Test Be Activated?

Officials say that the test will be sent between 2:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

How To Know If an EAS Alert Is an Actual Emergency

It's important to note that in the event of an actual emergency, the EAS and WEA systems will be used to provide the public with important information and instructions. There will be no message before the alert stating that it is only a test. During an emergency, the systems allow government officials to quickly provide the public with updates and instructions on how to stay safe during the crisis.

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