First nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System |

First nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System

Staff Reports

On Wednesday at 11 a.m. Pacific Standard Time, the federal government will conduct the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS). The duration of the test will last up to 60 seconds. During this period, regularly scheduled television, radio, cable, and satellite shows will be interrupted as the system is being tested. The Nevada Department of Public Safety- Division of Emergency Management/Homeland Security would like to ensure that the citizens of Nevada and the general public are aware that this event will be a test, and not a real emergency alert.  

“A critical element in any emergency is the delivery of accurate information,” said Chris Smith, Chief of the Division of Emergency Management/Homeland Security. “The National EAS Test helps to insure that in a time of need, information can be delivered to members of the public in a usable form, in an efficient manner. Nevadan’s will be better informed in emergencies because of these testing efforts.”

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), as part of their ongoing efforts to keep the nation safe during emergencies and strengthen our resilience against all hazards.

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 an important exercise in ensuring that the system is effective in communicating critical information to the public in the event of a real national emergency.  

Similar to emergency alert system tests that are already conducted frequently on the local level, the nationwide test will involve television and radio stations across the United States, including Alaska, Hawaii, and the territories of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa.