JACKSON, Wyo. — A nationwide emergency alert test is expected to reach local cell phones, radios and televisions at 12:20 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 4, according to Teton County Emergency Management.

The test will be conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) will initiate the test, which is designed to ensure that the systems continue to be effective means of warning the public about emergencies, particularly those on the national level.

Testing on Oct. 4 will reach people in two ways:

  • Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) will be sent to all consumer cell phones, with test messages displaying in either English or Spanish, dependent on the device’s settings. This will be the second nationwide test of the WEA program.
  • Emergency Alert System (EAS) messaging will be broadcast over radio and television. This will be the seventh nationwide test of the EAS.

“Information is power during a disaster, and the testing of IPAWS at the national level is of incredible importance to our national resiliency,” Teton County Emergency Management Coordinator Rich Ochs said in a statement. “Teton County Emergency Management also has access to IPAWS to activate cell phones and broadcasters for local emergencies, so this helps to test our local system as well.”

Teton County has used IPAWS to deploy WEA in the past, alerting locals to the propane facility explosions on Gregory Lane in 2014, evacuations for the Cliff Creek Fire in 2016, evacuations for the Berry Fire in 2016, evacuations for the Wildlife Fire in 2019, evacuations for the Saddle Butte Fire in 2019 and public health orders for the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

For further information on Teton County’s emergency messaging systems, see the county’s website.

Marianne is a Community News Reporter interested in community, entertainment and eccentric locals. She hails from California and loves podcast recommendations.