FRAMINGHAM, MA - On November 9, 2011 at 2:00pm, the first ever nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System will take place.
The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a media communications-based alerting system that is designed to transmit emergency alerts and warnings to the American public at the national, state and local levels.
The EAS was created in 1994 to replaces the Emergency Broadcast System (EBS), which was first introduced in 1963.
In the past, you may have been watching t.v. or listening to the radio and heard an announcer break in and say, "This is a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. Had this been an actual emergency you would have been instructed to tune to a broadcaster in your area -- this is only a test"... followed by a high pitched tone for 20-30 second.
To keep up with modern technology, the EAS will now enable the Department of Homeland Security, (DHS), the Federal Emergency Management Association, (FEMA), the Federal Communications Commission, (FCC), and the National Weather Service, (NWS), to send a single national level alert message and have it repeated across over-the-air and cable television stations, traditional and satellite radio services, cable based video broadcast services, mobile device networks and other forms of communication.
The test on November 9th, 2011 will resemble the type of alerts seen at the local, state and regional level in the past and will last approximately 30 seconds. The test is being performed at 2:00pm so it will reach the wideset number of people who will be awake and at home, at work, in schools, driving in cars and in public places.
The alerts will advise people that it is a only a test, and will use both audible and visual signals to reach people with normal vision and hearing, as well as visually and hearing impaired individuals.
For more information about the test, visit the Emergency Alert System Nationwide Test information page on the FCC website at: www.fcc.gov/nationwideeastest