Tomorrow morning, Santa Barbara residents will receive an emergency alert on their cellphones as part of a nationwide emergency preparedness test by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). For those living below burn scars who have been on alert for any potential debris flow, the tests come during a rain forecast that has steadily diminished since the weekend. The alerts will include FEMA’s Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) and Emergency Alert System (EAS) and will occur on Wednesday, October 3, at 11:18 a.m. and at 11:20 a.m. PST, respectively.
The Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) will be sent to cell phones connected to participating wireless providers and will read, “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.” These alerts usually warn the public about missing children and dangerous weather. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is used during national emergencies and appears via radio and television. This test will last approximately one minute and will show a similar message as the WEA.
The testing was originally planned to take place on September 20 during National Preparedness Month, but it was postponed due to the emergency alerts being sent for Hurricane Florence.