National EAS/WEA Test Scheduled for October 4, 2023

FEMA and the FCC have set the date for the next national Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) test as October 4, 2023 at approximately 2:20 pm. ET, with a backup date of October 11, 2023.

The national EAS test will test the delivery of EAS messages through internet-based Common Alerting Protocol (CAP). Radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers, and wireline video providers are required to participate. The test message will state: “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.”

The WEA test will be sent to all consumer cell phones. The WEA test will use the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS). The message will read “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed” or its Spanish translation, depending on the language settings of the phone.

All EAS participants (including broadcasters) must file the required forms in the EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS):

    • Updates to Form One are required if there have been changes in a station’s equipment or software since the initial February 2023 Form One filing deadline. The due date for updated forms is September 15, 2023. Form One provides basic information about the EAS participant.

    • Form Two is due the day after the test, on October 5, 2023. Form Two is used to confirm receipt of the national EAS test and provide basic information about how the test went.

    • Form Three is due November 20, 2023. In Form Three, EAS participants will provide more detailed information about their receipt and retransmission of the national EAS test.

In preparation for the test, EAS participants should make sure their EAS equipment is up to date with the latest software. A copy of the EAS Operating Handbook should be available at EAS equipment locations.

If you have questions about the nationwide EAS/WEA test or the required ETRS filings, please contact an attorney in our Media practice group.

Categories: Media