RED BANK, NJ - The Red Bank Office of Emergency Management would like to notify all citizens that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will conduct the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) on Wednesday, November 9, at 2:00 p.m. While most people have seen local tests of the system, this will be first time the system has been tested on a national level.

The test will begin at 2 pm Eastern Standard Time and run concurrently across all time zones. This system test is the first of its kind designed to broadcast a nationwide message to the American public. The three (3) minute test will run concurrently on all radio and TV band stations. This test will look and sound similar to the local tests that have been seen on television and heard on the radio. There is concern about undue public anxiety over this test. The test message on TV might not indicate that it is just a test.

The purpose of the test is to assess the reliability and effectiveness of the EAS as a public alert mechanism. EAS Participants currently participate in state-level monthly tests and local-level weekly tests, but no top-down review of the entire system has ever been undertaken. The Commission, along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will use the results of this nationwide test to assess the reliability and effectiveness of the EAS as a public alert mechanism, and will work together with EAS stakeholders to make improvements to the system as appropriate.

EAS Participants provide a critical public service to the nation as the resilient backbone of alert and warning when all other means of communication are unavailable. EAS Participants include all broadcasters, satellite and digital radio and television, cable television and wireline video providers who ensure the system is at a constant state of readiness.

For more information on the test, go to http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/emergency-alert-system-nationwide-test.