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First Nationwide Test of Emergency Alert System
Wednesday, November 9

 9:46 pm on Nov 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Just got notified of this Homeland Security event coming up via a San Mateo County CA alert mailing list I joined.

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – San Mateo County residents watching television or listening to the radio on the morning of Wednesday, November 9, will hear the first-ever nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System.

The 11 a.m. test will provide local, state and federal authorities the opportunity to ensure vital safety information can be communicated from the nation’s capital to the public via television and radio broadcasters and cable operators.

No action will be needed on the part of the public. The test will look very much like standard emergency alerts and will begin with three tones and the words, “This is a test.”

Federal officials will initiate the three and half minute test from Washington, D.C. and it will activate Emergency Alert System across the nation. Once the test is completed, regular programming will resume and broadcasters, cable, and satellite providers will provide the FCC with details of their participation.

Quick Facts:
• Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at 11:00 a.m.
• You will hear the familiar Emergency Alert System tone and a voice say “this is a test,” and potentially see a message on your television
• It will last less than 4 minutes
• No action is needed or required on the part of the public

Although the public is not required to take any action during the test, San Mateo County officials recommend residents to take the opportunity to review their own emergency plans and to update emergency supplies.

FWIW, see if you have such a notification service in your area as I get notified about all sorts of interesting and useful stuff daily, traffic, crime, etc. and sometimes in real-time like the bank robbers the other day...



 10:09 pm on Nov 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

You will hear the familiar Emergency Alert System tone and a voice say “this is a test,”

How original. They should have thought about something more catchy, something that raises awareness. For example "Oh my god we are all going to dieeee".


 10:24 pm on Nov 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Should we panic? I'm prepared to if necessary.

Frankly I'm not sure what a system like this would accomplish.


 10:33 pm on Nov 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Should we panic? I'm prepared to if necessary.

I think it could not hurt if you jumped under a table. Duck and cover:


 11:32 pm on Nov 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

BEck did about 20 minutes on this last week. As you can guess, he raised a lot of questions about the test and the ability of the government to grab the airwaves at will.

Time to study for a shortwave test.


 11:48 pm on Nov 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

I have to say, I think "This is attack warning red" has more "style" :)


 12:59 am on Nov 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

Is this different* in some fundamental way from the ordinary Emergency Broadcast System tests that we get all the time? (And, incidentally, never during commercial breaks. It's always when the judge on People's Court is in the middle of saying something especially gripping.)

Years ago I finally got to experience a "real" broadcast (almost said "real test"). I was all stoked and thought they were going to report an invasion from Mars at the very least. But not, it was just flood-level rainfall, darn it.

The "for the next sixty seconds" version doesn't usually last 60 seconds; they're just reading from a script. Does that mean that Homeland Security is four times as important as the weather?

* For those of you looking at your clocks and comparing timestamps in bewilderment: I never hear these tests until 8-12 hours later when I watch the daytime TV I recorded at midday. I kinda figure that if something really calamitous happened, I'd notice. Or they'd play the tsunami alert sirens, or something.


 1:52 am on Nov 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

I was once in a poker game and water started crashing through the roof just outside the poker area, smoking some slot machines. A flash monsoon flood. The alarm started going off and would not stop.

Not a person budged at the poker tables. I think even the slot players were holding ground. Good thing no one was going anywhere. I had just drawn AA, and had some good money on the table.

The alert could have been that emergency broadcast system going off, and I'm sure the game would have continued. Just saying.


 9:34 am on Nov 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

My understanding is that it is physically impossible to move a slot player until they run out of quarters.

... So then I'm half-watching (well, listening to) TV while cleaning the rat cage, and I start thinking "Wait, wasn't there supposed to be..." and only then does it it sink in that they weren't saying tomorrow, they were saying next week.

Why do they run these things in the middle of the day when most people are at work and probably don't have the radio on, let alone TV? You never see them cutting into prime time.


 3:23 pm on Nov 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

This has given me all kinds of amusement on some political message boards I frequent. The paranoids are going nuts over this test.

Good times!

Is this different* in some fundamental way from the ordinary Emergency Broadcast System tests that we get all the time?

Not really different than the endless "this is a test of the emergency broadcast system, if this were not a test you would be given instructions .... yada yada" that I heard growing up on the teevee and the radio. Newer technology thats all. But for some reason there is a certain group of people who forget all that and think this is the begining of the end of democracy.

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