The test, scheduled to begin at 2:20 p.m. ET, will distribute messages to all televisions, radios and cell phones to ensure that the emergency alert system and wireless emergency alerts are working effectively.
Cell phones should only receive one message during the test, an alert saying “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System.” No action is required.”
Depending on the individual settings of the mobile phone, the message may also be displayed in Spanish.
According to a FEMA fact sheet“Tones and vibrations” also accompany the alarm, but are not intended to interrupt a telephone conversation.
FEMA emphasized that the test does not collect private data, nor can it monitor, locate or lock other people’s phones.
Similar messages are also being broadcast on radio and television, where testing is more common.