The historic emergency alert system (EAS) test will be heard across the country. Wisconsin Emergency Management’s Tod Pritchard says it will sound much like the familiar statewide test. “This system is used quite frequently in Wisconsin for a variety of different reasons. One of the main reasons is just for emergency information.”
TV and radio stations will air the test as part of national preparedness efforts, as will cable television and satellite radio. Pritchard says the system in Wisconsin was utilized 23 times in the last two years to communicate vital emergency information to the public. “For local and county governments to get out messages on emergency situations in their neighborhoods and their communities. And the state has used it, for example, the Groundhog Day blizzard, where we alerted the entire state that the roads were dangerous; stay off the roads; stay home.”
The EAS on a national scale is a public alert and warning system that enables the U.S. President to address the American public during an emergency. The EAS will occur on Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. to test for bugs in the system. The current system in Wisconsin has been in place for about 15 years.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Communications Commission and the National Weather Service, along with state, local and tribal agencies, have been coordinating this test. Visit readywisconsin.wi.gov for more information about how to “Get a Kit, Make a Plan and Stay Informed.”
AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:20