It’s only a test, but it will be nationwide

A nationwide test of the system that alerts of impending danger will take place Wednesday afternoon. It’s only a test.

This is the first ever nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System. It will resemble the test we hear on radio and television weekly, said Eugene Brezany of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“It’s an opportunity to refine the system,” he said. “We just want to be prepared in the event if we need to make a national broadcast to be able to do that.”

Brezany said the 2 p.m. test will be the standard 30 seconds.

“Initially we thought we were going to need about two or three minutes of time,” he said. “But it was decided that we will be able to run the test and sufficiently monitor our progress with a 30-second spot, which is, in fact, the way it’s usually done.”

FEMA officials will evaluate the test to see if any modifications are needed for the EAS system.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal