WASHINGTON: The Federal Communications Commission has released more information regarding the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System. The test is scheduled to take place Nov. 9, 2011, at 2 p.m. EST. It will include a transmission by the Federal Emergency Management Agency of a live Emergency Action Notification code to all EAS participants, and a notice to the general public regarding the test of the national system.
The test will conclude with transmission of the End Of Message code rather than the Emergency Action Termination code. The use of the EOM code instead of the EAT code during the national test will not require broadcasters and cable providers to reconfigure their EAS encoders and decoders, the FCC said.
The location code for the EAS test will be the code for Washington, D.C. The FCC said its understanding is that most EAS encoders and decoders will automatically forward the EAN with the Washington, D.C. location code and will not require further configuration. The agency said that those uncertain if their device would forward an EAN code should contact the manufacturer, or FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Office at IPAWS@dhs.gov.
The FCC and FEMA, along with broadcasters and cable providers, are said to be engaged in outreach efforts aimed at informing the general public that the event is indeed a test.
The test will last approximately three minutes.