Nationwide Emergency Test Set For TV, Radio - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Nationwide Emergency Test Set For TV, Radio

KHQ.COM - Remember "This is (only) a test" — you'll be hearing those words if you're watching TV or listening to the radio anywhere in the United States at 2 p.m. ET Wednesday.

It's the first-ever nationwide test of the EAS, aka the Emergency Alert System that is coordinated by five heavies in the world of federal agencies: FEMA, Homeland Security, the FCC, the National Weather Service and NOAA.

So how long will the disruption last? Thirty seconds or so.

"Although the EAS has been in existence for over 15 years, a nationwide test of the system has never occurred," FEMA said on its website. "FEMA and federal partners are working with the EAS Community to assess if the national-level system will work as designed should officials ever need to send a national alert."

"Emergency Action Notification has been issued" will appear at the top of TV screens and should be accompanied by an image with these words: "This is a test".

The 2 p.m. timing was chosen to avoid wider disruptions, FEMA said.

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