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Nationwide Test Of Emergency Alert System To Take Place September 28

Published: September 24, 2016 at 12:00 am

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On Wednesday, September 28, at 2:20 pm EDT, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in collaboration with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Weather Service, will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS).


The test is scheduled to last approximately one minute. An alert message will clearly indicate that the alert is a test of the EAS.


The message of the test will be similar to the regular monthly test message of the EAS, normally heard and seen by the public: "This is a national test of the Emergency Alert System. This is only a test."


The alert will be transmitted in English and Spanish and will include both audio and the text of the test message, which can be used to populate an accessible video crawl.


All EAS participants - radio, television, cable, and direct broadcast satellite system providers - are required to participate in this nationwide test.


The nationwide test will assess the reliability and effectiveness of the EAS, with a particular emphasis on testing FEMA's Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), the integrated gateway through which common alerting protocol-based (CAP-based) EAS alerts are disseminated to EAS participants.


These improvements will help ensure that all members of the public, including non-English speakers and individuals with disabilities, will receive emergency information.


According to the FCC, the test will provide an opportunity to evaluate this and other measures that the FCC has adopted to address issues identified in connection with the 2011 Nationwide EAS Test.


EAS participants are required to file reports with the FCC after the test, which the commission will analyze to determine how the test performed.


Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) will not be part of the test; the public will not receive test alerts over their mobile devices.


General information about the Emergency Alert System and the test is available on FEMA's website at fema.gov/emergency-alert-system.

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