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National Emergency Alert System test to take place this week

fema.gov

The National Emergency Alert System will be tested nationwide on October 4 around 2:20 in the afternoon.

Jarred Moore, Rowan County Emergency Management Director said there are two alert systems: the EAS and the WEA.

“The difference between the two is the WEA is the alert that comes automatically to your cell phone and pushes through, does the really long tone and pops up automatically on your phone screen. Those are pushed through from the federal level. The other alert is the Emergency Alert System, that is what you see that scrolls across your television,” Moore said.

The EAS alert is also heard on radios. In addition to these systems that allow local officials to issue targeted alerts, Moore said there is an app that can send alerts to mobile phones.

“There’s an app you can subscribe to called ‘Smart 911.’ I can push alerts directly to your phone about anything from water main breaks, to road closures, to impending weather that’s coming in, I can send it out through that app,” Moore said.

The Emergency Management Director also explained the importance of paying attention to alerts, or lack thereof, when receiving them on the phone.

“A lot of times we get desensitized because we have our phones on us all the time, we’re hearing alerts all the time, but these alerts are really important to take note of whenever there’s a test coming about, and make sure that alert does comes through, because if you’re away from anybody and you’re by yourself and for some reason that alert doesn’t come through that there’s a tornado warning for our area or anything of that magnitude, then that will be really nice to learn on a test day, rather than in a real life scenario,” Moore said.

The emergency management director added that FEMA and the FCC learn a lot through these tests. The October 4 test will be postponed if there is severe weather or another significant event. If that happens, a back-up test date of October 11 has been chosen.