This will be the first time that you hear those familiar tones or see that test message across your screen saying “this is a test” and it will be different…the nation will be all seeing it at the same time! That is big!!! It will be a first-ever nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) giving federal, state and local officials the opportunity to make sure vital life-safety information can be communicated from the nation’s capital to the public via broadcasters and cable operators.
EAS is the primary way that government has the opportunity to reach the public with a public safety message. This EAS test provides local, state and federal emergency officials an opportunity to see how it works and what can be done to improve it. It also gives them a chance to identify and address potential problems in the system before another real emergency occurs.”
Nationwide Test Facts
- Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at 11:00 am (PST)
- You will hear the familiar EAS tone, a voice say “this is a test,” and potentially see a message on your television or radio
- It will last less than 4 minutes
- No action is needed or required on the part of the public.
Officials believe that this nationwide test, as well as the common weekly and monthly EAS tests will hopefully reassure the public that local, state and federal officials are doing what they can to ensure emergency information and instructions are available.
- Who is responsible for the test?
- The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service (NWS) are coordinating the nationwide EAS test.
- What will happen?
- Federal officials will initiate the three and half-minute test from Washington, DC and it will activate EAS systems across the nation.
- A “live” EAS alert will be transmitted to broadcast, cable, and satellite radio and television stations.
- The test will look very much like the standard monthly local EAS tests that most people are familiar with. Audio messages will repeat “This is a test” but videotext at the bottom of the television screens may vary in each county based on the equipment of the television stations.
- Once the test is completed, regular programming will resume and broadcasters, cable, and satellite providers will provide the FCC with details of their participation.
For more information, visit http://www.fema.gov/emergency/ipaws/eas_info.shtm