WILL To Take Part in Nationwide Emergency Alert System Test

November 03, 2011

WILL runs tests of the Emergency Alert System every week --- maybe you've heard them. But those tests are on the state and local level. Coming up Wednesday, Nov. 9th, a national EAS test will involve every broadcast, cable and satellite station in the country.

On November 9th at 1 PM, FEMA will send out an alert code for a national emergency to the first level of broadcast stations in the Emergency Alert System relay structure. Other stations will relay it until it reaches every station in the country, including this one. Patti Thompson is with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.

"it is just a test," Thompson said. "It's important for the federal government to test the entire system, so that if there are any weaknesses identified that they can be corrected before we have a true emergency."

The test, scheduled to last for approximately 45-to-60 seconds, will include audio telling you that a test is being conducted. But the text shown on TV screens won't mention that there is no real emergency. The Federal Communications Commission is encouraging TV stations to run their own text explaining the test. And they're trying to get the word out that when the Emergency Alert System is triggered across the country, Wednesday afternoon at 1 PM Central time --- it's only a test.

Story source: WILL