October 27, 2020

National Emergency Alert System Test Scheduled for Wednesday Afternoon

On November 9th FEMA, DHS and FCC will conduct the first national test
of the Nationwide Emergency Alert System test. This test will kick off
at 2:00 p.m. (EST). The test will be nationwide, running concurrently
across all time zones.
This system test is the first of its kind. It is designed to broadcast a
nationwide message to the American public. Nothing like it has been
conducted in the history of the country. There have been tests in the
past but none to all parts of the Nation at the same time. The test will
run concurrently on all radio and TV band and the message will run for
three minutes. Most messages in the past were anywhere from 30 seconds
to 1 minute.
There is great concern in local police and emergency management circles
about undue public anxiety over this test. The test message on TV might
not indicate that it is just a test. Fear is that the lack of an
explanation message might create panic.  Please share this information
with your family and friends so they are aware of the test.
Below is additional information, along with two websites, that will
provide more information…
During the test, listeners will hear a message indicating that “This is
a test.” Although the 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. The audio message will be
the same for all EAS participants; however due to limitations in the
EAS, the video test message scroll may not be the same or indicate that
“this is a test.” This is due to the use of the live EAN code – the same
code that would be used in an actual emergency. The text at the top of
the television screen may indicate that an “Emergency Alert Notification
has been issued.”
This notification is used to disseminate a national alert and in this
case, the test. In addition, the background image that appears on video
screens during an alert may indicate that “this is a test,” but in some
instances there might not be an image at all.
There are several limitations to the current EAS for individuals with
access and functional needs. FEMA and the FCC are committed to providing
organizations and the EAS community with information well in advance of
the Test. FEMA and the FCC will further engage the EAS community to
better understand the wide range of information and access needs in
preparation for the national EAS. IPAWS has been performing outreach to
access and functional needs organizations in several different forums,
including working groups and roundtables led by the FEMA Office of
Disability Integration and Coordination, with representation from
multiple FEMA program offices, other Department of Homeland Security
components, and other Federal Departments and Agencies.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: