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National Emergency Broadcast test set for Wednesday

Posted: 07 Aug 2019 07:08
by ecps92 ... -wednesday

Your favorite soap or daytime talk show might get interrupted briefly on Wednesday, but the inconvenience could one day save your life.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System tomorrow, Aug. 7 at 2:20 p.m. This particular test will only be broadcast via radio and television, not over cell phones.

The test will assess the readiness of the nation’s infrastructure “for distribution of a national message and determine whether improvements are needed,” according to an announcement made Tuesday by FEMA.

This is the fifth Emergency Alert System nationwide test. Previous national tests were conducted in November 2011, September 2016 and 2017, and October 2018.

“The intent of this year’s test is to evaluate the readiness of the national alerting capability in the absence of internet connectivity,” the announcement states.

There could be a few minutes between the time of broadcast and when some people hear the test. The test signal will first broadcast from stations known as “Primary Entry Point” or PEP stations, that participate with FEMA in the National Public Warning System. Other radio and television broadcast and cable stations that monitor PEP stations will receive and broadcast the test message. Within minutes, the test message should be presented by all radio and television, cable, wireline service providers and direct broadcast satellite service providers nationwide, according to FEMA.

The audio test message will be similar to regular monthly emergency test messages with which the public is familiar: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Emergency Alert System. This system was developed by broadcast and cable operators in voluntary cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Communications Commission, and local authorities to keep you informed in the event of an emergency. If this had been an actual emergency an official message would have followed the tone alert you heard at the start of this message. No action is required.”

The text displayed at the top or center of television screens will read: “A Primary Entry Point system has issued a National Periodic Test for all of the United States beginning at 2:20 PM and ending at 2:50 PM.”

The Emergency Alert System is a national public warning system that provides the president with the communications capability to address the nation during a national emergency. In the event of a national emergency, a national warning message would be issued at the direction of the President or his/her designee and activated by FEMA.

Re: National Emergency Broadcast test set for Wednesday

Posted: 07 Aug 2019 14:50
by PFD1993
The audio sounded like crap.

Re: National Emergency Broadcast test set for Wednesday

Posted: 07 Aug 2019 15:07
by ScanBoston
Sounded OK here in Medford on 9 stations. Slight double audio on one.

Re: National Emergency Broadcast test set for Wednesday

Posted: 07 Aug 2019 16:21
by W1KNE
We had WBZ AM at my college station (WGAO) and it sounded fine. WBZ's test came almost a full minute before WBZ-FM's did, so we had it on the air, before WBZ-FM's did.
Audio had typical AM noise but was very audible. There were extra EOM tones transmitted over WBZ-FM.

Re: National Emergency Broadcast test set for Wednesday

Posted: 08 Aug 2019 11:17
by ScanBoston
That's because this test was delivered over the FEMA PEP system so they have their own special ENDEC that takes over at the WBZ transmitter site. However the regular WBZ Endec in Medford doesn't know enough that when it gets it from a receiver just like any other LP2 station to try and relay it. So when the FEMA PEP codec returned the WBZ air chain to normal you heard the end of that.