Heads Up: Your smartphones going to start blaring Wednesday afternoon

James Marshall
October 2, 2018

About 225 million mobile devices across the USA will receive a test emergency alert Wednesday. "No action is needed". That test will assess the effectiveness of sending out "a national message and determine whether improvements are needed".

You can expect to see the alert pop up on your phone at 2:18 p.m. ET so long as you have your phone turned on, are within range of a cell tower, and if your wireless provider is part of the WEA system.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says it'll sound like an Amber Alert or flood warning. It will have a header that reads "Presidential Alert" and text that says: "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System".

The emergency management agency is testing both its Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) program. Therefore, if you have a smartphone capable of receiving WEA alerts, your phone will receive the alert.

What will be sent out Wednesday afternoon is just a test.


The test was supposed to happen on September 20, but was pushed back to October 3, which is tomorrow.

A special alert will run across the screen of your smartphone on Wednesday.

The test had been planned for September, but Hurricane Florence preparedness and response efforts prompted FEMA and the FCC to postpone it until october 3.

Find out more on the FEMA website.

The EAS is a national public warning system that provides the President with the communications capability to address the nation during a national emergency. The message will be active for approximately 30 minutes, so users could receive the alert within that time frame.

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