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Remember: A Nationwide Test of the Emergency Alert System Will Occur November 9th
On November 9th at 2:00pm Eastern Time (ET), the Federal Emergency Management Agency in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will conduct the first Nationwide Emergency Alert System (EAS) Test. FEMA, the FCC, and NOAA’s vision for improving the EAS is incremental, which means testing the readiness and effectiveness of the EAS as it currently exists is the first step. A more effective and functional EAS requires continual testing to identify necessary improvements so that all levels of the system can better serve our communities and deliver critical information that will save lives and protect property.
During the Test, the public will hear a message indicating that "This is a test," however what viewers see may not indicate this is a test. The audio message will be the same for both radio and television. Although the Nationwide EAS Test may resemble the periodic monthly EAS tests that most Americans are already familiar with, there will be some differences in what viewers will see and hear. While the audio message will be the same across TV and radio, the text crawl on TV screens will say “The Primary Entry Point Network has issued an Emergency Action Notification” and will not say “This is a test.” In addition, the background visual that appears on television screens during the alert may indicate that “This is a test,” but in some instances there might not be a visual at all. Due to the nature of the live-code Test, 9-1-1 call centers might experience unusually high call volume. It is important that 9-1-1 administrators and staff are prepared on November 9th to assure the public that this is only a test of the EAS. A Nationwide EAS Test Informational Toolkit is available on the FEMA IPAWS website to assist 9-11 call center staff in awareness efforts.
For more information about the Nationwide EAS Test, visit http://www.fema.gov/emergency/ipaws/eas_info.shtm or email firstname.lastname@example.org . .
- People, Places & Things/9-1-1magazine.com (via FEMA, 10/7/11)