Historic Emergency Alert System Test

Historic Emergency Alert System Test

First ever nationwide alert set for November 9, 2011

Wisconsinwill participate in the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) next month. The test will be heard on the radio, and seen on broadcast, cable and satellite television across the country as part of national preparedness efforts.

The test will occur on Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. and will last approximately three minutes. Television viewers and radio station listeners will hear a message indicating that "This is a test" and a visual test message will also appear on TV screens.

The national-level EAS is a public alert and warning system that enables the President of theUnited Statesto address the American public during extreme emergencies. Similar to local EAS tests that are conducted frequently, the nationwide test will involve broadcast radio and television stations, cable television, satellite radio and television services and wireline providers across all states and territories.

 “Although the EAS is frequently used by our state and local governments to send weather alerts and other emergency information, there has never been a national activation of the system”, says Brian Satula, Wisconsin Emergency Management Administrator. “In fact, state, tribal and local governments in Wisconsin used EAS 23 times in the last two year to communicate vital emergency information including a warning regarding road conditions during the “Groundhog Day Blizzard” in February.

The purpose of the November 9, 2011 test is to assess the readiness and effectiveness of the current system and identify improvements to better serve and protect our citizens and communities.

The test has been in the development stages for the last two years. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Communications Commission, and the National Weather Service, along with state, local and tribal agencies have been coordinating this test.

The EAS test is a great reminder that everyone in Wisconsin should have an emergency preparedness kit and create emergency plan for themselves, their families, communities, and businesses. Anyone can visit http://readywisconsin.wi.gov for more information about how to “Get a Kit, Make a Plan and Stay Informed” and what to do in the event of an actual emergency.

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