All cell phones will receive the same notification at the same time this Wednesday; Here’s why

This is something you may want to remember to prevent a possible jumpscare.

According to FEMA, a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) is expected to take place on Wednesday.

In coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the national test will be administered at approximately 2:20 p.m. ET (1:20 p.m. Houston time) on Oct. 4.

The testing is expected to last for 30 minutes, however, you should only hear the tone for a quick moment.

It will state, “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.”

If users turn their phones off at 2:20 p.m. and then turn them on in the next 30 minutes, they’ll get the message when they turn their phones back on. If they turn their phones on after the 30 minutes have expired, they will not get the message.

It will consist of two portions that will test WEA and EAS capabilities.

The WEA portion of the test will be directed to all consumer cell phones, the FEMA website read. This will be the third nationwide test, but the second test for all cellular devices.

The messaging will be displayed in either English or Spanish, depending on the language settings of the phone. The EAS portion of the test will be sent to radios and televisions. This will be the seventh nationwide EAS test.

FEMA and the FCC are coordinating with EAS participants, wireless providers, emergency managers, and others to prepare for this national test to minimize confusion and to maximize the public safety value of the test.

“The purpose of the test is to ensure that the systems continue to be effective means of warning the public about emergencies, particularly those on the national level,” the website read. “In case the Oct. 4 test is postponed due to widespread severe weather or other significant events, the backup testing date is Oct. 11.”

Another important note: KPRC 2 spoke with the Houston Area Women’s Center about what risks this testing may cause for individuals who have hidden secondary devices that they may use to contact friends, and family whom their abuser does not want them to have contact with. If you find yourself in this situation, be aware that the tone will go off. It’s best to turn your device completely off before this time and do not turn it on until after the 30 minutes have passed.

In an effort to help victims, KPRC 2 News created a series, “Breaking Free,” reporting on domestic-related violence and its horrific consequences. The series showcased various stories of survival, heartache, and some even ending in death, but each shared a list of free domestic violence resources on how to get help.Do you know someone in need of help? KPRC 2 released the following features in “Breaking Free.”

Help is also available immediately if you need it through the following numbers:

About the Author:

Moriah Ballard joined the KPRC 2 digital team in the fall of 2021. Prior to becoming a digital content producer in Southeast Texas and a Houstonian, Moriah was an award-winning radio host in her hometown of Lorain, Ohio and previously worked as a producer/content creator in Cleveland. Her faith, family, and community are her top passions.