Nationwide EAS Test Set for Sept. 27

This is only the third nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System; the first was conducted in November 2011 and the second was conducted in September 2016.

FEMA, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission, will conduct a mandatory nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System at 2:20 p.m. EDT on Sept. 27 in order to assess readiness for distribution of the national level test message, as well as verify its delivery. This is only the third nationwide test of the EAS; the first was conducted in November 2011 in collaboration with the FCC, broadcasters, and emergency management officials, and the second was conducted in September 2016.

The EAS test is made available to radio, TV, cable, and direct broadcast satellite systems and is scheduled to last approximately one minute. The test's message will be similar to the regular monthly test message of the EAS with which the public is familiar, only with the word "national" inserted: "This is a national test of the Emergency Alert System. This is only a test."

Significant coordination and regional testing has been conducted with the broadcast community and emergency managers in preparation for this EAS national test, FEMA reports, adding that this test is intended to ensure public safety officials have the methods and systems that will deliver urgent alerts and warnings to the public in times of an emergency or disaster. Conducting it in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria will provide insight into the resiliency of the U.S. national-level alerting capabilities in affected areas and provide data on how the Integrated Public Alerts and Warning System (IPAWS) performs during and following a variety of conditions. "With two major hurricanes already making landfall, and a potential for two more impacting our nation, we need to have the ability to maintain the continuity of critical infrastructure under various conditions," FEMA noted.

The backup date for the test is Oct. 4 at 2:20 pm EDT in case the Sept. 27 test is cancelled. More information on the IPAWS and Wireless Emergency Alerts is available at

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