OAKLAND (CBS SF) – A test for sending out earthquake alerts to cell phones in and around downtown Oakland will be conducted at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

This test of the Wireless Emergency Alert system is being coordinated by the state Office of Emergency Services and the United States Geological Survey, in partnership with the City of Oakland and Alameda County.

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Using current geofencing technology, this test will target cell phones within area of approximately 60 square blocks east of Lake Merritt in downtown Oakland. However, because of limitations with the technology, some people outside the target area may receive the alert, too.

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These public agencies want as many people to take the alert tests as possible. Those who agree to take part are asked to do the following:

  1. Before the test starts, using either your cell phone or your desktop computer, go to the official web site www.time.is and make sure the correct time zone (Pacific) is being reflected in the readout;
  2. Starting a few minutes before 11 a.m. Wednesday, the scheduled alert time, keep a close watch on your cell phone and the official time and note the exact time—to the nearest second, if possible—at which the alert first arrives on your phone. This alert will have the heading “Emergency Alert,” and this message: “TEST of the CA Earthquake Warning System. No action required. THIS IS A TEST”;
  3. Complete a 13-question survey, noting the time (to the second) an alert is received. The survey link is https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WEATESTSHAKEALERT.

For more information on the test and how to participate, go to www.caloes.ca.gov/eew.

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