COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Every cellphone in the United States received a text message at 2:20 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday. There was no need to panic because it was just a test.
The Federal Emergency Advancement Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) conducted this test on all phones, televisions, and radios on Wednesday to “ensure that the systems continues to be effective means of warning the public about emergencies, particularly those on the national level.”
The test was to examine the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) and Emergency Alert System (EAS) networks. The WEA test was directed to all consumer cell phones and was just the second one ever to test all cell phones. Cell towers broadcasted the test for 30 minutes.
The message sent to all phones read: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”
If your phone settings are in Spanish, the same message displayed but translated: “ESTA ES UNA PRUEBA del Sistema Nacional de Alerta de Emergencia. No se neccesita acción.”
This was the first time since Aug. 11, 2021, this “presidential alert system” has been tested on cellular devices.
The EAS test was the seventh ever nationwide to all televisions and radios. It lasted one minute and read as follows: “This is a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System, issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, covering the United States from 14:20 to 14:50 hours ET. This is only a test. No action is required by the public.”