Public Alert and Warning Infrastructures

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The Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS) is FEMA's national system for local alerting that provides authenticated emergency and life-saving information to the public through mobile phones using Wireless Emergency Alerts, to radio and television via the Emergency Alert System, and on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Weather Radio.

The IPAWS National Test

Date: August 11, 2021

Time: 11:20 AM PDT - 11:50 AM PDT

Event Details: FEMA, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission, will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) this summer.

The national test will consist of two portions, testing WEA and EAS capabilities. Both tests will begin at 2:20 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Aug. 11.

The EAS national test is very similar to regular monthly tests typically originated by state authorities. During the test, radios and televisions across the country may interrupt normal programming to play the EAS test message. The message may be delivered in English or Spanish. 

The WEA test will be directed only to consumer cell phones where the subscriber has opted-in to receive test messages, which will be in either English or Spanish, depending on the device’s language settings. Most mobile phones will not display the test message. In contrast, consumers will automatically receive real emergency alerts on compatible phones (even if they do not receive the test message).  Instructions for how to opt-in to receive the test message on mobile devices can be found here. Frequently Asked Questions for the 2021 IPAWS National Test can be found here.

FEMA is asking you to participate in the first-of-its-kind Wireless Emergency Alerts live test survey. We want your feedback about how this test performs in your area. Wireless Emergency Alerts provide life-saving information to the public during emergencies, and it's important to know if they are reaching their intended audience. Every pierce of information you provide will help our effort. To participate, visit the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).