The Emergency Management Team sent the following message to the campus community on Oct. 3, 2023. – Ed.

Dear William & Mary community – 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will conduct a nationwide test of the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) and Emergency Alert System (EAS) on Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2023. These tests will begin at approximately 2:20 p.m.

 Things to know

1) The test message will be sent to cell phones connected to wireless providers participating in WEA. The message will likely be received by many cell phones on campus simultaneously.

 2) The same special tone and vibration used with all WEA messages (i.e. Tornado Warning, AMBER Alert) will be used for this test.

 3) WEA compatible phones that are on and in range of an active cell tower should receive the test signal, even if silenced.  

 4) The message will have a header that reads “Presidential Alert” and text that says: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”

 The WEA system is used to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children and other critical situations through alerts on cell phones.

 The EAS test, which is for radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, etc., will follow shortly after the WEA test. This EAS test will be similar to the monthly broadcast tests you see and hear regularly on local television and radio networks.

 Additional information about the tests is available on FEMA’s website.

Ginger Ambler, co-chair
Don Butler, co-chair
William & Mary Emergency Management Team