Synchronized Outdoor Siren

News Release Date
Back to News

Hennepin County Emergency Management will conduct the monthly outdoor siren drill 20 minutes later than the normal first Wednesday of the month time slot. This offset is being made to align the Hennepin County monthly drill with the National Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) test that is scheduled to happen at 13:18 (1:18pm) for phones and 13:20 (1:20 pm) Central Time for radios and televisions on Wednesday, 4 October 2023.

NATIONAL IPAWS TEST:  The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has set 13:18 (1:18pm), 4 October 2023 as the time that federal authorities will trigger a nationwide test of two key IPAWS components: 1) the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system, which will trigger a test warning on the phones of most people in the United States at 1:18 pm Central Time; and 2) the Emergency Alert System (EAS), which will cause programming interruptions at 1:20 pm Central Time, commencing with an emergency alerting tone and emergency message transmitted on all commercial television and radios stations in the country (broadcast, cable and satellite). FEMA has conducted seven national warning tests in the ‘modern era’ (post-Civil Defense).  See national test history attachment. 

MONTHLY OUTDOOR SIREN DRILL: Hennepin County, along with most other outdoor siren operators in Minnesota, conduct a monthly outdoor siren drill at 13:00 (1pm) on the first Wednesday of each month. The October drill would typically occur this Wednesday, 4 October 2023 at 13:00.

NATIONAL TEST-SIREN DRILL SYNCHRONIZATION. Hennepin County Emergency Management has decided to synchronize the two events for the following reasons.

TEST MESSAGES. The phone test message will state: "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed." A similar message will be seen and heard on televisions and heard on radio.  The WEA system is now multi-language capable with the addition of Spanish, which will automatically provide a Spanish version of the phone user’s settings are set to that language.  Some EAS messages also provide a Spanish language version alongside the English one.