National Test / Warning System: What just happened to my cell phone, TV, radio? What do I do now?
Every phone in America just bleeped for a test of a new emergency alert system. At least it should have.
If you weren’t looking at the news this week you will have got an almighty shock moments ago. Maybe you were on the subway doomscrolling or catching up on the final episode of the Ashoka show when there was an interruption.
This is because a test has been sent out by the the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for a nation-wide alert system. It was conducted at approximately 2:20 p.m. ET.
The EAS portion of the test will be sent to radios and televisions, the seventh test of its kind.
“The national test is best thought of as a system-wide test,” says Elizabeth Ellcessor at the University of Virginia. “If the system works for this, it should also work for the smaller, more local, ordinary uses.”
I didn’t get a message, is my device broken?
Phones will have only gotten the alert if they were within range of an active cell tower, and in a geographic area where the wireless provider participates in WEA.
If a phone is off before the test alert is sent and not turned back on until after the test ends, around 30 minutes, the phone should not get the test message.