The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will conduct the first nationwide Emergency Alert System (EAS) Test on Wednesday, November 9, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern.
EAS participants include all broadcasters, satellite and digital radio and television, cable television and wireline video providers.
The test will last about three (3) minutes. During the test, listeners will hear the message, “This is a test,” similar to the local, periodic EAS tests most of us are already familiar with. But there will be some differences in what viewers see. The audio portion will be the same; however, the video test message scroll may not indicate that “This is a test” due to limitations in the EAS.
The EAS is used regularly by state and local governments to send weather alerts and other emergencies, but there has never been a national activation of the system. The purpose of the November 9, 2011 test is to assess the readiness and effectiveness of the current system and identify improvements needed to better serve the nation in delivering critical information to save lives and property.