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Posted on Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 8:05 a.m.

Are we prepared? Emergency Alert System test today seeks answer

By Cindy Heflin

Be prepared for emergencies, safety experts are always telling us. But it turns out the people most responsible for the nation’s emergency preparedness don't quite know how prepared they are to relay emergency information. They’re trying to find out something about that today with a test of the Emergency Alert System.


Washtenaw County's Emergency Operations Center.

At 2 p.m. today, federal officials will conduct the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System. The 30-second test will interrupt programming on broadcast and cable television stations and radio station, and will send out emergency alert text messages to those subscribed to such services. Outdoor warning sirens will not sound.

The Emergency Alert System was developed several years ago to replace the Emergency Broadcast System. Although state and local officials frequently test the system, a nationwide test has never been conducted, said Marc Breckenridge, emergency services director for Washtenaw County.

The test by the Federal Emergency Management Agency will allow officials to find out if emergency messages are transmitted successfully to all the outlets that are supposed to receive them.



Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 5:43 p.m.

I would recommend, for anyone not completely cynical, to go to the link below to see what FEMA and the FCC are doing next about this test. I believe you can also provide feedback to help the After Action Reporting and fix problems... <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

dading dont delete me bro

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 8:33 p.m.

another fail. nothing happened.

Ron Granger

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 8:09 p.m.

&quot;There was no interruption of programming at all, at least not on the Golf Channel, which is what I more or less randomly picked to watch at the time. What happened?&quot; -- You picked wrong. If this had been an actual emergency, you would have been bored to death.

Bob Bethune

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 2:46 p.m.

Hey, I like watching golf. It's very soothing. Restful. Soporific. It's wonderful when I want to take a nap and I can't seem to get to zzzzzzzzzzzzzz....


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 7:59 p.m.

SouthEast AA: saw nothing, heard nothing. Result: fail.

Bob Bethune

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 7:07 p.m.

Since I work at home, it was easy for me to get curious and sit down in front of the TV today at 2 PM. What did I see? Nothing. There was no interruption of programming at all, at least not on the Golf Channel, which is what I more or less randomly picked to watch at the time. What happened?

Matt Whale

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 8:02 p.m.

At 1:57 I was in my car listening to the radio and it was 'This is a test' and said something about nationwide. Maybe my car clock is slow.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 6:27 p.m.

Why can't the federal government trust local governments? It's in the interest of the local residents to make their system work.

Bertha Venation

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 6:23 p.m.

Everybody sing &quot;Duck and Cover, Duck and Cover!&quot; (Circa 1958)


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 2:53 p.m.

Yeah, too bad I'll be at my desk staring at my screen when all the fun and games are on tv....


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 1:56 p.m.

Oh Boy, Sounds like we are in for trouble. It's too bad that they have to ruin our afternoon radio and TV schedules!