Nationwide emergency test switched to Oct. 3

The Maui News

A nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alert system will be held at 8:18 a.m. Oct. 3 and not on Thursday morning as originally announced, an official with the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency said Tuesday.

Richard Rapoza, public information officer for the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, said the test was moved to its fallback date because of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Florence hitting the Carolinas.

The aim of the test is to assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and to determine whether technological improvements are needed.

Cellphones that are switched on, within range of an active cell tower and whose wireless carrier participates in wireless alerts should be capable of receiving the national test message and will receive the same special tone and vibration as with all emergency messages, such as for the recent tropical storm or an Amber Alert, the agency said.

This will be first test of the wireless alert system. It will be the fourth nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System. The tests are conducted in collaboration with the Federal Communications Commission, broadcasters and emergency officials.

The emergency alert test is scheduled to last about 1 minute on participating radio, TV broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio, TV providers and wireline video providers, the news release said. The test will be similar to the state monthly emergency system test.

The wireless alert message will read: “This is a test of the National Wireless Emergency Alert system. No action is needed.”

The national wireless alert will use the same special tone and vibration as the local alerts.