First Ever Nation-wide Test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS)
November 3, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
First ever nation-wide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS)
The Federal Communications Commission hereby provides notice that the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) will occur on Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. C.S.T.
The purpose of this test is to assess the reliability and effectiveness of the EAS as a mechanism to alert the public of emergencies. Although EAS participants currently utilize state-level monthly tests and local-level weekly tests, there has never been a nationwide test of the system. The Commission, along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will use the results of this test to assess what does and does not work well within the EAS and working together with EAS stakeholders, make improvements to the system as appropriate.
The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a media communications-based alerting system that is designed to transmit emergency alerts and warnings to the American public at the national, state and local levels. The EAS has been in existence since 1994, and its precursor, the Emergency Broadcast System (EBS), began in 1963. Television and radio broadcasters, satellite radio and satellite television providers, as well as cable television and wire-line video providers all participate in the system (collectively, EAS participants). EAS participants broadcast thousands of alerts and warnings to the American public each year regarding weather threats, child abductions, and many other types of emergencies. As such, the EAS will continue to function as one key component of a national alert and warning system that will provide alerts over multiple communications platforms, including mobile communications devices.
The Commission’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau will continue to provide additional information concerning the first nationwide test of the EAS, through the release of further public notices. Please also visit the Bureau’s web page (http://www.fcc.gov/pshs/
The City of Park Ridge will utilize various means of notifying the public in advance of this test. We will be in contact with the schools, park district, and health care agencies to forewarn those with larger populations. We will also reach out to the Chamber of Commerce in an effort to notify the business community of this test. An Everbridge message will be sent to the residents on Monday, November 7, 2011 reminding them of the test.