Emergency alert systems being tested on cellphones, TVs and radios across nation this week
EAST LONGMEADOW, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - On Wednesday afternoon, expect to receive an emergency alert on your cell phone because FEMA, in coordination with the FCC, will be conducting a nationwide test.
“Something like this could save your life in some kind of pending emergency,” said Stan Prager with Go Geeks in East Longmeadow.
Cell phones across America will receive an alert from FEMA. Prager told Western Mass News that FEMA is responsible for preparing, protecting, and responding to natural disasters and man-made incidents or terrorist events. He added that FEMA has a system in place, so that if there’s an emergency where we all need to react quickly, they can let everyone across the country or in the affected area know immediately, so they can take action.
“So, let’s say you’re living in a corridor of a wildfire right and you’re not watching TV, right? And you don’t know that you’ve got 25 minutes to get away or that your house is going to be engulfed in flames and you’ll die…that FEMA can set an alert out to your phone and every phone in that in that region and alert them that there is an emergency pending and communicate with you on how to act,” Prager noted.
According to FEMA,the test will take place Wednesday, October 4 at 2:20 p.m. Eastern Standard Time and in case Wednesday’s test is postponed due to widespread severe weather or other significant events, the back-up testing date will be October 11. FEMA said the test message will be similar to the regular emergency alert text messages that are sent out monthly and Prager assured us that the alert is only a test and we should not be alarmed.
“They’re only testing it because if you don’t test something, you don’t know whether it works or not right,” Prager explained.
Prager added that you cannot turn off or block federal alerts and even if your phone is on silent or switched to vibrate, your phone will still make the unique test tone.
“You’re going to hear it’s not a big deal. It’s nothing to be afraid of. It’s going to be over 30 minutes, so if your phone is on during that 30 minute, you’re going to get it. If your phone is turned off, you’re not gonna receive the alert. Once you get it, you just delete it,” Prager added.
Prager said if you receive this alert, you shouldn’t be concerned. He said you should be more concerned if you don’t receive it and he suggested contacting your cell phone carrier because there may be something wrong with your phone.
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