Friday, November 04, 2011

FEMA to Conduct Nationwide Test of Emergency Alert System

imageThe Federal Emergency Management Agency needs your help in spreading the message that it will be conducting a first-of-a-kind nationwide test of its Emergency Alert System next Wednesday, November 9, at 2 P.M. EST.
The alert and warning system serves as a tool the President could use, if ever needed, to provide information and communicate to Americans during an emergency.
FEMA’s website provides the skinny on what to expect during the test:

  • The test will be approximately 30 seconds long and will look and sound very similar to the frequent local tests of the Emergency Alert System;
  • It will be transmitted via television and radio stations within the U.S., including Alaska, Hawaii, the territories of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa;
  • An audio message will interrupt television and radio programming indicating: “This is only a test,” though text may not indicate this same message on the screen on every television channel;
  • Organizations that serve people with disabilities or people with limited English proficiency should be aware that they may receive requests for information or assistance from broadcasters or other communications service providers and emergency managers in the days leading up to, during, and after the test; and
  • When the test is over, regular programming will resume. In the coming days, our agencies will be releasing additional information to help inform the public about this test. Resources, including videos in accessible formats, can be found at
Although the test will involve radio and television stations, it will not be broadcast on some other communication channels.
The test will not involve other communication devices such as the Internet, LAN and mobile telephones. No other communications networks or devices will be impacted by the test, meaning that people will be able to continue use their cell phones, the internet and other communications channels during the test. There will be no disruption of those services.
FEMA, the Federal Communications Commission and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have been working in partnership with one another to conduct the nationwide test. Under Executive Order 13407, the federal government is charged with having an emergency alert system in place for use by the President “under all conditions.”
Visit FEMA’s Facebook page or website to learn more.
Image of widget from FEMA’s website.

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