National Wireless Emergency Alert Test on Wednesday

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Sarah Pickhardt

Oct 2, 2023, 11:25:42 AM10/2/23
to everyone, OCAlerts

Good morning, Orange County!


Please be advised that this Wednesday, October 4th at 2:20 PM, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will be conducting tests of our national emergency alerting systems. These test messages will be sent nationwide to via traditional media (televisions/radios) as well as push notifications on cell phones with emergency alerts enabled. The alert message will say “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.” If your phone is set to Spanish, you will receive the emergency alert test message in Spanish. You do not need to do anything when you get this test alert.


The Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system is used to send out alerts for highly dangerous weather events (i.e. catastrophic flooding or destructive severe weather), AMBER Alerts, and other life-threatening emergencies. While Orange County Emergency Management is capable of sending WEA messages in the County, we do not have any control over the October 4 test. We are, however, in support of it as a way to evaluate our nation’s readiness.


The test messages that will be sent on Wednesday are separate from our local emergency alerting system, OC Alerts, which is used for weather alerts, missing persons, water and sewer emergencies, and local emergency alerts. You can register to receive OC Alerts at Please note that the Employee Alert system that you signed up for during new hire orientation is only used to communicate County operational changes (delays, closings, etc.) and is not used for weather or public safety alerts. You will need to create a separate OC Alerts account to receive emergency alerts.  


If you have any questions regarding either OC Alerts or Wednesday’s test of the national wireless emergency alert system, please email or reach out to a member of our emergency management team.





Sarah E Pickhardt

Division Chief of Emergency Management

Orange County Emergency Services

510 Meadowlands Drive

Hillsborough, NC 27278

M: 704.641.2083 | O: 919.245.6135

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers



CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE:  Email correspondence to and from this address may be subject to the North Carolina Public Records Law and may be disclosed to third parties.  


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