First nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System today at 11 am

Just a reminder, the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System is scheduled for today, at 11:00 am.  Here is the news release from the Mayor’s Office:

First nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System, Nov. 9

Similar to local emergency tests, national test scheduled for 11 a.m. PST  

SEATTLE – Don’t be alarmed if your favorite TV or radio show is interrupted at 11 a.m., tomorrow, Wednesday, Nov. 9. More than 20,000 television and radio broadcast stations across the country will participate in the first-ever, nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS). The test will last approximately 30 seconds and will look and sound very similar to local tests of the Emergency Alert System that occur frequently.

“We want to make sure the public knows the test is happening and what to expect,” said Mayor Mike McGinn. “So no one is caught off guard, we’re asking everyone to join us in spreading the word. Tell your neighbors, coworkers, friends and family. And remember not to stress. It’s just a test.”

The EAS is a national alert and warning system established to enable the President of the United States to address the American public during emergencies. NOAA’s National Weather Service, governors and state and local emergency authorities also use parts of the system to issue more localized emergency alerts, such as Amber Alerts and weather alerts.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are conducting the test to assess the readiness and effectiveness of the current system to help ensure the alert and warning community is prepared to deliver critical information that can help save lives and protect property.

FEMA and the FCC have provided a number of helpful resources for people to learn more about what to expect: http://www.fema.gov/eastest/.

This nationwide test serves as a reminder that everyone should establish an emergency preparedness kit and emergency plan for themselves, their families, communities and businesses. For more information about how to prepare for an emergency visit: www.seattle.gov/emergency.