For Immediate Release November 3, 2011
Staff Contact: Patti West, 911 Emergency Communications Manager, 303-651-8550
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Nationwide Emergency Alert System Test
On Wednesday, November 9, 2011, at approximately 12 noon MST, 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 and will last more than three minutes. The purpose of the test is to ensure that, if ever needed, a Presidential alert message that warns of a national emergency could be disseminated throughout the nation.
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.
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 Nov. 9 test, listeners will hear a message indicating that, "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."
This national EAS test will allow radio stations, television stations, and other EAS participants to test their equipment and their capability to receive and disseminate a national warning message. While it is hoped that the test is a 100% success across the nation, the test will allow EAS participants to identify and correct any problems with reception and/or relay of a national EAS message.