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Emergency Alert System National Test Planned

The FCC said the test would determine whether the system functions as required should the president issue a national alert.

The United States has a national system to warn the populace when the president issues a national alert. But the Emergency Alert System hasn't been fully tested at the national level. The Federal Communications Commission, FEMA, and other federal agencies involved in EAS are planning such a test now.

FCC published some details about the planned test on Friday. To check how well the system works, it wants 3.6 million EAS participants to report these things to its Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau:

  • Whether they received FEMA's alert message during the designated test
  • Whether they retransmitted the alert
  • If they were unable to receive and/or transmit the alert, their "best effort" diagnostic analysis regarding the cause or causes for the failure

EAS participants will be notified by the commission at least two months before such a national test is conducted. The commission also wants to ask participants to give it a description of their station identification and level of designation (PEP, LP-1, etc.); whom they were monitoring at the time of the test; and the make and model number of the EAS equipment they used.

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