Mandatory Nationwide Emergency Alert System Test Today at 2:20 p.m.
Posted at 10 a.m.
he Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will conduct a mandatory nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) this afternoon, Wednesday, Sept. 27, at 2:20 pm EDT.
The test will assess the readiness for distribution of the national level test message, as well as verify its delivery.
This is the third mandatory nationwide test of the EAS. The first test was conducted in November 2011, in collaboration with the FCC, broadcasters and emergency management officials. The second mandatory test was conducted in September 2016.
The EAS test is made available to radio, television, cable and direct broadcast satellite systems, and is scheduled to last approximately one minute. The test’s message will be similar to the regular monthly test message of the EAS with which the public is familiar, only inserting the word “national.”
“This is a national test of the Emergency Alert System. This is only a test.”
Conducting the test following Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria will provide insight into the resiliency of our national-level alerting capabilities in impacted areas. The test will also provide valuable data into how the Integrated Public Alerts and Warning System (IPAWS) performs during and following a variety of conditions.
With three major hurricanes already making landfall this year (and hurricane season not ending until Nov. 30), along with other threats like earthquakes and terrorism, we need to have the ability to maintain the continuity of critical infrastructure under various conditions.
Periodic testing of public alert and warning systems is a way to assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure required for the distribution of a national message and determine whether technological improvements are needed.