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Heads-up: Some people will get an emergency alert on their cellphones Wednesday

It's part of a nationwide emergency alert test.

If you get an emergency alert on your cellphone Wednesday afternoon, don't be alarmed: It's just a test.

The FCC and FEMA are conducting a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) at 1:20 p.m. central time on Wednesday, Aug. 11.

That means "specially configured cell phones will receive an emergency alert test code message" at that time, the FCC warned. It will go to subscribers who have opted in to receive the test messages. (Instructions on how to do that are here.)

At the same time, TVs and radio sets will play the EAS test message, likely interrupting regularly scheduled programming.

The FCC last tested the wireless national alerts in 2018. Since then, " several new capabilities have been incorporated, which the agencies want to test.

And what happens if there is an actual emergency that necessitates a real warning?

"If an event occurs on August 11, 2021 that makes the test impractical, the back-up date for the test is August 25, 2021."

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