The Frederick County Division of Emergency Management announced today that a nationwide Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) and Emergency Alert System (EAS) test will be conducted on September 20, 2018 by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). This will be the first nationwide Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) WEA and EAS test.
Emergency management officials want to raise awareness of the scheduled tests to minimize any concerns the public may have and reduce the confusion that could be created if the test occurred without prior notice.
At approximately 2:18 pm on September 20, 2018, FEMA will send out a message to WEA capable devices throughout the entire United States and Territories which will state:
“THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”
Immediately following the WEA nationwide test, at 2:20 p.m., FEMA will conduct a live test of the EAS. The following EAS message will be disseminated via the IPAWS system:
“THIS IS A TEST of the National Emergency Alert System. This system was developed by broadcast and cable operators in voluntary cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Communications Commission, and local authorities to keep you informed in the event of an emergency. If this had been an actual emergency, an official message would have followed the tone alert you heard at the start of this message. A similar wireless emergency alert test message has been sent to all cell phones in the nation. Some cell phones will receive the message. Others will not. No action is required.”
The EAS alert will be transmitted in English and Spanish and will include both audio and the text of the test message, which can be used to populate an accessible video crawl.
Any specific questions about the test should be directed to the agencies as shown below.
Comments to FEMA can be emailed to: FEMA-National-Test@fema.dhs.gov.
Comments to the FCC can be registered on their comment portal at https://www.fcc.gov/general/public-safety-support-center.
The WEA system is an essential part of America’s emergency preparedness. Since its launch in 2012, the WEA system has been used more than 33,000 times to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children, and other critical situations – all through alerts on cell phones.
WEA is a public safety system that allows customers who own certain wireless phones and other enabled mobile devices to receive geographically-targeted, text-like messages alerting them of imminent threats to safety in their area. Wireless companies volunteer to participate in WEA, which is the result of a unique public/private partnership between the FCC, FEMA and the
wireless industry to enhance public safety.
The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a national public warning system that requires broadcasters, cable television systems, wireless cable systems, satellite digital audio radio service (SDARS) providers and direct broadcast satellite (DBS) providers to provide the communications capability to the president of the United States to address the public during a national emergency. The system also may be used by state and local authorities to deliver important emergency information, such as AMBER alerts and weather information targeted to specific areas.
Residents are strongly encouraged to register to receive emergency information specific to Frederick County from county and municipal officials via the ALERT Frederick County notification system at: www.FrederickCountyMD.gov/ALERT.
Like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/FCGMDDEM/ and follow us on Twitter, https://twitter.com/FCG_DEM. Emergency messages are also broadcast on WFMD 930 AM, WFRE 99.9 FM, WAFY 103.1 FM, Frederick County Government cable channel 19, Frederick County Public Schools cable channel 18, municipal government cable channel 99 (where available) and WDVM TV station.
For more information on preparing for, responding to and recovering from emergencies and hazards, visit www.FrederickCountyMD.gov/READY.
The Department of Emergency Preparedness can be contacted at 301-600-1746 or EM@FrederickCountyMD.gov.