This FEMA video explains the upcoming national test of the Emergency Alert System.
Next Wednesday, November 9, 2012 at 2:00 pm Eastern, we will be conducting our first nationwide test of the emergency alert system. You know the one, where that annoying tone buzzes, the screen goes striped and a voice says, "This is a test of the Emergency Alert System. This is only a test." Except this time, the test will be live and nationwide. It hopefully will provide valuable insight into the ability of this nation's communications network to get the word out quickly during a national emergency. Most of the Emergency Alert System is automated and relies on each link in the network to have properly functioning equipment. As a disaster unfolds, we all know to seek that information from local TV or radio, right? (Do you have a small radio and batteries in your emergency kit?) Although these test messages should be identified as a test, there is concern that some outdated equipment may not allow stations to properly indicate that the message displayed is a test. Make certain that those around you understand the nature of this emergency alert test and when it will occur. Hard of hearing and deaf individuals may have a particularly difficult time deciphering that this is a test if they are unprepared.
Here's what you need to do:
- Know that the test will be taking place Wednesday, November 9 at 2:00 pm Eastern time. Put it on your calendar!
- Talk to your family, neighbors and co-workers right away. Make certain that everyone knows to listen for the signal.
- Help those with disabilities, the elderly, the young, and those with limited English language skills to understand and prepare for this test ahead of time.
- Remember that as a live test, the message may look and sound different than you expect.
- Let someone know if you DON'T hear the test on your favorite radio or TV station.