At 1:18 p.m., October 3rd, you will receive a Wireless Emergency Alert on your mobile phone if it is connected to wireless providers that participate in the WEA system. The alerts are free and the customer is not charged to receive WEA. One does not have to sign up to receive a WEA.
On October 3, 2018, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS). The test will be transmitted in English and Spanish including both audio and text messages. The EAS test should appear similar to nationwide tests in recent years to radio and television audiences. FEMA will also send a test Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) message to all mobile phones that are connected to wireless providers that participate in the WEA system. The FCC requires all wireless carriers that do not participate in WEA to notify their customers. Customers may also notify their carrier to determine the extent to which the carrier is offering Wireless Emergency Alerts. Wireless Emergency Alerts include Amber Alerts, Severe Weather Alerts, and others. The alerts are set to be geographically precise within the county or counties affected by the alert. The Nationwide WEA does not have to be a text. Many providers have chosen to transmit WEA’s using a technology that is separate and different from voice calls and SMS text messages.
The WEAs can be blocked. However, when Congress passed the WARN Act, they allowed participating carriers to offer subscribers the capability to block all WEA’s except those issued by the President.