City participating in first-ever nationwide test of Emergency Alert System Nov. 9

The City of Minneapolis will participate in the first-ever national-level test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and National Weather Service (NWS) will conduct on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011 at 1 p.m. CST.  The test may last approximately 30 seconds.

During the test, folks should only call 911 in the event of an actual emergency requiring a response from police, fire or emergency medical services. Residents should not call 911 about this test. These types of calls may delay 911 from receiving calls from people reporting real emergencies.

This national test may look similar to the regular local Emergency Alert System tests that most folks are already familiar with, but there will be some differences in what viewers will see and hear. The audio message will repeat “This is a test.” The video message scroll may not indicate “This is a test.” The message will last for about 30 seconds, and then regular programming will resume.

This will be the first nationwide test that is expected to be broadcast simultaneously over all communication service providers: television stations (including digital television, cable, satellite audio and television services) and broadcast radio stations across the U.S. and several U.S. territories. This nationwide wide Emergency Alert System test will help determine the reliability of the system and its effectiveness in notifying the public of emergencies and potential dangers nationally and regionally.

For more information about the test visit http://www.fema.gov/emergency/ipaws/eas_info.shtm.

Published Nov. 7, 2011