If someone says the word IPAWS to you over the next week or so they are not talking about the latest Apple product for your pet. IPAWS has nothing to do with Apple or your pets.

Between now and October 4th, 2023 you may hear people using the acronym IPAWS. IPAWS stands for the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System which will be issuing a test nationwide on Wednesday, October 4th, 2023 at 2:20 PM Eastern Time.

What is the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System

Basically, it is a way to get out life-saving information nationwide in the event of an emergency. Local notifications have been around for a while but this system will notify people nationally over multiple platforms.

Campbell Heiz, Ulster County
Campbell Heiz, Ulster County

The Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS) is FEMA's national system for local alerting that provides authenticated emergency and life-saving information to the public through mobile phones using Wireless Emergency Alerts, to radio and television via the Emergency Alert System, and on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Weather Radio. (via FEMA.gov)


What is the IPAWS Test on October 4th, 2023

So what do you need to know for Wednesday, October 4th, 2023? Simple that FEMA has teamed up with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and has plans to conduct a national test across the IPAWS system. This means that a test much like you hear on the radio or TV will go out from one place nationwide.

Why Did I Get an EAS Test on My Phone

According to FEMA they also have a backup date of Wednesday, October 11, 2023, for more testing if needed. They expect the test to reach millions of us on our phones via the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system plus it will go on radio and TV with the more familiar (Emergency Alert System) EAS. There are a few other communications systems it may run as well.

What is a Nation Wide Emergency Test

The goal is to ensure that both the WEA and the EAS can reach the public in case of emergencies especially ones that might be nationwide. Your phone should pick up this test if it is on and within range of an active cell tower. Your phone provider will transmit the test for 30 minutes but you should only receive it once.

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