Key Messages for Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs), The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Weather Service (NWS) will conduct the first-ever national-level test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS). The test will take place Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011 at 1 p.m. CST. The test may be up to three and a half minutes in length.
This test is similar to the way local emergency alert system tests are conducted; however this will be the first nationwide test that is expected to broadcast simultaneously over all communication service providers: television stations (including all digital television, cable satellite audio and television services) and broadcast radio stations across the U.S. and several U.S. territories. This nationwide wide EAS Test will help determine the reliability of the system and its effectiveness in notifying the public of emergencies and potential dangers nationally and regionally.
"We're asking that everyone share this information with their children, friends, coworkers and neighbors now," said Lt. Randy Hanes with the Sweetwater Police Department. "Help us spread the word about the test, so no one is alarmed when it begins."
An audio message will interrupt all regularly scheduled television, cable and radio shows, indicating: "This is a test."
What people will hear and see during the test:
*This national test may look like regular local EAS tests that most people are already familiar with, but there will be some differences in what viewers will see and hear. The audio message will repeat "This is a test." The video message scroll may not indicate "This is a test." The message will last for approximately three minutes and then regular programming will resume.