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Thursday, September 22, 2022

FCC to conduct emergency notification test in Marion County on September 13

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in partnership with local governmental entities, will conduct a nationwide test of the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system next week.

Marion County Emergency Management has announced that the test is expected to take place in Marion County at approximately 10 a.m. on Tuesday, September 13, using mobile/cellular phones that are located within approximately seven-tenths (0.7) of a mile of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office (692 NW 30th Avenue in Ocala).

Marion County Emergency Notification Test alert
The targeted area for the alert in Marion County (Photo courtesy of Marion County Emergency Management)

If you have a phone with Wireless Emergency Alerts enabled and are within the identified boundaries, you should receive the test alert. If you are outside of the identified boundaries, it is still possible to receive the alert.

Acknowledging the alert will return your mobile or cellular device to normal. If you receive the alert, you will also receive a link to complete a voluntary survey that will help assess the functionality of the Wireless Emergency Alert system.

Emergency Management Director Preston Bowlin stated, “This is the first time that the federal government is coordinating a WEA test with local governments. The test is intended to measure the WEA system’s accuracy and performance when local governments send an alert to a small geographic area.”

The WEA system is the national system that sends Amber Alerts and other emergency notifications directly to cell phones without the need for a subscription. The WEA is not the AlertMarion system; AlertMarion is a local application-based emergency notification system that provides subscribers with weather, natural disaster, and other public safety information.

Director Bowlin added, “In order to ensure that you receive all life-saving emergency notifications, we encourage everybody in Marion County to sign up for AlertMarion.”