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The original item was published from 10/2/2023 10:47:19 AM to 10/10/2023 12:00:02 AM.

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Posted on: October 2, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Nationwide Wireless Emergency Alert and Emergency Alert System Test

Hand holding a phone with an alert on the phone screen.

FREDERICK, MD – The Frederick County Division of Emergency Management advises that a nationwide Wireless Emergency Alert and Emergency Alert System test will be conducted on Wednesday, October 4, by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission.  

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are a tool for authorized government agencies to reach the public during an emergency. It is used locally to warn the public about dangerous weather or other critical situations that may be life threatening through alerts on cell phones.

The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a national public warning system that requires broadcasters, cable television systems, wireless cable systems, satellite digital audio radio service providers, and direct broadcast satellite providers to provide the communications capability to the President to address the public during a national emergency. EAS is also used by state and local authorities to deliver important emergency information, such as AMBER alerts and weather information targeted to specific areas.

Beginning at 2:20 p.m. ET on Wednesday, October 4, cell towers will broadcast the WEA test for approximately 30 minutes. During this time, WEA-compatible cell phones that are switched on, within range of an active cell tower, and whose wireless provider participates in WEA, should receive the test message. The EAS portion of the test will be sent to radios and televisions and is scheduled to last approximately one minute.

If the October 4 test is postponed due to widespread severe weather or other significant events, the back-up testing date is October 11 at the same time.  

For more information on Wireless Emergency Alerts, including FAQs on the upcoming test, please visit

The public is strongly encouraged to register for emergency information specific to Frederick County via the ALERTFC notification system at


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