A test of a new public alert system emitting a loud alarm on a mobile phone in Burton Latimer, North...
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Remember To Warn Your Kids About Why Their Phones Will Get An Emergency Alert Tomorrow

Everyone’s phones will receive the test at 2:20 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

Parents might want to warn their kids with cell phones about a scheduled event coming up on Wednesday, Oct. 4, to test the nationwide emergency services. All cell phones across the country will receive a screeching alert at 2:20 p.m. ET, and kids in particular might need to be reassured that there’s nothing to worry about. In fact, it’s a mandated test of the nationwide emergency services that takes place every three years.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) explained in a press release that test messages were scheduled to be sent to all televisions, radios, and cell phones across the country at 2:20 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Two separate tests will be sent to out on Wednesday starting at 2:20 p.m. ET, the Emergency Alert System will be sent to all televisions and radios while the Wireless Alert will be sent to cell phones.

“The purpose of the Oct. 4 test is to ensure that the systems continue to be effective means of warning the public about emergencies,” FEMA’s press release explained, noting that if the test will be “postponed due to widespread severe weather or other significant events, the back-up testing date is Oct. 11.”

The tests are meant to last for approximately 30 minutes, and the EAS message sent will read, “This is a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System, issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, covering the United States from 14:20 to 14:50 hours ET. This is only a test. No action is required by the public.”

These systems need to be tested as they are used primarily to notify people of a national emergency like a severe weather system, safety threats, or Amber Alerts for missing persons in the area. To ensure everyone has access to these alerts including individuals with disabilities, they are accompanied by very distinctive sounds and vibrations.

Beyond warning kids about the upcoming alert, some cities have taken to social media to let anyone who might have a secret second phone due to a domestic violence situation that the alert could be problematic for them.

In those situations, people are advised to power down their second phone during the scheduled testing time to stay as safe as possible.