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Due to ongoing response activities with Hurricane Florence -- FEMA postpones test until Oct. 3
Anastasia Tuskey
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Due to ongoing response activities with Hurricane Florence -- FEMA postpones test until Oct. 3

FEMA wants residents to know, “This is only a test.”

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) will be conducting a national alert test on cellular telephones at 1:18 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 3. A test for the Emergency Alert System will also be conducted on television and radio at 1:20 p.m. on the same day. FEMA officials said the exercise is to test the compatibility of cellular telephones with its technology.

“Almost everyone has a cell phone these days and FEMA understands the importance of utilizing every form of communication in the event of an emergency,” said Harold Damron, director of the Will County Emergency Management Agency. “We are all familiar with the regular tests that come over our television and radios. This wireless test will be no different.”

The alert will be titled, “Presidential Alert”, followed by “This is a Test”. Damron said in the event of an emergency, detailed instructions directing residents to tune into local television or radio stations for further information would follow the initial alert.

“Since this test will take place during school hours, the Department of Education is working to inform school personnel about the test,” Damron added. “We encourage parents to explain the test procedures to their children so they are not worried. We want all of our residents to understand, this is only a test.”

FEMA was created in 1978 by President Jimmy Carter with a mission to protect and serve the citizens of the United States. Historically the office dealt with natural disasters such as flooding and hurricanes. In 2003, the office became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security which was created after the 911 attacks.

Each state, and almost every county, operates a local office which works in cooperation with the national office. For more information about this exercise, visit the FEMA website: https://www.fema.gov/news-release/2018/07/23/nationwide-test-emergency-alert-system-be-conducted-september-20-2018.

For more information about activities in Will County, visit https://www.willcountyema.org/.

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