Monday, July 22
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What time is the national emergency alert test?

This is a drill. We repeat, this is a drill.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Communications Commission will jointly conduct a nationwide test of the emergency and wireless alert systems on Wednesday morning, FEMA said in a news release.

The test is expected to last 30 minutes beginning at 11:20 a.m. and will send notifications in English or in Spanish to cellphones as well as broadcast across televisions and radios.

“The purpose of the Oct. 4 test,” FEMA said in a statement, “is to ensure that the systems continue to be effective means of warning the public about emergencies, particularly those on the national level.”

The system is used to alert the public to emergencies in their area, such as severe weather systems or other dangers and Amber Alerts.

The test will transmit a loud sound and vibrations to cellphones that are switched on, within range of active cell towers and whose providers participate in alert systems, FEMA said. Depending on a phone’s language settings, the message will read, “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed,” or “ESTA ES UNA PRUEBA del Sistema Nacional de Alerta de Emergencia. No se necesita acción,” in Spanish.

Users should receive the alert, which will pop up on their phones, only once during the half-hour test, FEMA said.

Televisions and radios will also broadcast the alert, FEMA said. That message will read, “This is a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System, issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, covering the United States from 14:20 to 14:50 hours ET. This is only a test. No action is required by the public.”

A 2015 law requires FEMA to conduct national tests of the Integrated Public Alert & Warning System using cellphones, TVs, radio and other alert systems at least once every three years.

This the second national emergency test to cellphones, and the seventh for radios and televisions, FEMA said.

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