First Nationwide Emergency Alert Test This Week

At 2 p.m. EST on Nov. 9, the Emergency Alert System will be tested nationally to assess whether it works effectively as a method of alerting the public about emergencies.

The first planned national test of the U.S. Emergency Alert System will take place at 2 p.m. EST on Nov. 9.

The purpose of the test is to assess the reliability and effectiveness of the system as a mechanism to alert the public of emergencies. EAS participants already participate in state-level monthly tests and local-level weekly tests, but there has never been a nationwide test of the system. The Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Emergency Management Agency will use the test results to figure out what works in the system and what doesn’t, then they will work with the participants to improve it.

FCC's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau has urged participants to take steps, in coordination with their State Emergency Coordination Councils, to prepare for the test, such as:

  • Reviewing and updating state EAS plans, if necessary
  • Reviewing how they deploy EAS assets -– particularly EAS Participant encoder/decoder equipment -– to ensure end-to-end connections and the required redundancies to minimize any single points of failure within states' EAS architecture
  • Ensuring their EAS equipment operates in compliance with FCC rules

For more information about the test, contact Lisa Fowlkes, deputy chief of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, at 202-418-7452; Tom Beers, chief of its Policy Division, at 202-418-0952; or Gregory Cooke, associate chief of the division, at 202-418-2351.

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