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FEMA, FCC to conduct nationwide emergency alert test Wednesday afternoon

U.S. cell phones will receive an emergency alert message while a test will appear on televisions and radios across the country.
Credit: WZZM

United States residents can expect their cell phones, television and radio sets to sound an emergency alert Wednesday afternoon, but don't be alarmed.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Communications Commission are conducting a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts.

It's scheduled to begin at 1:20 p.m. Central time/ 2:20 p.m. Eastern.

FEMA tweeted cell phones will receive an emergency alert test code message while a test will appear on televisions and radios across the country.

It's only a test, so no action is needed.

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EAS is a national public warning system that allows the president to interrupt radio and TV broadcasters, cable TV, wireless cable systems, satellite and wireline operators to address the citizens of the U.S. within 10 minutes during a national emergency.

According to the FCC website, this national public warning system is commonly used by state and local authorities to deliver important emergency information, such as weather and AMBER alerts.

WEAs are short emergency messages that are sent to cell phones without the needed to download an app or subscribe to a service. The messages are short and provide information that warn the public about impending natural or human-made disasters. WEAs include presidential, imminent threat, public safety, AMBER and Opt-in test alerts.

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