Nationwide Emergency Alert System test set for next week | St. Louis Public Radio

Nationwide Emergency Alert System test set for next week

Nov 4, 2011

Federal officials will conduct the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) next week.

It’s scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Central Standard Time on Wednesday, November 9th, and will be broadcast over every radio station, TV station and cable network across the country.  Mike O’Connell with the Missouri Department of Public Safety says state officials are helping spread the word, so that residents don’t mistake the test for a real emergency.

“They want to know that this system works if the president has to address the nation," O'Connell said.  "That’s why they’re testing it, so that they know that it works, they know what bugs are out there that can be worked on, just in case it ever has to be used.”

O’Connell says the test should only last about 30 seconds.

FEMA and the FCC really want to step up their emergency alert capabilities," O'Connell said.  “This is the type of thing that you might have to do if there were a major earthquake that affected the whole country, to some extent, (or a) power outage that extended across a major part of the country.”

State officials are not taking part in the nationwide EAS test, but they’re using the occasion to urge Missourians to prepare emergency kits at home that contain enough non-perishable food and water to last for three days.  Meanwhile, the nationwide test will not be broadcast on NOAA weather radios or mobile devises.