First Nationwide EAS Test Broadcasted Wednesday Afternoon
by: Ed Mayberry, November 8, 2011 3:11:00 pm
Although the national EAS test will resemble the periodic, monthly EAS tests that most listeners are familiar with, there will be some differences in what you will see and hear. Chuck Wolf is with the local Emergency Alert System Communications Committee.
"This test will be the first time that the White House and the Federal Emergency Management Agency has initiated a nationwide EAS test. So it's going to come up on every radio station, every TV station, cable outlet, nationwide, all at the same time."
The Emergency Alert System is a national warning system that provides the communications capability to the President to address the American public during a national emergency.
"If you're really old, you'll remember the little triangles on the radio dial — that goes back to Harry Truman's days. It was replaced then by President Kennedy with the Emergency Broadcast System. Cable TV, satellite uplinks were also added. The FCC and FEMA are looking at adding cell phones and other internet-based technologies — the system is now the Emergency Alert System."
Local emergency management offices want to make sure the public is aware that this is only a test. Sonya Lopez Clauson is with Greater Harris County 911.
"There's no need to call 911 because you've seen the test. These types of calls are certainly going to overload the telephone system at the 911 emergency call centers."