EAS to Conduct First National Test This Week

EAS is the acronym for the Emergency Alert System and tomorrow we will experience the nation’s first country-wide test.

You’ve heard the local versions before with the beep-beep-beep and then a message saying, “This is a test of the Emergency Alert System. This is only a test. If this were an actual emergency….etc.” For the first time ever, the alert will happen everywhere in the country at the same time – it will happen tomorrow at 2 p.m.

The purpose of the national test is to assess the readiness and effectiveness of the current system and identify incremental improvements to better serve the American public.

Although the Emergency Alert System has been in existence for over 15 years and is frequently used by State and local governments to send weather alerts and other emergencies, a nationwide test of the system has never occurred.

The nationwide EAS Test will be conducted jointly by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the FCC, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service.

The test will last for approximately 30 seconds, although this may vary across the country.

Some are concerned about the government taking over the broadcast airwaves feeling that this could be the first step in Big Brother control of the free flow of information.