Nationwide test of EAS Wednesday

Staff Writer
Chillicothe Times-Bulletin

Peoria County and the City of Peoria are raising awareness of a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System.

At 1 p.m. Wednesday the federal government will conduct the first nationwide test of the EAS. The test will last up to three and a half minutes.

During this period, regularly scheduled television, radio, cable, and satellite shows will be interrupted as the system is being tested.  

The test is being conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Communications Commission and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as part of efforts to keep the public safe during emergencies.

The national Emergency Alert System is an alert and warning system that can be activated by the President, if needed, to provide information to the American public during emergencies. NOAA’s National Weather Service and state and local emergency authorities also utilize the system to issue more localized alerts.

 Similar to emergency alert system tests that are already conducted on the local level, the nationwide test will involve television and radio stations across the United States and its territories.

Per the FCC’s rules, radio and television broadcasters, cable operators, satellite digital audio radio service providers, direct broadcast satellite service providers, and wireline video service providers are required to receive and transmit Presidential EAS messages to the public.

The test will help federal partners and EAS participants determine the reliability of the system, as well as its effectiveness in notifying the public of emergencies and potential dangers both nationally and regionally. The nationwide test also provides an opportunity to identify improvements that need to be made.