FEMA/FCC to Conduct Nationwide Test of WEA and EAS on 9/20/18

On September 20th, at 1:18pm CST (2:18pm EDT) the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will be conducting a nationwide test of the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system, followed by a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) at 1:20pm CST (2:20pm EDT).


This test has been done on a smaller scale in various parts of the country as just an EAS or WEA test. This is the first time both systems will be tested at the same time. The test will also send out a bilingual message in Spanish.



  • The WEA test will send a Presidential Message to all WEA-enabled cell phones at 1:18pm CST.
  • The WEA test will broadcast to cell towers for approximately 30 minutes and cell phone users should only receive the message one time.
  • The message will read, “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”


  • The EAS test will go out via television and radio at 1:20pm CST.
  • The EAS test should last approximately 1 minute.
  • The message will read, “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.”


It is important that our public safety partners and the residents of Galveston County know about this test and why it is occurring. This test is an important element in keeping our emergency alert systems relevant and up to date with public safety needs and public expectations.

Let your organization know that this test will be occurring.