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Everyone can expect an emergency alert on their cell phone today

Alert scheduled for Oct. 4

By Charles Owens, Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. — There is no need to panic, but everyone’s cellphone should receive an emergency alert around 2:20 p.m. today.

FEMA, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission, is scheduled to conduct the nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) this afternoon. The signal also will be sent to televisions and radio stations around the same time.

“It’s basically a nationwide test of two different systems,” Mercer County Emergency Services Director Keith Gunnoe said. “You’ve got the emergency alert system, which is traditionally what you would see over the radio or television. Then you have the wireless alert.”

While such emergency alerts are commonly issued over television broadcast stations, the difference with today’s alert is that everyone in the nation with a cellphone that is turned on will receive the emergency alert, along with a text message, around 2:20 p.m. today. Gunnoe said the alert and corresponding text message will read, “This is a test of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”

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