The Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission and FEMA announced that there will be a nationwide tests of the EAS and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) on October 4, 2023. If conditions on that date require the rescheduling of the tests, they will be conducted on October 11, 2023.
FEMA will initiate the test of WEA at 2:18 p.m. EDT on Oct. 4, 2023, using the National Alert classification of Alert Message. The test will be sent to the entire United States and its territories. Members of the public with mobile device service from a CMS provider that participates in WEA in their areas will receive the test message, which will read “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.” The WEA alert will be transmitted in English and Spanish in 90 and 360 character sets. All wireless providers that have elected to participate in WEA are required to participate in this nationwide test.
FEMA will transmit the nationwide test of the EAS at 2:20 p.m. EDT on Oct. 4, 2023 using the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS). The test will be disseminated in English and Spanish as a Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) message using the Nationwide Test of the Emergency Alert System (NPT) code. The EAS test will be similar to regular monthly EAS test messages. The test message audio and text, which is designed to be identical to the greatest extent possible, is as follows: “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.”
The FCC encourages EAS participants to take steps, in coordination with their state emergency communications committees, in preparation for this test, including:
• Ensuring that a copy of the EAS Operating Handbook is located at normal duty positions, or EAS equipment locations, and is otherwise immediately available to operators.
• Reviewing the EAS Operating Handbook for the actions to be taken by operators upon receipt of the test alert, and tailoring any actions as necessary that are specific to the EAS Participants’ facilities.
• Reviewing their state EAS plan for monitoring assignments and ensuring that EAS equipment is accurately configured to monitor those sources.
• Upgrading EAS equipment software and firmware to the most recent version.
• Manually synchronizing EAS equipment clocks to the official time provided by the National Institute of Standards and Technology if an EAS participant’s equipment does not automatically synchronize to an Internet time source.
All EAS participants are required to participate in the nationwide EAS test and make required filings in the Commission’s EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS). EAS participants were required to make their 2023 ETRS Form One filings on or before February 28, 2023.
Any EAS participant that must update ETRS Form One to ensure its accuracy (including changes resulting from transfers of control, updates to EAS equipment or software, or as required by any revision of its state EAS plan filed pursuant to 47 CFR § 11.21) must submit an updated ETRS Form One on or before Sept. 15, 2023.
All EAS participants must file ETRS Form Two to provide “day of test” data on or before Oct. 5, 2023.
All EAS participants must file ETRS Form Three to provide detailed post-test data on or before Nov. 20, 2023.
ETRS Forms Two and Three will become available in ETRS on Oct. 4, 2023, at the time of initiation of the 2023 nationwide test.
PS Docket Nos. 15-91, 15-94