Get ready, it’s coming. On Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 2:20 p.m. ET/11:20 a.m. PT, your cellphone, radio or TV will blare a jarring electronic noise that signals a test of the nationwide Emergency Alert System (EAS).
This is a coordinated effort between the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to test the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS).
It could be postponed to Oct. 11 if there’s severe weather or other significant events, according to FEMA. The process involves two parts: a 30-minute signal sent to radios and televisions as part of EAS, and a similar one sent to all consumer cellphones as part of the WEA system. Federal law requires the systems be tested at least once every three years. The last nationwide test was Aug. 11, 2021.