Emergency Alert System Nationwide Test - November 9, 2011 2:00pm EST

Thursday, November 3, 2011
At the Federal Communications Commission's June 9, 2011 Agenda meeting, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Chief Jamie Barnett, joined by representatives from FEMA and the National Weather Service, announced that the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) would take place at 2:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time) on November 9, 2011. The purpose of the test is to assess the reliability and effectiveness of the EAS as a public alert mechanism.

This will be similar to the monthly emergency broadcast message alerts that you sometimes see, but the audio and video on the screen may be different. This is the first time that the system is being tested nationwide simultaneously.

What you need to know: You don't need to do anything - the alert will be broadcast on TV and radio stations automatically.

HOWEVER - IF YOU HAVE (OR LIVE WITH SOMEONE WHO HAS, OR TAKE CARE OF SOMEONE WHO HAS) HEARING IMPAIRMENT: You will need to know that while the audio portion of the broadcast message will indicate that "This is a test", the video portion may not, due to some technical restrictions. It may show on the screen that an emergency alert has been broadcast, but it may not show that it is a test. Please reassure those who might not be able to hear the audio portion of the test, that it is indeed a test of the system and not an actual emergency.

For more details, check on the information and FAQs at the FCC web site:

http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/emergency-alert-system-nationwide-test

Or the information from the FEMA web site:

http://www.fema.gov/emergency/ipaws/eas_info.shtm

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