NATIONWIDE EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM [EAS] TEST, WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3RD, APPROXIMATELY 1:15 PM.
Emergency officials can issue a single alert and it’ll go out to all wireless phones.
The first nationwide cellphone test will happen at 1:18 p.m. Wednesday with TV and radio alerts to sound off 2 minutes later.
The test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) will enable authorities to “assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether improvements are needed,” according to Federal Emergency Management Agency’s website at fema.gov.
“This is part of what’s called the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, or IPAWS,” said Tim Warstler, Stark County Emergency Management Agency director. “This is a test to make sure the system is able to work, to send a message in a time of disaster to everything within a set area.”
According to the FEMA website, “IPAWS enables public safety alerting authorities such as emergency managers, police, and fire departments to send the same alert and warning message over multiple communication pathways at the same time to citizens in harm’s way, helping to save lives.”
Emergency officials sending out an alert about a pending disaster need only issue one alert with the IPAWS technology.
That message may go out to cellphones, weather radios and TV and radio stations - simultaneously. Although for Wednesday’s testing, the alerts will go out separately - two minutes apart, Warstler said.
Alerts for some systems, such as weather radio alerts and Amber alerts for endangered children, typically need to be issued independently of one another. Systems are activated differently and with separate, specific sets of criteria, Warstler said.
With the IPAWS system, messages from local officials during an emergency will go out to the public on smart devices in a single alert.