Afternoon classes on Wednesday may be interrupted by a test of wireless alert systems, which are set to message all cellphones, televisions and radios at 2:20 p.m.
The system is conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, in conjunction with the Federal Communications Commission and will issue a message that says, “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed,” according to FEMA’s website .
“We want to ensure that the systems continue to be effective, that the public understands and uses these alerts and warnings about emergencies, particularly those on the national level, as we work to strengthen emergency readiness among our communities,” Orlando Olivera, coordinator of FEMA’s Caribbean Area Office in Puerto Rico, said in a press release.
Depending on the settings of individuals’ cellphones, the message may also appear in Spanish or be accompanied by a tone and vibration for those with disabilities. A similar message through the second part of the emergency alert system will appear on televisions for about one minute.
All major U.S. wireless providers are a part of the Wireless Emergency Alerts system, according to FEMA’s website, and as long as the phone is in range of a cell tower, each phone should receive the message.
The agency is required by law passed in 2015 to conduct such tests at least once every three years, with the most recent one in 2021, according to FEMA.
In case of severe weather or other significant events, the agency said a back-up test will be performed on Oct. 11.
This test is possible through FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, which is centralized and internet-based, allowing authorities to send messages through multiple communication networks, according to the same website.
The headline of this story was updated at 9:32 p.m. Tuesday for a more accurate depiction of when the test will be sent.