National Emergency Alert System test to occur Wednesday, October 4

Phones, TVs and radios will all will sound off for a test of the Emergency Alert System Wednesday at 1:20 p.m. CT.
Phones, TVs and radios will all will sound off for a test of the Emergency Alert System Wednesday at 1:20 p.m. CT.
Published: Oct. 3, 2023 at 6:17 PM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa - Phones, TVs and radios will all will sound off for a test of the Emergency Alert System Wednesday at 1:20 p.m. CT. Federal officials want to make sure the national system would work in case of a large scale emergency. It’ll look like an Amber Alert you’ve gotten on your phone or a test you’ve seen on television airwaves.

Even if you have disabled emergency alerts on your phone, you can’t opt out of this test and your phone will sound if it’s on.

Tracey Bearden with Polk County Emergency Management says this is a test to see if the national system would work in a mass disaster. “Think about 9/11 this would have been an instance where this could have been used,” Bearden said.

Though some may find the test aggravating, Bearden says it’s good practice for people in case of an emergency.

“Please keep your phone on tomorrow. Go through the test, that you may receive one from your local emergency manager at some point, so you know what to do and keep your family safe,” Bearden said.

Bearden says the test is a reminder to sign up for text alerts under the Alert Iowa system. It’s a way for public safety officials to send you a text or phone call to let you know if there’s a public safety threat to your county. You can sign up on your county’s emergency management website.