Don't be alarmed, this is only a test.
The loud alerts blaring from your electronic devices on Wednesday are no cause for concern.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency will conduct a nationwide test of its emergency alert system on Aug. 11, sending messages to televisions, radios and some cell phones.
The emergency alert system, or EAS, test will take place at 2:20 p.m. ET/11:20 a.m. PT. The EAS tests will be sent to TVs and radios. The Wireless Emergency Alert, or WEA, test will go out at the same time to cellular consumers who have opted in to receive test messages.
The EAS test will include a high-pitched tone followed by a message that begins with an advisory noting that, "This is a test." The WEA notification sent to cell phones will say: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed." It will also have a unique tone and vibration.
The federal government periodically tests its emergency alert system to make sure it is working properly and to identify any necessary improvements. The emergency system typically sends alerts on extreme weather events, local emergencies requiring evacuation or immediate action, Amber alerts and presidential alerts during a national emergency.
"The test is intended to ensure public safety officials have the methods and systems that will deliver urgent alerts and warnings to the public in times of an emergency or disaster," according to a news release from FEMA.