FEMA and the Federal Communications Commission are going to send you a text on September 20. They are conducting a nationwide test of theEmergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alert. I had no idea they could even do something like this, but they can, and it’s to make sure that “operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether technological improvements are needed.”

The WEA test will happen at 2:18 p.m. EDT, or 12:18 El Paso time. The EAS will happen at 2:20 p.m. EDT/12:20 El Paso time. There have been four other nationwide EAS tests, but it is the first national WEA test. The WEA test will be a text message sent to cell phones, and the EAS tests will be on radio and tv.

The WEA text message will read “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.” As with EAS tests, the WEA test is to make sure that people with cell phones can be warned about dangerous weather, missing children, and other critical situations.

If you want more information about the national WEA/EAS test, you can log on to fema.gov.