FEMA and the FCC will be testing the national emergency alert system, Oct. 4

U.S. residents should prepare themselves for a national emergency alert system test coming October 4, 2023, at 2PM EST being conducted by FEMA and the FCC. This test is being pushed to mobile users, so your smartphone will start broadcasting the national emergency alert on that day at that time. This is going to annoy plenty of folks, especially if you’re in a busy office.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will send notifications to cell phones (as well as radios and TVs) to test the National Emergency Alert System, specifically for wireless devices. The test is not only to be sure the system is working, but also to get the public familiar with the system if they weren’t already.

The cellular portion of the test comes from the Wireless Emergency Alerts system WEA-alerts, this is the same system that takes care of AMBER alerts pushed to cellular devices. If you’re used to getting AMBER alerts, the national emergency alert system is just about the same thing.


The national emergency alert system will send all U.S. based cellular devices the following text message along with an audible alert:

“THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.” Those with phones set to Spanish as their primary language will see, “ESTA ES UNA PRUEBA del Sistema Nacional de Alerta de Emergencia. No se necesita acción.”

Users should be able to dismiss the alert fairly quickly, and knowing the day and time should be helpful to quell some frustration. But be aware that the test is set to be repeated on October 11th as a backup. So you’re not out of the water on the 4th.

Find out more on FEMA’s website here.