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Nationwide Emergency Alert System test to take place Oct. 4

On Wednesday, Oct. 4, at approximately 11:20 a.m., the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system. This test is to ensure that these systems continue to be effective means of warning the public about emergencies and disasters.

What to expect:

  • EAS messages will be broadcast over radio and television with an alert tone or scrolling text across the bottom of the screen.
  • WEA messages will be sent to cell phones and look like text messages that are accompanied by a distinct attention tone and vibration.

What to do:

  • No action is required from the public.
  • The test message will say “This is a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System.”
  • If you receive a test message, please do not call 911 or your local emergency management office.

Why is this test important?

EAS and WEA alerts are critical tools used by local, state, and federal public safety agencies to rapidly warn the community of threats and hazards and provide protective action recommendations that can save lives.

Additional information:

  • All local radio and T.V. stations will broadcast the EAS test, and all cell phones that are on, not on airplane mode, and within range of a cell tower will receive the WEA test.
  • Although local public safety agencies utilize these same alerting systems during emergencies in Santa Barbara County, it is important to note that this test will be managed by federal agencies with no local involvement.
  • In the event the nationwide test cannot be conducted on October 4, the back-up date is Wednesday, October 11.

How to register for local alerts:

Residents and visitors can register for the County’s local ReadySBC Alerts system by visiting