Home | News | First-ever nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System to occur tomorrow, Nov. 9 at 2 pm eastern

First-ever nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System to occur tomorrow, Nov. 9 at 2 pm eastern

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WASHINGTON - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), along with its many federal, state and local partners, is reminding the American public that the first-ever nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System is scheduled to occur at 2:00 pm eastern tomorrow.

The national Emergency Alert System was designed as an alert and warning system that can be activated by the President, if needed, to provide information to the American public during emergencies.  Although the Emergency Alert System is often tested at the local level, it has never before been tested on a nationwide scale. Tomorrow's test will occur simultaneously across the U.S. and its territories and will last approximately 30 seconds, after which regular programming will resume. The test will look and sound very similar to the local tests of the Emergency Alert System that already occur frequently.

"As we get ready to conduct this first-ever nationwide test, we are asking the American people - a key part of our team - to help us get the word out," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "And while tomorrow's test will focus on what we can do to make sure our current and future technologies can help send messages to the public in times of national emergency, this test is only one part of the preparedness equation. Recent weather events, from the tornado and earthquake that struck Oklahoma to the severe storm heading for Alaska, remind us that disasters can happen anytime, anywhere, and it's critical that the public knows what to do in the event of an emergency. Visit Ready.gov to learn how you can prepare for disasters of all kinds."

 Wednesday's test of the Emergency Alert System will appear on all broadcast radio and television stations, cable television systems, satellite radio and television systems, and wireline video service systems. The test will not impact landline or mobile phones, power grids, or Internet connectivity.  The test will allow FEMA, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to assess how well the Emergency Alert System would perform its primary function: alerting the public about a national emergency.

To get ready for this test, FEMA and the FCC have been spearheading a public education and outreach campaign, and are asking all of our stakeholders to join us. For more information on those efforts, click here.

For more information on the test, visit the FCC's website or www.fema.gov/eastest.  

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