If You Have a Hidden Phone, Be Aware That Every Single Phone Will Sound An Alarm Tomorrow

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Mark your calendars because every single phone will sound an alarm on Wednesday.

Now, if you happen to have a hidden phone for any reason, you need to be aware of this. It could potentially save your life.

This alarm is nationwide (in the US) so don’t be alarmed (no pun intended) when your phone starts making sounds on October 4th, 2023.

FEMA, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) this fall.

According to FEMA, the national test will consist of two portions, testing WEA and EAS capabilities.

Both tests are scheduled to begin at approximately 2:20 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2023.

The WEA portion of the test will be directed to all consumer cell phones. This will be the third nationwide test, but the second test to all cellular devices. The test message will display in either English or in Spanish, depending on the language settings of the wireless handset.

The EAS portion of the test will be sent to radios and televisions. This will be the seventh nationwide EAS test.

The purpose of the test is to ensure that the systems continue to be effective means of warning the public about emergencies, particularly those on the national level.

Now it is important to know that your phone WILL go off whether it’s on vibrate or not as long as it’s turned on.

And if you are someone who has a second phone for a domestic violence situation, you need to be aware so it doesn’t go off.


If your phone is off, the alarm won’t go off.

All wireless phones should receive the message only once. The following can be expected from the nationwide WEA test:

  • Beginning at approximately 2:20 p.m. ET, cell towers will broadcast the test for approximately 30 minutes. During this time, WEA-compatible wireless 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. 
  • For consumers, the message that appears on their phones will read: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”
  • Phones with the main menu set to Spanish will display: “ESTA ES UNA PRUEBA del Sistema Nacional de Alerta de Emergencia. No se necesita acción.”

In the event that there is widespread severe weather or other significant events, the back-up testing date is Oct. 11, 2023. 

So, be prepared that no matter where you are on Wednesday, your phone will go off. So, make sure your phone is turned off if you’ll be somewhere you can’t be interrupted or if you don’t want someone else aware of your hidden phone.

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