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Government/Politics

San Antonio To Test Emergency Alert System Thursday

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San Antonio will hold the first test of the Wireless Emergency Alert system from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday.

A push notification will be sent to more than 19,000 phones in the 78216 zip code, which includes the San Antonio International Airport, North Star Mall and the Alamo Quarry Market, said Patrick Zepeda, emergency manager for the city.

The alert will read: “This is a public safety test message from the City of San Antonio. THIS IS ONLY A TEST.”

Zepeda said the system is the same one used to send dangerous weather notifications, as well as missing children alerts.

“If we had, let's say, a hazardous material spill that was in one area, and the wind direction was taking a plume in one direction, we could use it for the instance where we just want to contact everyone in a given area where that plume is going, (where) that hazardous material cloud would be going to,” he said.

While the initial test message will only go out in English, Zepeda said, in a true emergency, notifications would go out in English and Spanish. Travelers passing through the area during the test will also receive the notification.

Jerry Quijano can be reached at newsdesk@tpr.org