Plan accordingly for 2 p.m. FEMA and the FCC will be interrupting your TV and radio programs for 30 seconds for a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System.
Why? “We need to know that the system will work as intended should public safety officials ever need to send an alert or warning to a large region of the United States,” the FCC website explains.”Only a complete, top-down test of the EAS can provide an appropriate diagnosis of the system’s performance.”
Nov. 9 was chosen as the test date because it’s near the end of hurricane season and before the winter storms come in. Meaning, there’s little chance of a true national emergency during the test.
Everyone will hear the “this is a test” audio message, and depending on EAS limitations in your area, a video test.
Comcast customers, the company has some tips for you just in case things go awry.
Your programming will be temporarily interrupted. However, as soon as the test ends, you will be returned to your regularly scheduled programming. While we do not anticipate an interruption in your service, in some rare cases, you may need to:
Use your remote to channel up and then channel down or power down your box to fully restore programming after the test completes.
Any DVR recordings that are in progress during this test will be interrupted, and in some cases, lost.
If you experience the Emergency Alert System message for more than five minutes, power-cycle your cable box by unplugging the power cord from the outlet, wait 30 seconds and then plug it back in.