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The original item was published from 8/10/2021 1:43:33 PM to 8/13/2021 12:00:01 AM.

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Posted on: August 10, 2021

[ARCHIVED] FEMA IPAWS test 8/11/2021


Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency


FEMA and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will test the nation’s public alert and warning systems at 2:20 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday, August 11. The purpose of the test is to assess the effectiveness of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) to receive and convey a national message via radio and television, and of the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) infrastructure to deliver a test message to mobile phones. Unlike the last nationwide WEA test in 2018, most mobile phones will NOT display the test message.

Emergency Alert System (EAS)

The EAS national test is very similar to regular monthly tests typically originated by state authorities. During the test, radios and televisions across the country may interrupt normal programming to play the EAS test message. The message may be delivered in English or Spanish. The EAS test message is approximately one minute long and the audio will say: 

“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. No action is required.”    

The visual message, which will only be displayed on televisions, may vary depending on the station. The message will include, at a minimum, the originator, event, location, valid time period of the message and the time the message was transmitted.

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)

The test message sent to the WEA infrastructure will only be received by specially configured phones and will read: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.” 

Only phones that have been opted in specifically to receive system test messages will display the test message, which will be in either English or Spanish, depending on the device’s language settings. In contrast to the test messages, in a true emergency, the public would emergency alerts on their compatible phones (even if they haven’t opted-in to receive test messages).

For more information about the FEMA test, see

Frequently Asked Questions for 2021 IPAWS National Test:

More information about WEA and EAS can be found at Integrated Public Alert & Warning System | 


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