Expect emergency alert test Nov. 9
Next week, television and radio stations across the state will participate in the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS). The national test will take place Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 2 p.m. eastern standard time and may last up to three and half minutes.
During this period, regularly scheduled television, radio, cable and satellite shows will be interrupted as the system is being tested.
“For the public, the only noticeable difference between the monthly tests that they have heard for years and the national EAS test, is that the message itself may be slightly longer,” said Doug Hoell, director of the North Carolina Emergency Management Division.
On Nov. 9, the public will hear a message indicating that “This is a test.” The audio message will be the same for both radio and television. Under the FCC’s rules, radio and television broadcasters, cable operators, satellite digital audio radio service providers, direct broadcast satellite service providers and wireline video service providers are required to receive and transmit presidential EAS messages to the public. A national test will help federal partners and EAS participants determine the reliability of the system and its effectiveness in notifying the public of emergencies and potential dangers nationally and regionally
The EAS is a national alert and warning system established to enable the president of the United States to address the American public during emergencies. NOAA’s National Weather Service, governors, state and local emergency authorities also may use the system to issue local alerts.
The test is being conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Communications Commission and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as part of ongoing efforts to keep the nation safe during emergencies and prepare for all hazards.
Similar to local EAS tests that are conducted monthly across the state, the nationwide test will involve television and radio stations across the United States, including Alaska, Hawaii, and the territories of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa.
“The national EAS test serves as a good reminder that everyone should develop an emergency supplies kit and emergency plan for their families and businesses. Visit www.Ready.gov for more information about how to prepare for and stay informed about what to do in the event of an actual emergency.