If you have a cell phone, this is something you need to know. The Federal Government is planning a nationwide test. In addition to cell phones, radio stations, and television stations will be affected as well.

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The thought of the Federal Government taking over your personal cell phone may be alarming, but it's not as bad as it sounds. The takeover will not only impact Montanans. Cell phone users all over the country will experience the same thing.

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Why is the Federal Government Taking Over Your Phone in Montana?

According to a press release from weather.gov, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will conduct a nationwide test of its Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) on Wednesday, October 4, 2023, at approximately 10:20 a.m. AKT, which is 12:20 p.m. MST. If the test on October 4 is postponed, the backup testing date will be October 11.

The national test will consist of two portions, testing WEA and EAS capabilities. The WEA portion of the test will be directed to all consumer cell phones. This will be the third nationwide test, but the second test for all cellular devices. The test message will display in either English or Spanish, depending on the language settings of the wireless handset. The EAS portion of the test will be sent to radios and televisions. This will be the seventh nationwide EAS test.

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How Will Montanans Be Affected?

On October 4, cell phone users in Montana should receive a test message accompanied by a unique tone and vibrations. The messages will read:

THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.

Radio and television stations will broadcast a one-minute test message similar to the regular monthly test. It will state:

This is a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System, issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, covering the United States from 12:20 to 12:50 hours MST. This is only a test. No action is required by the public.

For more information or to read to full press release, click here.

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