STLACAUGA, Ala. – At 1:20 p.m. this Wednesday, Aug. 7, a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) will interrupt programming on all radio stations, television stations, cable television systems, wireline service providers, and direct broadcast satellite service providers.
The internet and cell phones are often unreliable when their more complicated infrastructure is disrupted by localized emergencies so will not be included.
This fifth nationwide EAS test is part of an ongoing national public warning program intended to ensure that public safety officials can deliver urgent alerts and warnings to the public in times of an emergency or disaster.
Previous EAS national tests were conducted in Nov. 2011, Sept. 2016, Sept. 2017, and Oct. 2018. This year’s test, in coordination with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and emergency management officials, will evaluate the readiness of the national alerting capability in the absence of internet connectivity, according to FEMA.
The one-minute test will begin with broadcast of a national test message from primary radio stations participating in the National Public Warning System, which will be immediately relayed by all radio and television stations and cable systems nationwide. The test window will end at 2:50 p.m.
In the event of an actual national emergency, a national warning message would be issued at the direction of the President or his/her designee and activated by FEMA.