FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 2, 2018
Contact: Chief David Dayringer
Fayetteville Fire Department
City Officials Remind Citizens of Tomorrow’s Nationwide Emergency Alert System Tests
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.— City of Fayetteville officials are reminding citizens that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is conducting a national test of the IPAWS (Integrated Public Alert and Warning System) tomorrow, October 3. Two systems will be tested. This is the first national Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) system which contacts mobile phones and the fourth Emergency Alert System (EAS) test which is broadcast over radio, televisions etc.
Wireless Emergency Alerts:
The Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) test will begin at 1:18 p.m. CST (Central Standard Time), contacting millions of mobile phones across the country; therefore, it could be several minutes before you receive the call. During this time, WEA compatible cell phones that are switched on, within range of an active cell tower, and whose wireless provider participates in WEA should be capable of receiving the test message. Some cell phones will not receive the test message, and cell phones should only receive the message once.
The WEA test message will have a header that reads "Presidential Alert" and text that says:
“THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”
The WEA system is used to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children, and other critical situations through alerts on cell phones. The national test will use the same special tone and vibration as with all WEA messages (i.e. Tornado Warning, AMBER Alert). Users cannot opt out of receiving the WEA test.
Emergency Alert System:
The Emergency Alert System (EAS) test will begin at 1:20 p.m. CST (Central Standard Time). The EAS is a national public warning system that provides the President with the communications capability to address the nation during a national emergency. The test is made available to EAS participants (i.e., radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers, and wireline video providers) and is scheduled to last approximately one minute.
The test message will be similar to regular monthly EAS test messages. The EAS message will include a reference to the WEA test:
“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 nationwide. Some cell phones will receive the message; others will not. No action is required.”
The City of Fayetteville tested its emergency notification system CodeRED in November 2016. The City issues CodeRED notifications when there is a likely and/or imminent threat to citizen life or property. Examples of emergencies are:
- catastrophic weather conditions (such as tornado or ice storm)
- contamination of drinking water
- Governor-approved state of emergency
Fayetteville citizens are encouraged to sign up with CodeRED to ensure they receive emergency notifications. By signing up, citizens can choose additional ways that they can receive notifications beyond the current list of landline telephone numbers. Citizens can choose to receive notifications via multiple telephone landlines, mobile phones, text, and/or email and can also choose whether to receive Tornado Warning, Severe Thunderstorm Warning, or Flash Flood Warning notifications via CodeRED from the National Weather Service.
Smartphone and tablet users can download the “CodeRED Mobile Alert” app for free – just search for CodeRED on Google Play for Android or iTunes for IOS. When the smartphone’s location services is activated, the CodeRED app will push emergency notifications about events in the smartphone’s geographic area, including outside of Fayetteville city limits. The app is available in English, Spanish, and French languages.