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Nationwide test of Emergency Alert System at 1 p.m. Wednesday

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CHICAGO -- A nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System is slated for 1 p.m. Wednesday. It's the first such test to be conducted nationwide.

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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency, in cooperation with the Federal Communications Commission and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, will conduct the test.

According to a news release from FEMA, the national Emergency Alert System is an alert and warning system that can be activated by the president, if needed, to provide information to the American public during emergencies. NOAA's National Weather Service, governors, and state and local emergency authorities also use parts of the system to issue more localized emergency alerts.

On Wednesday, the public will hear a message indicating that "This is a test." The nationwide test will involve television and radio stations across the United States and the territories, and is similar to emergency alert system tests that are conducted frequently on the local level.

A national test will help the federal partners and Emergency Alert System participants determine the reliability of the system and its effectiveness in notifying the public of emergencies and potential dangers nationally and regionally.

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