National test of Emergency Alert System set for Nov. 9

Ashlee Boers

                     Radio and TV stations across the nation

                     will participate in the first-ever nationwide test of

                     the Emergency Alert System at 1 p.m. CST on Nov. 9.

                     The three-minute test will be conducted by the U.S.

                     Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency

                     Management Agency (FEMA), the Federal Communications

                     Commission (FCC) and the National Oceanic and

                     Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

                     “The Emergency Alert System is an important tool for

                     providing critical information to the public during

                     emergencies,” said Jonathon Monken, director of the

                     Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA).  “This

                     nationwide test is a very ambitious and necessary

                     step to ensure the viability of the system.”

                     Monken said the test will be similar to those people

                     hear monthly on their local radio and TV stations.

                     The main difference is that on Wednesday, Nov. 9, all

                     TV and radio stations will be conducting the test at

                     the same time.

                     EAS is a national public alert and warning system

                     that enables the President of the United States to

                     address the American public during extreme

                     emergencies.  Alerting authorities can leverage the

                     state and local EAS to send alerts and warning to

                     radio and television stations, cable television,

                     satellite radio and television services and wireline

                     providers.

                     "Broadcasters are proud of the important role we play

                     as 'first informers' in times of emergency," said

                     Dennis Lyle, president and CEO of the Illinois

                     Broadcasters Association.  "In the 60-year history of

                     the Emergency Alert System and its predecessors, the

                     system has never been tested on a nationwide basis.

                     While we hope it will never be used for a

                     Presidential alert, it's important to test the system

                     end-to-end in order to seek continuous improvement of

                     this life-saving alerting system."