On Wednesday, November 9 at 11:00 a.m. Oregonians will hear on their radios and see on their televisions a test of the emergency alert system (EAS). The test will last approximately three (3) minutes. Normal programming will return following the test. This is a nationwide test organized by the FCC and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
This test will be different than those we have had in the past. The November 9 test will utilize a "live" national alert code, i.e., a coded message that will present itself as an actual emergency announcement, not a test. This is necessary in order to allow FCC and FEMA to test the actual working order reliability of legacy EAS equipment and the state of readiness of EAS operators and participants. Television stations are being encouraged to run a scroll at the bottom of the screen throughout the test stating that it is just a test.
Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM), FEMA, Broadcasters, NOAA and many other agencies are diligently trying to get the word to people that this is, in fact, a test. Often, citizens who are unsure of whether the alert is real or a test, place calls to 911 which tie up the phone lines for legitimate emergencies.
If anyone has questions about the test, please do NOT call 911. Please tell your neighbors and friends about this test so that Oregonians will be the most informed of all the states and will not be caught off guard by this unusual test of the EAS equipment.
More information can be found at www.fema.gov/emergency/ipaws/eas_info.shtm