Wednesday, October 19, 2011

11-9-11 is Emergency Alert System Day

Monika, a Security Specialist (SS) at the Department of Infrastructure Protection (DIP) of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), warns us that the Emergency Alert System (EAS) Day is approaching:
...the first national-level test of the Emergency Alert System that will take place on November 9 at 2 p.m. eastern. With the test now less than a month away, I wanted to put out a friendly reminder about what it means for you.

What will people hear and see during the test?

On November 9, the public will hear a message indicating that “This is a test.” The audio message will be the same for both radio and television. However, the image on the screen and the text/crawl at the top of television screen may not be the same for all viewers. When the Emergency Alert System test is over, regular programming will resume.

How long will the test last?

We anticipate that the test will last approximately 3 minutes. While most messages, such as tsunami or hurricane warnings, are limited to two minutes by the emergency alert system, the Presidential message capability (which will be used in the national test) does not have a time limit. So to evaluate if the system properly interprets the Presidential message code in this test, the message duration must be longer than two minutes in length.
At this point, it's not clear whether the president will choose to address the nation during the test, or whether he will wait for an actual emergency to frighten us.

Because the president's message can be of indefinite duration, it would good idea to cancel any future appointments as soon as you hear the EAS warning sirens.

If it's an actual EAS, there's a good chance you won't make it to your appointment anyway.
Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau posts a list of companies that profit from the new EAS system.  Investors should be sure to consult this page.

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Dr. Rebecca Wolf
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United States Department of Fear