SAINT JOSEPH, MI – The Berrien County Emergency Management Office is reminding the community the public warning system will be tested on Friday, February 05, 2021. The testing is scheduled to occur at 3PM on Friday, but procedures allow the test to be delayed until 4PM when necessary. The Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) will be tested. IPAWS sends out a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) to cell devices subscribed to receive testing alerts.
“It is important to understand how to turn your device on to receive test alerts,” said CPT. Rockey Adams, the County’s Emergency Management Coordinator. “A different setting is used to turn on test alerts than is used to turn on actual live emergency alerts,” CPT. Adams added. Users may need to do an internet search or call their phone service provider to learn how their phone can be turned on to receive test alerts.
In addition to the IPAWS testing, the County’s B-WARN! system will be tested on Friday at the same time. The County added the B-WARN! mass notification system to their alerting lineup to ensure alerts were being sent to other devices than just cell phones. B-WARN! allows users to sign up to receive alerts on their landline phones, email, SMS, pagers, and fax machines.
“During a large emergency, IPAWS and B-WARN! will be activated with NOAA Weather Radio alerts and Marine Band Radio announcements,” CPT. Adams said. “During our monthly tests, Weather Alert Radios and Marine Warning Radios are not tested,” CPT. Adams added.
Those who want to troubleshoot issues during this test, may use an online form the County created on their webpage, www.bcsheriff.org. The form and information about the system are found at the Emergency Management Division page under Public Warning Systems.