The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has required radio stations and television to conduct tests of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) since the program began in 1963 and was originally called the Emergency Broadcast System. It consisted of a tone, a message stating that it was a test, and instructions if it was not. The tone has changed a bit since its inception, and the statement has been reworded slightly, but the idea has not.

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Many people have had warnings of troubles on the way from the EAS system through the years. Tests can be a bit concerning when people mistake them for an actual emergency. The government takes great strides in informing people of tests vs. emergencies.

While people don’t always have the opportunity to listen to the radio all day, many do carry smartphones with them. The EAS system can now be coupled with Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) to be able to reach as many people as possible should the need arise.

National EAS Test Will Affect Idaho Phones in October

As previously stated, coming up on October 4th, the two systems will be tested simultaneously. FEMA and the FCC will conduct a test at approximately 12:20 PM Mountain Time. Any active wireless phone whose provider is a participant in the WEA will receive a text message displaying:

‘THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.’

For the EAS radio and television portion of this test, watchers can expect a message stating:

‘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.’


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