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Emergency Alert System to be Tested

Posted: October 25, 2011

On November 9, 2011, a number of federal agencies will jointly conduct the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS).

This test will kick off at 2:00 p.m. (EST) and will run concurrently across all time zones on all radio and TV bands. It is expected that the message being broadcast will run for approximately three minutes.

According to FEMA, the lead agency, although the EAS is frequently used by state and local governments to send weather alerts and other emergencies, there has never been a national activation of the system. Thus, the natiowide test will be instrumental in assessing the readiness and effectiveness of the current system and identifying improvements that may be needed.

During the test, the audio message will be the same for everyone—“This is a test.” Unfortunately, the video test message scroll, meaning the text displayed at the top of the screen, may not indicate that a test is being conducted. For this reason, local police and emergency management agencies are trying to get the word out to allay any undue public alarm.

More information:
FEMA: Nationwide EAS Test
A National Dialogue on the Emergency Alert System