This is a Test – this is only a test…
…if this were an actual emergency, hearing this would be even scarier.
We’re used to a weekly Severe Weather siren test (used to be just tornado, but they actually set it off now for any dangerous weather approaching, such as severe thunderstorms producing winds that could damage, even if not an actual tornado), and a local test of the Emergency Broadcast System on television. The test you hear tomorrow will be conducted nationwide – taking over the local and national television and radio stations, cable and satellite television providers as well as any digital/satellite radio providers. Even if you’re watching a pay per view movie, it will be interrupted by this alert.
The announcement from just about every Governmental Agency comes this announcement for tomorrow, November 9, 2011:
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will conduct the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS). The nationwide test will occur on Wednesday, November 9 at 2 p.m. eastern standard time and may last up to three and a half minutes.
The EAS is a national alert and warning system established to enable the President of the United States to address the American public during emergencies. NOAA’s National Weather Service, governors and state and local emergency authorities also use parts of the system to issue more localized emergency alerts.
Similar to local EAS tests that are already conducted frequently, the nationwide test will involve broadcast radio and television stations, cable television, satellite radio and television services and wireline video service providers across all states and the territories of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa.
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. Under the FCC’s rules, radio and television broadcasters, cable operators, satellite digital audio radio service providers, direct broadcast satellite service providers and wireline video service providers are required to receive and transmit presidential EAS messages to the public. A national test will help the federal partners and EAS participants determine the reliability of the system and its effectiveness in notifying the public of emergencies and potential dangers nationally and regionally.
Because of my love of post-apocalyptic literature, my brain goes right to the fact that we are now in a time when
1. It will become a necessity for a Government Official to need to talk to the nation as a whole because of a nationwide crisis. In a way, this does enable the government to broadcast across the country in a National State of Emergency if one should occur – which I can’t think of a reason we’ve ever had to use it in the past except on 9/11 when the possibility that the raids coming were still unknown.
2. It will become a time when there is an ability for a Government Official to be able to take over the airwaves of the nation. I’m sure they’ve had t he capacity before, but this will be the first time they’ve ever actually used it.