We are all familiar with the “this is a test” message on our TVs and its accompanying loud alert call. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) has been keeping the public aware of national and local emergency alerts, weather threats, child abductions and other types of emergencies for 15 years. Tomorrow, Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at 2 p.m. EST, viewers will experience the first-ever nationwide test. You may notice that your programming on all channels will be briefly interrupted.
The purpose of the test is to assess the readiness and effectiveness of the current system and identify improvements to better serve the American public. The nationwide EAS test is conducted jointly by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”), the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service.
And, in case you were wondering, the date was chosen because it is near the end of the hurricane season and before the severe winter weather season begins. The time — 2 p.m. EST — was chosen to minimize disruption during rush hours while ensuring that the test occurs during working hours across the country.
If you would like more information, feel free to visit www.fcc.gov about this first-ever EAS alert.
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