Briana Heaney Published

National Emergency Alert Test Planned On Oct. 4

Cell phone or mobile service tower in forested area of West Virginia providing broadband service.steheap/Adobe Stock

A national emergency alert system test will begin Wednesday at approximately 2:20 p.m. The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Communications Commission will be testing an alert system that notifies the public of national, state or local emergencies.

The text will display on smartphones in either Spanish or English, depending on the language settings. An alert will also go out on radio and TV. Kanawha County Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director C.W. Sigman said if you get an alert outside of routine testing it generally means something very serious is going on. 

“It means to pay attention to alerts, go inside, turn on your TV or radio. Try to get more information,” he said. 

He said the use of TV, Radio and Cellular alerts helps provide wider coverage, especially for areas with no cellular signal.

“The emergency alert will kind of tell you what’s going on but you may want more information to know what kind of protective actions you should take,” Sigman said. 

To ensure that these alerts are accessible to the entire public, including residents with disabilities, the alerts will have a unique tone and vibration.