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Don't Panic! Nationwide Test Set to Sound at 2 p.m. Today

The first ever nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System will sound for three minutes at the exact same time in all of the United States.

Everybody in the United States listening to the radio and watching TV on Nov. 9 at 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time will hear an alarming three-minute set of beeps and tones followed by a reassuring voice repeating, “this is a test.”

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will conduct the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS).

FEMA and the FCC has worked with broadcasters for years to develop a message system that the President of the United States will use to communicate with the public in case of a national emergency.

NOAA's National Weather Service, governors and state and local emergency authorities will also use parts of the system to issue more localized emergency alerts. 

“The test is happening at a time that national security is on high alert,” said Shelby Township acting Chief Roland Woelkers.

The test will last up to three and a half minutes and play simultaneously on all regularly scheduled television, radio, cable and satellite programs.

"A national test of our Emergency Alert System, with the vital communications support and involvement of participants, is a step towards ensuring that the alert and warning community is prepared to deliver critical information that can help save lives and protect property," said Damon Penn, FEMA's Assistant Administrator of National Continuity Programs in a prepared statement. "Because there has never been an activation of the Emergency Alert System on a national level, FEMA views this test as an excellent opportunity to assess the readiness and effectiveness of the current system.”

For more information about how to prepare for and stay informed about what to do in the event of an actual emergency, visit www.Ready.gov.

Marina Cracchiolo November 09, 2011 at 07:04 PM
That wasn't so bad... Did you see or hear the test?

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