FCC Partners with Agencies to Assess Emergency Alerting Delivery
Tuesday, July 20, 2021 | Comments

The FCC is entering into partnerships with 11 federal, state and local agencies to assess the delivery of Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) in areas across the country during a planned nationwide test on August 11.

The FCC also sent letters to nationwide wireless providers asking them to provide information on their performance following the upcoming test. The FCC’s analysis of survey and industry data will further its effort to ensure that WEA alerts are as timely and reliable as possible.

“Wireless Emergency Alerts are a powerful tool for public-safety managers to inform and protect the public during disasters,” said Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “While the FCC has long required Emergency Alert System (EAS) participants to report how nationwide EAS tests fared on their television and radio systems, this is the first time we will gather meaningful data about the performance of a nationwide wireless emergency alert test. We are grateful for the participation of our many government partners in this unprecedented survey, which will help the FCC gain additional insights into how we can work together to continue strengthening this life-saving system.”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the FCC, will conduct a nationwide test of the EAS and WEA beginning at 2:20 p.m. ET August 11. For the WEA alert portion, a test message will be directed only to consumer cellphones where the subscriber has opted in to receive test messages.

This year, the FCC is entering into a first-of-its-kind partnership with federal, state and local agencies from around the country to collect and analyze information about the performance of the WEA system during the nationwide test. Emergency managers and other stakeholders from FEMA, the National Weather Service, the Alabama Emergency Management Agency, Harris County (Texas) Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, City of Los Angeles Emergency Management Department, New York City Emergency Management, Mendocino County (California) Office of Emergency Services, Ohio Emergency Management Agency, Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, City of Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management, and the Utah Department of Public Safety will participate in the FCC survey to confirm that the test message was delivered in a timely manner and help identify any issues. Participants will be located in urban, suburban, and rural settings.

The FCC intends to publish findings from both the EAS and WEA tests after a thorough analysis of the data.

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