Alert! Emergency! The public must know! This is only a test
Today at 11a.m., the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are jointly testing the Emergency Alert System (EAS), and they want to let citizens know that this is just a test, no matter what your television says. The purpose of the EAS is to alert the public to local and national emergencies and to enable the President of the United States to address the public within 10 minutes of the alert. The EAS is the message that interrupts television and radio broadcasts to beep loudly and flash a warning message for 30 seconds.
This is the first simultaneous nationwide test of the EAS, and the government agencies that organized the test are being sure to get the word out. Because EAS test is nationwide, and the system is complex, in some parts of the country there may be no message in the test that announces that it is only a test. FEMA and the FCC have tried to raise awareness about the test with viral videos and media campaigns to prevent individuals or communities from misunderstanding the test.