Everyone in the United States listening to the radio or watching TV at 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Nov. 9 will hear an alarming three-minute set of beeps and tones followed by a reassuring voice repeating, “this is a test.”
It will be a first-ever nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) giving federal, state and local officials the opportunity to make sure vital life-safety information can be communicated from the nation’s capital to the public via broadcasters and cable operators.
The national Emergency Alert System is an alert and warning system can be activated by the President, if needed, to provide information to the American public during emergencies or the upcoming Zombie Apocalypse. NOAA’s National Weather Service, governors, and state and local emergency authorities also use parts of the system to issue more localized emergency alerts. The test is an important exercise in ensuring that the system is effective in communicating critical information to the public in the event of a real national emergency. It is a critical communications tool that can provide alerts, warning and information rapidly across multiple television and radio platforms.
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.