06:46 AM

Nationwide Wireless Emergency Alert Test Set for Oct. 3

CHICAGO (Sept. 18, 2018)

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will conduct a nationwide combined test of the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) and Emergency Alert System (EAS) on Oct. 3, 2018*. As one of several participating national wireless carriers in this test, U.S. Cellular wants to ensure that everyone is aware of the test and knows that there is no action needed and no imminent danger since this is only a test.


At 2:18 p.m. EDT on Oct. 3, FEMA will begin sending a WEA test message to WEA-capable wireless devices, and most handsets will receive the alert within a few minutes. The test message will state: "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed." The alert will have a special tone and vibration that will repeat twice. There is no charge to receive the message.


"Our participation in this test will provide valuable information on the effectiveness and reliability of the emergency alert system and wireless emergency alerts," said Grant Leech, vice president of brand marketing at U.S. Cellular. "We encourage everyone to have their wireless phones turned on and available at the time of the test so they know what to expect in a real emergency."


There are three categories of alerts sent through WEA: imminent threat alerts about emergencies including extreme weather, AMBER alerts, and Presidential alerts about emergencies of national consequence. Users may opt out of imminent threat and AMBER alerts but cannot opt out of receiving Presidential alerts.


This will be the first national WEA test. More information is available at https://www.fema.gov/emergency-alert-test.


*Oct. 3 is the back-up date for the test, which was originally set up for Sep. 20. FEMA, in coordination with the FCC, postponed the nationwide test due to ongoing response efforts to Hurricane Florence. A backup date is always planned in case of widespread severe weather or other significant events on the primary test date.


About U.S. Cellular


U.S. Cellular is the fifth-largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States, providing national network coverage and industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. The Chicago-based carrier offers coverage where the other carriers don't and a wide range of communication services that enhance consumers' lives, increase the competitiveness of local businesses and improve the efficiency of government operations. U.S. Cellular has the Highest Wireless Network Quality Performance in the North Central Region, according to the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Wireless Network Quality Performance Study, and 99 percent of customers have access to 4G LTE speeds. To learn more about U.S. Cellular, visit one of its retail stores or uscellular.com. To get the latest news, promos and videos, connect with U.S. Cellular on Facebook.com/uscellular, Twitter.com/uscellular and YouTube.com/uscellularcorp.


For more information, contact:

Katie Frey, U.S. Cellular

Cell: 777.317.0002

E mail: katie.frey@uscellular.com