The following is a press release from the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness:
Baton Rouge, LA (November 3, 2011) – Today, the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) announced the federal government will conduct the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. The test will last up to three and a half minutes. During this period, regularly scheduled television, radio, cable, and satellite shows will be interrupted as the system is being tested. GOHSEP would like to ensure that the citizens of Louisiana know that this is just a test and not a real emergency alert.
"This is just a precautionary measure. It is the responsibility of the federal government to make sure this system works and is an effective way to communicate in the event there's a real emergency. This test will be similar to the emergency alert tests that are conducted at the local level on television and radio stations," said Interim GOHSEP Director Pat Santos.
"Let's also use this test as a reminder for our neighbors that we've got a few more weeks left in hurricane season and then move into the winter season where we've historically seen winter-related weather hazards. Louisianians should use this emergency test as a reminder to visit www.getagameplan.org and make sure they're ready in case disaster strikes."
The national Emergency Alert System is an alert and warning system that can be activated by the president, if needed, to provide information to the American public during emergencies. NOAA's National Weather Service, governors, and state and local emergency authorities also use parts of the system to issue more localized emergency alerts. The test is being conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Under the FCC's rules, radio and television broadcasters, cable operators, satellite digital audio radio service providers, direct broadcast satellite service providers and video service providers are required to receive and transmit presidential EAS messages to the public.
Again, for more information on how you can keep your family safe, go to www.getagameplan.org.
Potential for Confusion