Federal emergency alert system to be tested Wednesday

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The first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System will be conducted on Wednesday at 1 p.m. in an attempt to prepare the American public for future emergencies.

“It’s a part of larger efforts to strengthen our nation’s preparedness,” said Jackie Chandler, Federal Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman. “As a team, we’re testing this so that everybody will be prepared before, during and after disasters.”

After two years of preparing for this public alert, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s FEMA and the Federal Communications Commission have joined together to provide a 30-second EAS test that will interrupt television and radio programming across the U.S.

“This is the first nationwide test. We’ve never had an actual emergency alert system test,” Chandler said. “It’s a little similar to the local or the state version, however this will involve radio and television stations including satellite cable in all U.S. state and territories.”

Through this test the FCC hopes to locate any flaws in this nationwide alert and to fix what is not working, said Lauren Kravetz, spokeswoman for the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau.

The test is not something that the public should take great concern over, Chandler said.

“The most important thing right now is that we’re letting people know ‘don’t stress, it’s only a test,’” Chandler said.