NEVADA CITY, Calif. October 3, 2018 – Your cell phone will emit a rather strident tone and vibrate at 11:18 am today, part of a nationwide emergency alert test conducted by FEMA.

Cell towers will broadcast the Wireless Emergency Alerts (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.” [source: FEMA]

Not a Code Red, Placer Alert, or other local alert – are you signed up?

Your local county alert system is not connected to this test. Nevada County are notified of local emergencies via Code Red, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties use PlacerAlert, Yuba County sends Code Red notifications. Sign up for these systems to get alerts specific to your area. These local systems allow you to enter specific locations, be that your home, your workplace or your family/loved ones address.

What is WEA?

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. [Source: FEMA]