First Nationwide Test of Emergency Alert System

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley) – On Wednesday, November 9th, the San Bernardino County Fire Department and public safety agencies from across the United States will conduct the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS). This nationwide test will begin at 11 a.m. our time and last up to 3 minutes.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission are also taking part in the test.

The National Emergency Alert System is a public alert and warning system that enables the President of the United States to address the American public during extreme emergencies. State and local governments also broadcast alerts and warnings regarding weather threats and civil emergencies. The nationwide test will involve broadcast radio and television stations, cable television and satellite radio and television services.

The test may be similar to regular, local EAS tests that you are already familiar with, but there will be some differences in what you will see and hear. During the test, the public will hear a message indicating “this is a test.” The audio message will be the same for radio, television and cable. With this test, television viewers will see the EAS message: this is ONLY a test and not an actual emergency. If you see this message without the words “this is a test,” do NOT call 911 as this is still part of the test. Only in times of actual emergency should you call 911. At the conclusion of the test, regular programming will resume.

Over the past two years, as part of ongoing national preparedness efforts, FEMA, the FCC and other federal partners, state, tribal and local governments prepare for and test their capabilities. This event serves as a reminder that everyone should develop an emergency preparedness kit and an emergency plan for themselves, their families, and their businesses.

In preparation for the nationwide EAS test, you can find more information and links to both FEMA and FCC’s information pages by visiting the San Bernardino County Fire website at www.sbcfire.org and clicking on the EAS link. This site also provides information on how to prepare for and stay informed and what to do in the event of an actual emergency. That information can also be found at www.ready.gov

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