For those of who are not aware, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), will be conducting a joint nationwide Emergency Alert System test on November 9, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern / 1:00 p.m. Central / 12:00 noon Mountain / 11:00 a.m. Pacific time. For more information on this exercise you can click here to go to the FEMA website.
This will be the first nationwide test of this kind and, I think, a good idea to ensure a consistent delivery of notification for a national emergency. There is some concern that a test of this nature and magnitude could cause some unnecessary concern from those who may not be aware it is only a test, so, do your part in making others aware of this event.
You might also want to monitor the test yourself and witness how this message is broadcast via multiple medium. Turn on your radios and televisions and maybe even tune in to several stations or channels (use your teams if you have to) and see if there are any differences or flaws in the process. Might be an interesting little exercise for ourselves. And, wouldn’t it be neat to see how our security or crisis management teams would respond to a message like this if it were real?
It is probably too late to coordinate an internal exercise around this event, but it might be a good idea to just send around notice of this test to key response areas and ask them what their process would be if a national emergency was announced through the public media channels. Their answers might be interesting, if not surprising.
So, be on your toes and remember, this is a test, this is just a test.
EDIT: A reader provided me with this update information: Nov. 9 Nationwide EAS Test Shortened to 30 Seconds