OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A nationwide emergency alert will be sent out Wednesday afternoon. Cell phones, TVs and radios will all sound the alarm, but it’s only a test.
“The 2023 nationwide emergency alert system test will be broadcast for approximately one minute,” Antwane Johnson said. FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Director.
The test is scheduled for about 1:20 p.m. Hundreds of millions of cell phones, TVs and radios should receive it.
“We are committed to doing our part to make the nations emergency alerting system the strongest tool possible for public safety officials to protect their community,” FCC associate chief Austin Randazzo said.
FEMA and FCC officials held a teleconference Tuesday ahead of the test to answer any questions and ease concerns.
They say the test is to make sure the system is running smoothly in the event of a natural disaster, terrorism or other issues involving public safety. The test window is 30 minutes long, but you should only get the test one time.
“In the weeks that follow communications providers will send the FCC data on their performance during the test including whether they had any issues with receiving or delivering the test message. We will examine that data closely to identify any areas for improvement,” Randazzo said.
The test will not come through if your phone is not connected with a cell tower, if your phone is off, or if it’s on airplane mode.
Federal officials recognized that there are scenarios involving domestic violence where people have “hidden phones.” They say anyone who may be in a that situation should turn their phone off for the entire test window before turning it back on when it’s over.
“There should be no alert in the system that would activate those phones,” Johnson said speaking on when the test is over.
If an actual emergency takes place Wednesday, the test would be postponed and there will be a backup test scheduled for next week.
For more information, visit fema.gov.