This is Only a Test: Emergency Alert System to Sound Nationwide For First Time

We interrupt this story for an important announcement… On Wednesday, November 9th, the Emergency Alert System will interrupt television and radio broadcasts simultaneously across the country for the first time.

The National Emergency Alert System will sound at 1 p.m. central standard time.

Fema writes on its website:

“As part of our ongoing efforts to keep our country and communities safe during emergencies, we’re working in partnership with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to conduct the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS). The EAS test plays a key role in ensuring the nation is prepared for any type of hazard, and that the U.S. public can receive critical and vital information should it ever be needed.”

Here’s more information about the National Emergency Alert System test.

Business Week reports that the EAS is frequently used by cities and local communities but a national test has never been conducted. TV and radio programs will be interrupted for 30 seconds during the test.

FEMA said:

“We need to know that the system will work as intended should public safety officials ever need to send an alert or warning to a large region of the United States. Only a complete test of the Emergency Alert System can help us identify any changes and improvements needed to modernize this system and make it fully accessible.”

Rachel Racusen, a FEMA spokeswoman, said that the National Emergency Alert System could be used in the case of a nuclear attack or a national disaster. So if you’re watching TV or listening to the radio tomorrow at 2 p.m. EST you can expect to hear something like this.

Are you surprised that the Emergency Alert System has never had a nationwide test?