Emergency Alert System test planned for 10 a.m. today

Posted: Wednesday, January 26, 2011

An Emergency Alert System test will interrupt television and radio broadcast streams for approximately three minutes at 10 o'clock this morning.

The test, conducted by the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency, the State of Alaska, and the Alaska Broadcasters' Association, aims to ensure that the system used by the President of the United States to address the nation during a major emergency is in working order.

Viewers and listeners will hear a tone for the first 10 seconds, and then for the remaining two-and-a-half minutes a warning message will be read and repeated.

Radio users will just hear the audio portion, while television viewers will likely see an Alaska Broadcasters' Association slide and an Emergency Action Notification message scrolling across the top of the screen. Some stations may not have a slide, and others still might just have the audio playing over the regular programming.

According to Manny Centeno, the program manager for FEMA's Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, one of the purposes of the test is to root out these inconsistencies and generate plans to improve the alert procedure.

-- Karen Garcia

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