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Nationwide Emergency Alert System (EAS) Test - November 9, 2011
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are planning the first Emergency Alert System (EAS) nationwide test at 11:00 a.m. (PST), Wednesday, November 9, 2011.  The test will last approximately 30 - 60 seconds.  Normal programming will return following the test.
The November 9 nationwide test will utilize a "live" national alert code, i.e., a coded message that will present itself as an actual emergency announcement, not a test.  This is necessary in order to allow FCC and FEMA to test the actual working order reliability of the EAS equipment and the state of readiness of EAS operators and participants.
Television stations will be encouraged to run a scroll at the bottom of the screen throughout the test stating that is is just a test.
On radio, an audio message will precede the alert message announcing that the exercise is a Test Only.  Other information will be broadcast after the test concludes.
FCC and FEMA are conducting a public relations campaign utilizing print, broadcast, and other media to prepare the public for the test and the fact that a "live" alert code is being used.
Link: Emergency Alert System Nationwide Test Guide and Frequently Asked Questions: