FEMA to conduct first nationwide test Wednesday of the emergency alert system
CHICAGO -- 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 first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System. The nationwide test will occur at 1 p.m. Wednesday Central Standard Time.
"A national test of our Emergency Alert System is a step towards ensuring that our nation is prepared to deliver critical information that can help save lives and protect property," said Andrew Velasquez III, Administrator for FEMA Region V in Chicago. "Because there has never been an activation of the EAS on a national level, FEMA views this test as an excellent opportunity to assess the readiness and effectiveness of the current system. It is also important to remember that the EAS is one of a number of systems that can provide information during an emergency."
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. The test is part of an ongoing effort to keep the nation safe during emergencies and strengthen resiliency against all hazards.
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.
"It is important to understand that everyone has a role in being ready for disasters or emergencies. This test is a perfect reminder for individuals, families, communities, and businesses to prepare for emergencies," said Velasquez.