Advisory: Nationwide Emergency Alert System Test on Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at 11:00 A.M

At approximately 11:00 A.M. (PST), the federal government will conduct the first-ever end-to-end national test of the Emergency Alert System, or EAS. The test will occur simultaneously on all radio and broadcast, cable, and satellite TV systems.

The test will last approximately 3 minutes. While state and local EAS messages are limited to 2 minutes, there is no time limit for national EAS alerts. To evaluate whether the system properly interprets the national message code in the national EAS test, the message duration must be longer than two minutes.This nationwide EAS test will help determine the reliability of the system and its effectiveness in notifying the public of emergencies and potential dangers nationally and regionally.It is important that the public be made aware of the test so that the 9-1-1 system is not flooded with calls, forcing 9-1-1 centers to divert resources away from actual emergencies. Calls to 9-1-1 to get information about this test should not be made.Although the national EAS test may resemble the localized monthly EAS tests that most Americans are already familiar with, there will be some differences in what viewers will see and hear. During the November 9 test, listeners will hear a message indicating the, "This is a test." The audio message will be the same on both radio and TV. However, due to limitations in the EAS, the text message scrolling at the top of TV screens will NOT indicate that, "This is a test."The test is being conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as part of their ongoing efforts to keep the nation safe during emergencies and strengthen our resilience against all hazards.FEMA encourages the public to use this event as a reminder that everyone should establish an emergency preparedness kit and emergency plan for themselves, their families, communities, and businesses.Additional information and resources can be found at:• http://www.easalert.org/http://www.fema.gov/emergency/ipaws/eas_info.shtm

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