FEMA will not conduct a national test of the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) this year due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic response.
FEMA postponed the next national test of the system to 2021 out of consideration for the unusual circumstances and working conditions for those in the broadcast and cable industry. Although systems remain in place for rapid automatic transmission of the test message by broadcast and cable operators, the reporting activities associated with a national test place additional burdens on technical staff that are already quite busy maintaining as close to normal operation as possible.
Emergency officials across the country sent more than 360 important safety messages on the COVID-19 pandemic to their residents via WEA and EAS.
FEMA is required by law to test IPAWS at least every three years. The national WEA capability was most recently tested in conjunction with the EAS in 2018. For more information on IPAWS and how to be able to use the system to send alerts, visit the FEMA website.