At 2PM today (November 9th), FEMA will be conducting its first Emergency Alert System (EAS) test today. The test will interrupt the programming of all TV stations (cable and satellite) and radio stations (regular and satellite) to broadcast a test signal.
The test will be the first instance ever that all American media channels will be broadcasting content from a single source. This is quite an event in the history of media as a single organization can single-highhandedly take over the nation’s entire mass media channels. Mashable also reported that: “In addition to government efforts, private service provider T-Mobile issued a test warning last Saturday to thousands of their subscribers, which rang a siren noise and read “Presidential Alert” with the word “Test” below. The alert was part of FEMA’s Personalized Local Alert Network, which allows ‘customers who own an enabled mobile device to receive geographically targeted, text-like messages alerting them of imminent threats to safety in their area.'”
Here’s the official FEMA statement to the population:
Nationwide Test of the Emergency Alert System
As part of our ongoing efforts to keep our country and communities safe during emergencies, we’re working in partnership with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to conduct the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS). The EAS test plays a key role in ensuring the nation is prepared for any type of hazard, and that the U.S. public can receive critical and vital information should it ever be needed.
Over the past year, our agencies have been working with the broadcast community, cable operators and programmers, and other communications service providers that participate in the Emergency Alert System; our state, local, tribal, and territorial partners; and other critical stakeholders to help inform all members of the public regarding the nationwide Emergency Alert System test.
Here are specific items we want everyone to know about the test:
- It will be conducted Wednesday, November 9 at 2:00 PM EST.
- It will be transmitted via television and radio stations within the U.S., including Alaska, Hawaii, the territories of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.
- Similar to local emergency alert system tests, an audio message will interrupt television and radio programming indicating: “This is a test.”
- When the test is over, regular programming will resume.
As we get close to the test, the FCC and all of our many partners are working together to spread the word to as many members of the public as possible — so people know what to expect when the test takes place, and no one is caught off guard. We’re asking everyone to join us by spreading the word to your neighbors, co-workers, friends and family — share this web page, post a message on your social media site, and feel free to embed our videos on your website or blog.
FEMA taking over the airwaves might be practical in case of a hurricane or whatnot. But there are many other potential applications of this system for FEMA…Do a little internet search on “Rex 84”.