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Many in Central Texas did not get test alert from Emergency Alert System; Here’s why

FEMA is planning a test of the Wireless Emergency Alert system on Wednesday.
FEMA is planning a test of the Wireless Emergency Alert system on Wednesday.
Published: Aug. 11, 2021 at 5:46 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 11, 2021 at 6:20 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Why didn’t you get a text from FEMA during its Emergency Alert System test? Only devices that opted in received the test alert.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sent a regular tests of its emergency alert systems Wednesday, including a test of Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), for just the second time ever.

many were expecting emergency alert texts Wednesday as part of the test, which began around 1:30 CT, with the noises and messages many are familiar with on their TV channels and radio stations.

For the WEA test, many Central Texans say they didn’t get the alert on their device.

It should read: “This is a test of the Nationalal Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”

But only devices that opted into the program received the test alert. FEMA says you only have to opt in for tests, the real alerts will be sent to all devices within range of a working cellphone tower.

The alert tests are intended to ensure public safety officials have the methods and systems that will deliver urgent alerts and warnings to the public in times of national emergency or disaster.

If you didn’t get it Wednesday, a step-by-step instruction is listed below depending on your phone’s operating system.

For Android Devices:

Follow one of the following paths:

Tap Apps → Emergency Alerts → Menu (three dots in the upper right-hand corner of the screen) → Settings → Alert types.

Tap Apps → Settings → Apps & Notifications → Advanced → Wireless Emergency Alerts.

Tap Apps → Settings → Search for “Emergency Alerts” or “Public Safety messages.”

Tap your text messaging app → Menu (three dots in the upper right-hand corner of the screen) → Settings → Advanced → Wireless Emergency Alerts → Menu → Settings

Toggle the switch for Emergency Alerts

For Apple Devices:

Open the Phone app

Tap “Keypad” on the bottom

Dial “*5005*25371#”

Press the green “Call” button. You’ll see an alert on the screen that reads “Test Alerts Enabled”

Tap “Dismiss” at the bottom of the screen

To turn it off:

Open the Phone app

Tap “Keypad” on the bottom

Dial “*5005*25370#”

Press the green “Call” button. You’ll see an alert on the screen that reads “Test Alerts Disabled”

Tap “Dismiss” at the bottom of the screen

You can find more information on WEA alerts and how to opt into tests on FEMA’s website.

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