The familiar emergency alert system, the one where we in the U.S. occasionally hear a radio or television broadcast interruption that reassuringly reminds us that ‘this is only a test’… well, it has just been upgraded to enable emergency alert messaging direct from the President, or FEMA, and is ready to be tested soon in the U.S. The timing for the test is now being worked out.
From federalnewsradio.com, Lisa Fowlkes, deputy chief of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau of the FCC, “The primary goal is to provide the President with a mechanism to communicate with American public during times of national emergency.”
First ever Presidential Alert to be aired across U.S. on nation’s Emergency Alert System
From the Homeland Security Bureau,
The Emergency Alert System is a national public warning system that requires broadcasters, cable television systems, wireless cable systems, satellite digital audio radio service providers, and direct broadcast satellite providers to provide the communications capability to the President to address the American public during a national emergency.
They are also working on a Next Generation Emergency Alert System that will become operational soon. It will complement other public alert and warning systems and will enable consumers to receive alerts through a variety of multi-media platforms on their smart-phones, blackberries and other mobile broadband devices.
Update: Audio recording of the first national Emergency Alert System test on November 9, 2011, as heard on WISN-TV in Milwaukee and the cable Emergency Alert System of Charter Communication’s Wisconsin headend.
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