image description

Special News Series: Silence During Crisis

October 4th, 2023 by WCBC Radio

In our series this week, Silence During Crisis, WCBC News looks at how emergency information is disseminated to the public. Today a nationwide Emergency Alert System test will sound on radios and TVs, while Wireless Emergency Alerts will be sent to cell phones across America. When an emergency alert tone starts going off, don't be alarmed. It's a planned test being conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) today, scheduled to begin at 2:20PM.

The WEA test will be sent to all cell phones and will display the message in English or Spanish, depending on the device's language settings. While the test will start at 2:20PM it will continue to be broadcast for about 30 minutes, so your phone could receive the alert any time between 2:20 and 2:50. According to FEMA, the alert will say "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed."

The EAS will sound on radios and television breaking into routine programming.

"These tests help ensure that residents across the country can receive timely messages about emergencies," said Russ Strickland, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Emergency Management. "This is the system that sends weather warnings and Amber Alerts and is it important tool to test the effectiveness of the system."

FEMA says the purpose of the Oct. 4 test is to "ensure that the systems continue to be effective means of warning the public about emergencies, particularly those on the national level."

In our news series Thursday, Silence During Crisis, we well address the national test and concerns of emergency service officials.

Local Emergency Service web pages to subscribe and follow for alerts in your community:

Garrett County Emergency Services

Allegany County Emergency Services

Bedford County Emergency Services

Mineral County Emergency Services

To subscribe for emergency alerts from Mineral County Emergency Services visit


October 1st, 2023 by WCBC Radio

With the National Emergency Alert test on October 4th approaching, WCBC News is taking a closer look at how emergency information is disseminated to the listeners in our region. Informed listeners are accustomed to the National Weather Service sending alerts of severe weather conditions.  However, the National Command Authority has yet to successfully send a National Level Alert. Even during one of our country's Darkest Days, September 11, 2001, the Emergency Alert System remained silent, unable to provide critical information to its citizens. It may be surprising to know that it is the National Weather Service mandate to provide alert of a nuclear attack and not Federal Emergency Management. WCBC news will take a closer look at how emergency information is disseminated at the Local, Regional and National level in our special series Silence during Crisis.

Fatal error: Cannot redeclare theme_comment() (previously declared in /var/www/ in /var/www/ on line 12