WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in cooperation with state, local, and tribal emergency managers and state broadcasters’ associations, will conduct a test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) in six states at 1:20 p.m. PST, 2:20 p.m. in Los Alamos, today.
FEMA will send the voluntary EAS test message signal through its Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) from the exhibit floor of the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) meeting in Las Vegas, Nev. Broadcasters are voluntarily participating in the test from Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. The EAS test is scheduled to last approximately one minute.
The message will be the same as typical EAS test messages, with the word “national” added to the message: “This is a national test of the Emergency Alert System. This is only a test.” The test is designed to have limited impact on the public.
There is no Federal Commissions Commission regulatory liability for stations that choose not to participate. The EAS test might also be seen and heard in bordering states participating in the test, including California, Oregon, Idaho, Texas, Wyoming, Colorado, Oklahoma, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois and Michigan.
The test will assess the operational readiness of FEMA’s IPAWS infrastructure that will distribute a national-level EAS test message to radio, television and cable operations from origination to reception by the public.
In 2007, FEMA began modernizing the nation’s public alert and warning system by integrating new technologies into existing alert systems. IPAWS connects public safety officials, such as emergency managers, police and fire departments to multiple communications channels to send alerts to the public when a disaster or other imminent danger occurs.