IPAWS National Test of the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) and Emergency Alert System (EAS)

The National EAS and WEA test will be held on the backup date of October 3, 2018, beginning at 2:18 p.m. EDT.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will conduct a nationwide test of the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) and Emergency Alert System (EAS) on the backup date of October 3, 2018 due to ongoing response efforts to Hurricane Florence. The WEA portion of the test commences at 2:18 p.m. EDT, and the EAS portion follows at 2:20 p.m. EDT. The test will assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether improvements are needed.

The WEA test message will be sent to cell phones that are connected to wireless providers participating in WEA. This is the fourth EAS nationwide test and the first national WEA test. Previous EAS national tests were conducted in November 2011, September 2016,  and September 2017 in collaboration with the FCC, broadcasters, and emergency management officials in recognition of FEMA’s National Preparedness Month.

Cell towers will broadcast the WEA test for approximately 30 minutes beginning at 2:18 p.m. EDT. During this time, WEA compatible cell phones that are switched on, within range of an active cell tower, and whose wireless provider participates in WEA should be capable of receiving the test message. Some cell phones will not receive the test message, and cell phones should only receive the message once. The WEA test message will have a header that reads “Presidential Alert” and text that says:

“THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”

The WEA system is used to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children, and other critical situations through alerts on cell phones. The national test will use the same special tone and vibration as with all WEA messages (i.e. Tornado Warning, AMBER Alert). Users cannot opt out of receiving the WEA test.

The EAS is a national public warning system that provides the President with the communications capability to address the nation during a national emergency. The test is made available to EAS participants (i.e., radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers, and wireline video providers) and is scheduled to last approximately one minute. The test message will be similar to regular monthly EAS test messages with which the public is familiar. The EAS message will include a reference to the WEA test:

“THIS IS A TEST of the National Emergency Alert System. This system was developed by broadcast and cable operators in voluntary cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Communications Commission, and local authorities to keep you informed in the event of an emergency. If this had been an actual emergency an official message would have followed the tone alert you heard at the start of this message. A similar wireless emergency alert test message has been sent to all cell phones nationwide. Some cell phones will receive the message; others will not. No action is required.”

The test was originally planned for September 20, 2018 but has been postponed until October 3, 2018 due to ongoing response efforts to Hurricane Florence.

Today, the State of Ohio Tornado testing all emergency alert sirens statewide at 9:50 a.m.

Today, the State of Ohio Tornado testing all emergency alert sirens statewide at 9:50 a.m.

***Do not be alarmed, it is only a test.***

Do you know what to do if you hear a tornado siren accompanied by a Tornado Warning?

  • Taking shelter in a safe location on the lowest level of a sturdy building
  • Keeping an emergency first aid kit in your shelter location.
  • Having/reference a copy of your family communications plans.
  • Putting on boots (for post tornado debris).

Keep your ears tuned in for the statewide sirens.

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

@rusnivek

 

Day-3 Ohio EMA ICS 300 course with 911 PSAP & Belmont County EMA EOC

Third and final day of the Ohio EMA ICS-300 course at Belmont College.

PhotoCredit: @BelmontCollege

PhotoCredit: @BelmontCollege

Mid morning, we had lots of great discussion for formal demobilization plans as well priority release procedures.

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Our class had some serious discussion on cost vs expectations on resources. If you’ve ever been deployed to a disaster, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Rounding out to the last module, almost test time!

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After the class was over, I was able to score a visit to Belmont County 911 dispatch center for our class. So I invited the whole class to attend too!

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Special thanks to Mr. Hudak for the tour and detailed explanation on normal operations in their Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) / 911 call center.

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Our class then moved over to the Belmont County Emergency Management Agency where our class was given a formal tour of their Emergency Operation Center (EOC).

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They just happen to be monitoring Hurricane Matthew – so that made it even better for all participants to see how this EOC can monitor any situation in real time. Thank you Belmont County EMA!

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Positions ready…Executive Policy Room ready…ARES Comms center ready…fully operational…who could ask for anything more?!!?!? Even the bonus resources they have were great to see how they could support operations and paint a better picture to increase situational awareness / common operating picture (SA/COP).

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Gah, I see this EOC being a great resource for many all hazards partners in public safety.

Great to showcase the efforts of local emergency management professionals and how they pair with Ohio Emergency Management Agency (OEMA).

Special thanks to Glenn Trudo and Belmont College for being such gracious hosts for the OEMA ICS-300 class.

@rusnivek

Tornado siren? Today? Disaster? Emergency?!? #OHWx

Tornado siren? Today? Disaster? Emergency?!?

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On Wednesday March 23rd, 2016 at 0950 EST, communities across the state of Ohio that have tornado warning siren systems, will test them. In addition, an Emergency Alert System (EAS) warning message will be broadcast. We encourage all communities with sirens to participate in this annual event by conducting their own tornado drills and reviewing their emergency plans.

This is only a test.

@rusnivek