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Emergency alert systems to receive test on October 3

Updated: Nov 19, 2019

On Wednesday, October 3, FEMA and some local government agencies will conduct a test of National and Local emergency notification systems. The nation-wide test includes the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system, and the local agency tests include the use of AlertOC.

  • Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) messages are sent to cell phones. Cell towers will broadcast the WEA test for approximately 30 minutes. During this time, cell phones that are switched on and within range of an active cell tower should be capable of receiving the test message. Cell phones should receive the message only once. Even if the cell phone is on silent, each phone receiving the message will buzz loudly.

  • Participating Radio and TV stations will broadcast a TEST Message at this same time on the EAS system.

  • Participating cities and the County Unincorporated areas will also send a reverse notification via AlertOC to those residents and businesses who have registered additional methods of contact for themselves and their family.

Orange County has several natural hazards including wildland fire, tsunami, earthquake, flooding, etc. It is important that local government can send emergency alerts to our residents and visitors when a disaster occurs. EAS and WEA are just two methods that may be used to communicate with our OC residents. Be sure to also follow official government social media accounts, sign up for any local notification systems such as Nixle, and REGISTER at to ensure that messages can be shared to your cell phone, email, home and business phones when needed.

A test of the Wireless Emergency Alert system will be sent October 3. Most cell phones will receive a msg & buzz loudly. We encourage you to also REGISTER your cell phone, email, home & business phones at to received important life safety information from OC agencies.

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