The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) is recognizing September as National Preparedness Month and reminding Tennesseans to learn how to be ready now before disasters happen.  “Just one year ago, TEMA was coordinating the deployment of emergency personnel to help with the hurricane response in Texas, Florida, and the Caribbean,” said TEMA Director Patrick Sheehan.  “Tennesseans should not wait for the next disaster to strike and then hope for help to come.  Most likely, neighbors and friends will be the first help at the disaster scene before the first responders arrive. So, it’s important to prepare in advance in order to help yourself, your family, and your community.”

Gracia Szczech, the regional administrator for FEMA Region IV, pointed out that preparedness is a shared responsibility.

“While government plays a role, individuals, organizations, and businesses have important things to do to be ready for the unexpected,” she said. “National Preparedness Month is a reminder that we all must take action to prepare, now and throughout the year, for the types of emergencies that could affect us where we live, work and visit. Disasters don’t plan ahead, but you can.”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will conduct a nationwide test of the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) on Thursday, Sept. 20.  That test will air over WLAF AM 1450, FM 100.9 and WLAF-TV 12.

The national IPAWS test will include both a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) message, sent to mobile devices, at 2:18 p.m., Eastern, and an Emergency Alert System (EAS) message, to be broadcast on radio and television, at 2:20 p.m., Eastern.

The WEA message will display on mobile devices as a Presidential Alert and will read:  THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.

FEMA will send only one WEA message to mobile devices and because the WEA message is a Presidential Alert, users will not be able to opt out of receiving the message, even if users have deactivated alert notifications in their mobile devices.

Only wireless providers who have chosen to participate in the national WEA test will deliver the WEA message to their customers’ mobile devices.

The EAS portion of the test is expected to last one minute and will allow FEMA to verify the delivery and broadcast of a national test message and assess the infrastructure for its distribution.

FEMA has selected Oct. 3, 2018 as the alternate national test date should anything interrupt the primary national test date of Sept. 20, 2018.

This is the fourth time FEMA has conducted a national EAS test and is the first time for a national WEA test. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/17/2018-6AM)