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Why Will There Be First Nationwide Test Of The Emergency Alert System?

November 2, 2011

I think this is a good idea, but one does have to ask why now?  In the same breath how is it that this type of test has not occurred before now?

The nationwide test is the first of its kind in the modern era and will be conducted by FEMA and FCC and will occur on Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 2 p.m. EST and may last up to three and a half minutes.  Similar to local EAS tests that are already conducted frequently, the nationwide test will involve broadcast radio and television stations, cable television, satellite radio and television services and wireline video service providers across all states and the territories of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa, according to FEMA.

“Because there has never been an activation of the Emergency Alert System on a national level, FEMA views this test as an excellent opportunity to assess the readiness and effectiveness of the current system. It is important to remember that this is not a pass or fail test, but a chance to establish a baseline for making incremental improvements to the Emergency Alert System with ongoing and future testing. It is also important to remember that the Emergency Alert System is one of many tools in our communications toolbox, and we will continue to work on additional channels that can be a lifeline of information for people during an emergency.”

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