FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018
Media contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Andover Reminds Residents of Nationwide Public Alert & Warning Test
ANDOVER –The Town of Andover seeks to remind all residents that the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Communications Commission will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018.
The Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) portion of the test will be sent to virtually all consumer cellular phones in the U.S. beginning at 2:18 p.m. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) test will follow on all television and radio stations at 2:20 p.m. This is the first time the federal government has tested the WEA.
“Andover has experienced and is still recovering from a serious emergency, and it is vital that we get the word out about this test so that no residents are put in fear,” Town Manager Flanagan said. “Virtually all cell phones and television and radio stations are part of the test tomorrow. The test is meant to ensure that vital communications infrastructure is in working order in the event of a national emergency. Again, tomorrow’s event is only a test.”
The WEA test message will appear on mobile phones and will read, “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.” Phones will display this national test using the header “Presidential Alert.” These nationwide alerts, established pursuant to the WARN Act of 2006, are meant for use in a national emergency and are the only type of alert that can be sent simultaneously nationwide by FEMA. Each phone should receive the message only once.
FEMA has issued the following information about the test:
The purpose of the test is to ensure that EAS and WEA are both effective means of warning the public about emergencies, particularly those on the national level. Periodic testing of public alert and warning systems helps to assess the operational readiness of alerting infrastructure and to identify any needed technological and administrative improvements.
The EAS and WEA test messages will be sent using FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), a centralized Internet-based system administered by FEMA that enables authorities to send authenticated emergency messages to the public through multiple communications networks.
FEMA will administer the test, in cooperation with the FCC and the National Weather Service, and with the participation of the communications industry.
October 3, 2018, beginning at 2:18 p.m. EDT on cell phones and 2:20 p.m. EDT on TV and radio. (This is the test back-up date; the test was previously postponed due to response efforts to Hurricane Florence.)