Warm Southern Breeze

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Nationwide Emergency Alert

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, November 4, 2011

The first-ever test of a National Emergency Alert System (EAS) will occur 2PM EST, November 9, 2011.

This test is unique in several ways. If you’re familiar with the annoying, attention-getting loud buzz tone on your radio, and the now-rare similar test on teevee and cable, you may have some idea of what to expect.

And yet, since the 1963 initiation of the Emergency Broadcast System – which became the EAS in 1994 – new communication venues have emerged – not the least of which include Internet-based sites & modes such as VOIP – including cellular telephones, SMS (text) messages, satellite television & radio, and more.

What is especially problematic with the advent of these new technologies, is that they have been largely overlooked when emergency communications have become necessary.

To resolve that problem, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) embarked upon a course exploring the ways, means and methods which could be utilized to simultaneously and effectively communicate with the American public – either coast-to-coast, or in more specific, smaller locales – through all available communication venues, should the need arise.

Thus was born the idea of the National Emergency Alert System.

For this first test, the FCC has decided to utilize the mediums of “television and radio broadcasters, satellite radio and satellite television providers, as well as cable television and wireline video providers” to participate in the system – which are collectively called “EAS Participants.”

In conjunction with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) the FCC anticipates a 30-second test.

For additional information on the national test, please see: http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/emergency-alert-system-nationwide-test

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