Home » FEMA To Test Emergency Alert System This Morning At 11:20PST

FEMA To Test Emergency Alert System This Morning At 11:20PST


This morning at 11:20 pacific time, a test alert message will be sent to cell phones, TVs, and radios across the country as part of the nationwide test of Wireless Emergency Alerts and the Emergency Alert System.

Wireless providers that participate in WEA are required to deliver this test message, which will be accompanied by a unique tone and vibration. The test message will read: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”


Concord Resident October 4, 2023 - 9:58 AM - 9:58 AM

I can’t wait to become a zombie.

Original G October 4, 2023 - 10:16 AM - 10:16 AM

At 11:15 find a good spot to observe your fellow man, watch the freakout.
Might be a good indicator of how many people drive with their cell phone on.
A bag of popcorn, optional.
Report back here what you observe.
Hmm, . . . . . will cause a run on toilet paper ?

To Do List October 4, 2023 - 10:21 AM - 10:21 AM

I can’t imagine a reason for being able to disrupt every single person at the same time saying it will save lives. Yeah, how? Or is it just the government practicing how it can take over all communications if it wants.

parent October 4, 2023 - 11:28 AM - 11:28 AM

Have you ever heard of 9/11? It was a day a few years ago when terrorists attacked the United States on our soil. As a result, we shut down air traffic control, rail and other aspects of the country. Imagine a system like what was tested today, used to convey messages back then.

This software can also be sent only to specific FEMA regions to notify of earthquakes, hurricanes … small things like that.

Yes, could they take over all communications, yep … I am sure they could. But seriously, most of ‘good’ things can be used for evil just as easily. How many times have bad actors used cars to carry bombs, drive through crowds of people, etc … yet cars are a good thing, arn’t they?

To Do List October 4, 2023 - 1:13 PM - 1:13 PM

Really? On 9/11 no one had a clue at the start what was happening and that it was terrorism, especially the government if you recall from Bush’s quizzical look in front of those school kids. Traditional news media covered it real time. A plane crashed into a tower. Now, tell me if this system had been in place how any of it would have turned out differently. Go.

Parent October 4, 2023 - 3:02 PM - 3:02 PM

To do

You and I will differ in our interpretation of that day. People were well aware that this was terrorism as it was unfolding. Would that have been shared with the general public, probably not because it was a FLUID situation. And it was not one plane, try 4 attempts.

Trying to explain to you how it could have gone differently is pointless, as you have already made up your mind. But the fact remains, the biggest criticism in after action reports during events is, communication. This is simply a communication tool – but again you have made up your mind it is useless, so you do you.

To Do List October 4, 2023 - 4:35 PM - 4:35 PM

So you spin your inability to show how this could have been of value into a personal comment that I am stubborn? How bizarre. Back to reality. We did not know anything until the second plane hit and by that time all of it was in motion and this system they tested today would have been useless. Just admit it. Every month there is another story of this administration taking more and more control.

parent October 5, 2023 - 6:05 AM - 6:05 AM

Wow … Sometimes you just need a laughing emoji or the one palm to the face emoji.

I stated that you had already made up your mind that this test is way for the government to take control of all communications and that I disagree with that assessment. I still do. You then assume because I made that statement, it based on my inability to answer your questions versus my unwillingness to play your game.

Communication is not useless – we have different opinions there as well. Communicating the events, warnings, etc are not useless. You are correct that we did not know for certain until the second plane hit, and that communicating it out might not have changed the outcome, but communication in itself is not useless. Information is power, and during larger events in history, we need to share that information as quickly and efficiently as possible.

As for the government taking more and more control, again I will agree with you that they are. However, I do not think them sending a text message is ‘control’. If they want to control the communication, they can turn it off which would lead to confusion, chaos and concern.

But hey, you do you.

WC Resident October 5, 2023 - 9:33 AM - 9:33 AM

@Parent wrote “People were well aware that this was terrorism as it was unfolding.”
It was first reported as a small plane had crashed into the tower. That narrative continued on the TV and radio. In those days people often had a radio or TV on in the morning to catch up on general news plus to know the traffic situation. We heard about it on the radio while getting ready for work, left the house, and were driving to work with the radio on when the second plane hit. At that point people knew it was not an accident.
A nationwide alert for 9/11 would not have helped at all. It probably was better that there was no alert as it spread out people learning about the incident and each of us deciding what we needed to do in terms of schools, workplaces, and other things that most adults are responsible for.
Alerts are useful if they are a warning that something is about to happen or is happening and there are actions people can take to either be better prepared or to make sure things are safe in the area we are responsible for.

whenwilltheylearn October 5, 2023 - 4:34 AM - 4:34 AM

Bush was playing dumb for what HE DID that day.

THE BLACK KNIGHT October 4, 2023 - 10:39 PM - 10:39 PM

The Emergency Alert System largely failed after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquakes because of damaged and downed powerlines and cable lines, and other damage sustained by our broadcast and communication systems.

WC Resident October 5, 2023 - 12:13 PM - 12:13 PM

@THE BLACK KNIGHT – most of us felt the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. An Emergency Alert System at that point would be irrelevant. KNBR radio was knocked off line meaning they could not transmit Emergency Broadcast System announcements but in hindsight, I don’t see what they could have said at the time that would make things safer for the public.
There is an earthquake alert app that’s available but so far it’s been marginally useful. A couple of years ago the phones in the house went off and a several seconds later the earthquake rolled through. That earthquake was centered south of Lake Tahoe at the California/Nevada border. I consider the alerts marginally useful because if an earthquake is 140 miles away, as this one was, then the odds of damage in this area are very low. If the earthquake is close enough to be damaging then the alert won’t arrive in time to get prepared. It’s possible that refineries or other industrial systems with automated shutdown can take advantage of even short notice earthquake alerts.

THE BLACK KNIGHT October 6, 2023 - 7:54 PM - 7:54 PM

The purpose on the Emergency Alert System is to give the public information in times of an emergency, so it doesn’t really matter if people felt the earthquake or not. I mentioned it because I remember that James Gabbert, who was the owner of TV20 at the time, also was the representative of the ERS for local broadcast stations and an interview he did about the ERS failing as a result of the earthquake, but how the failure of the system was never anticipated at the catastrophic level it did fail. I was only trying to provide some historical information.

Old Timer October 4, 2023 - 10:47 AM - 10:47 AM

It hasn’t stopped people from getting hurt so far.California fires Maui fires ect.

Fed Up October 4, 2023 - 11:30 AM - 11:30 AM

They did it…..

TPC October 4, 2023 - 11:36 AM - 11:36 AM

Bupkus. But I will continue to trust the government because I know how much they care.

OverWhelmed October 4, 2023 - 11:42 AM - 11:42 AM

We have been getting these alerts once a month for a very long time. Usually on the TV. Not sure what the big deal is? Other than a two minute disruption of the program you are watching? They have been doing these alerts for a lot of years.

Oh, please October 4, 2023 - 12:04 PM - 12:04 PM

It was early. 11:18. Government can’t get anything right.

Captain Bebops October 4, 2023 - 12:20 PM - 12:20 PM

Yes, I was talking with a neighbor and at 11:09 got the alert. Maybe they staged the rollout or maybe they trusted the cell company engineers too much to get it right. I remember about 20 years when they rolled out the child abduction alerts and Comcast about blew out the speakers on the test. Obviously their engineers never tested it ahead time. The next time the volume was more appropriate.

And a Presidential Alert? Geez, don’t remind people of Joey. It should have been “Emergency Alert”. I had my phone off for my walk though but my home number phone got it.

Martinezmike October 4, 2023 - 1:44 PM - 1:44 PM

11:18 also. Neighbors phone played the brown note. What a mess!

Dorothy October 4, 2023 - 1:47 PM - 1:47 PM

As far as I can tell it was 2 minutes early. Was there an early emergency somewhere?

RunDog October 4, 2023 - 4:59 PM - 4:59 PM

I’’m not thrilled that they used the “”vibrate”” function for the entire length of the alert. “Vibrate” seriously depletes the battery.

WC Resident October 5, 2023 - 12:18 PM - 12:18 PM

@RunDog – Use an Energizer Bunny and you will continue to get good vibrations.

Dr. Jellyfinger October 4, 2023 - 7:42 PM - 7:42 PM

I jumped out of bed, sh*t, ,showered, shaved, got dressed and drove half way to work before I figured out that wasn’t my alarm clock… I don’t even work on Wednesdays.

THE BLACK KNIGHT October 4, 2023 - 10:42 PM - 10:42 PM

I received two Emergency Alert notifications, the first one was at 11:18 AM and the second one was at 11:21 AM, and both were in Spanish. The test failed!

Jojo The Circus Clown October 6, 2023 - 4:19 AM - 4:19 AM

FEMA is a joke … one word … MAUI

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