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National Alert Test To Include Text Message, Broadcast

Wednesday's national alert test will include a text message for the first time.

A nationwide test of the system alerting the country in the event of an emergency is scheduled for Wednesday.

The test is being conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in conjunction with the Federal Communications Commission.

It’s really two tests: the first will check out the Wireless Emergency Alerts system, which will send a test text message to cell phones across the country Wednesday starting at 2:18 p.m. It marks the first time the process of sending alerts to cell phones will be tested.

The second will test the Emergency Alert System of TV and radio broadcasters two minutes later.

WKAR chief engineer Gary Blievernicht says “the point of the test is to find out if the system works, where any problems are, identify them, and to mitigate them over the course of time.”

The cell phone text will include a “presidential alert” header along with a message explaining that this is a test and that no action is needed.

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