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Presidential Alert coming to cell phones on Oct. 3 in first-ever test

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency is reminding Tennesseans to be aware of the planned national emergency alert test the Federal Emergency Management Agency will conduct on Wednesday, Oct. 3.
FEMA and the Federal Communications Commission will conduct a nationwide test of the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, aka IPAWS.
“This is an important test of our nation’s public alerting capabilities,” TEMA Director Patrick Sheehan said. “We don’t want Tennesseans to be surprised when they see, or hear, the alert on television or radio, and also receive it on their mobile devices. This is also a preparedness opportunity to remind citizens how important it is to have multiple options for receiving emergency alerts and warnings at home, on the road, and at work.”
The national IPAWS test will include both a Wireless Emergency Alert message, sent to mobile devices, at 1:18 p.m., Central Time, and an Emergency Alert System message, to be broadcast on radio and television, at 1:20 p.m., Central.
The Wireless Emergency Alert message will display on mobile devices as a Presidential Alert and will state: THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.
FEMA will send only one Wireless Emergency Alert message to mobile devices and because the WEA message is a Presidential Alert, users will not be able to opt out of receiving the message, even if users have deactivated alert notifications in their mobile devices.
Only wireless providers which have chosen to participate in the national WEA test will deliver the WEA message to their customers’ mobile devices.
The Emergency Alert System portion of the test is expected to last one minute and will allow FEMA to verify the delivery and broadcast of a national test message and assess the infrastructure for its distribution.
This is the fourth time FEMA has conducted a national Emergency Alert System test and is the first time for a national Wireless Emergency Alert test.

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