First Ever Test of Nationwide Emergency Alert System to Be Conducted


The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will conduct the first ever nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) at 2:00 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) on November 9, 2011. Although local and state tests are a weekly or monthly occurrence, this will be the first simultaneous, coast to coast test of the national system. EAS is the successor to the Emergency Broadcast System which was developed in 1963. In an actual national crisis this warning system will allow the President of the United States to communicate "rapidly and comprehensively" with the American public. Additionally, the system may be used to warn of impending natural disasters and offer direction. The test will last approximately 3 minutes and will involve the following communication methods: "broadcast radio and television, cable television, satellite radio and television and wireline video services – that participate in the EAS." The test will not include cell phone providers. The FCC guide for the upcoming test with answers to frequently asked questions is available here.
Other resources available: FCC Public Safety Notice for Test , "A National Dialogue on the Emergency Alert System" Webpage and the Emergency Alert System Nationwide Test Webpage

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