A nationwide FEMA alert will occur today (Oct. 4) ostensibly to test US preparedness in the event of a national emergency. This means all cell phones, broadcast and cable television stations, satellite radio, and almost every communication device will emit a blaring noise that will – if you are not ready for it – likely scare the bejesus out of you.
So today, cell phones will vibrate and sound a loud alarm at 2:20 pm EDT (1:20 pm CDT, 12:20 pm MDT, and 11:20 am PDT). Caregivers of the elderly and special needs individuals – especially those with sensory integration impairments – may want to prepare their community for what will likely be shocking and potentially upsetting noise expected to last 30 minutes. Along with the sound and vibration, a text will pop up on cell phones with the following message: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action needed.”
The test is mandated to occur once every three years by legislation passed in 2015.
FEMA Alert – How to Avoid It
Perhaps you have a child with autism who doesn’t do well with sudden loud sounds, a parent with cognitive function deficits, or a sleeping infant – these are a few legitimate reasons you might want to sidestep this test.
Turning off your phone is one way to circumvent the Federal Emergency Management Agency alert. Another method is to put it in airplane mode before the scheduled time. However, if you want to receive the alert but don’t wish to be subjected to the noise, you could separate yourself from your cell phone. Consumers are not given a choice to opt out, so if it’s naptime for your baby, you might want to put the phone out of earshot.
The point of the alert is to test the effectiveness of the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) in the case of natural or unthinkable man-made disasters. This is the second such national alert; the first occurred on Oct. 3, 2018. Although this test will be on a broad scale, emergency trials have been practiced since the 1950s.
“It’s a descendant of CONELRAD,” according to Lifehacker.com, which was “a Cold War era innovation meant to let the president tell us that World War III has broken out and Soviet bombers are dropping nukes as we speak. (CONELRAD rapidly switched transmitters to make it harder for those bombers to use radio broadcasts to navigate; once [ICBM missiles] were invented, this feature was unnecessary, and the system was replaced with the more straightforward Emergency Broadcast System, and later the EAS.)”
As Liberty Nation recently reported, there is “no shortage of conspiracy theories” attached to the FEMA alert. However, it should be noted nothing untoward occurred before, during, or after the last test – to which the conspiracy theorist will reply, “Not that we know of.” Still, this is only a test, and for that, we can be grateful.