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Local News

FEMA wants Will County residents to know, 'This is only a test'

Emergency agency to send alert to phones next week

Shaw Media file photo
Shaw Media file photo

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will be conducting a national alert test on mobile phones at 1:18 p.m. Thursday.

A test for the Emergency Alert System also will be conducted on TV and radio stations at 1:20 p.m. the same day, according to a news release from Will County Executive Larry Walsh’s office. FEMA officials said the exercise is to test the compatibility of cellphones with its technology.

“Almost everyone has a cellphone 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.” “This is a test” will come after. Damron said in the event of an emergency, detailed instructions directing residents to tune into local TV or radio stations for further information would come after 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 said. “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.”

Each state, and almost every county, operates a local office that works in cooperation with the national office. For information, visit willcountyema.org or fema.gov.

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