National Emergency Alert System test scheduled

LITTLE ROCK, AR – If you’re listening to the radio or watching television Wednesday, November 9th at 1pm Central Time, you’ll hear that all too familiar sound of the tones of the Emergency Alert System. A nationwide test is scheduled. It’s the first time the entire country has run a test like this at the same time.

You hear the tones weekly and monthly when stations test the emergency alert system. It’s designed to alert the country of a national disaster like 9-11. Executive Director of the Arkansas Broadcasters Association say after 9-11, some questions were raised about the shape the system was in. “Now this test was put into place to simulate an actual national emergency and let everyone know.”

Originally scheduled to run for 3 minutes, the test will only last 30 to 60 seconds so as not to scare the public. You’ll hear it on all the radio stations and television stations. It’s nothing to worry about. It is simply a test of the reliability of the Emergency Alert System.

Chief Engineer for KLRT/KASN says you’ll hear pretty much the same thing you’ve always heard during normal tests. “We will interrupt the video. Usually there’s a standard background that runs saying this is just a test. We’ll interrupt the programming this time and put up a background that offers a little more information stating this is a national test and not to panic.”

This national test will happen yearly, except next year there will be an entirely new Emergency Alert System put into place to test. Broadcasters have been working for months to prepare for testing the system. If something doesn’t work or go according to plan, stations are required to report glitches in their results so they can be fixed.

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