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Nationwide emergency alert test scheduled for Wednesday

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A nationwide test of two key emergency alert systems is scheduled for 8:20 a.m. Wednesday, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Communications Commission.

They include tests of the Emergency Alert System, or EAS and Wireless Emergency Alerts, or WAS, according to the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, which is participating.

Unlike the monthly testing routinely conducted by HI-EMA, the test on Wednesday morning will not include activation of the all-hazard statewide outdoor warning siren system. It will take place only via cellular phones — and similar wireless devices — televisions and radios.

On Wednesday, test messages will be sent to connected cell phones, radios, and TVs across the United States.

WEA-compatible 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, which will read: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”

Wireless phones should receive the message only once.

The EAS portion of the test via radios and televisions, meanwhile, will be conducted at the same time as the WEA test.

It is scheduled to last approximately one minute, and will be conducted with the participation of radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers and wireline video providers.

The test message will state: “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.”

HI-EMA said the test is intended to ensure that the alert systems remain an effective means of warning the public about emergencies, particularly those on the national level.

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