DATE: November 1, 2011
MEDIA CONTACT: Chuck Lanza, Director
Broward County Emergency Management
Broward County residents will participate in the first-ever nationwide emergency alert system (EAS) test which will be conducted on Wednesday, November 9, at 2 p.m. (EST). The audio message, similar to the local EAS tests that most residents are already familiar with, will be the same for radio, television and cable, will last up to 30 seconds and the public will hear a message stating, "This is a test."
The test is being coordinated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Federal Communications Commission and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The test will determine if the public is able to receive timely and critical emergency information as part of national preparedness efforts. Broward County's Emergency Management Division will be monitoring the EAS test to assess the system's capabilities locally.
FEMA officials explained that November 9 was chosen as it is near the end of the hurricane season and before the severe winter weather season begins in earnest. The 2 p.m. broadcast time was chosen to minimize disruption during rush hours while ensuring that the test occurs during working hours across several time zones in the United States. During the test, the National Weather Service will provide situational awareness of possible severe weather and climate threats to the United States.
The nationwide EAS is a public alert and warning system that enables the president of the United States to address the American public during extreme emergencies. Similar to local EAS tests that are conducted, the nationwide test will involve broadcast radio and television stations, cable television, satellite radio and television services, all weather/alert radios and wireline video providers across all states and territories.
The event is designed to serve as a reminder that everyone should establish an emergency preparedness kit and an emergency plan for themselves, their families, communities and businesses.
Anyone can visit broward.org/emergency or www.ready.gov for more information about how to prepare for and stay informed about what to do in the event of an actual emergency.