Alaska Prepares For EAS Test
January 5, 2010 at 4:30 AM (PT)
The ALASKA BROADCASTERS ASSOCIATION, the ALASKA Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and the State Emergency Communications Committee are partnering with FEMA to run a live test of the Emergency Alert System across the state on WEDNESDAY (1/6) at 10a local time. The test is the first in the nation using the EAN (Emergency Action Notification) event code, and is being done in ALASKA because of the state's isolation and past test history.
The ABA is telling stations that the FCC will not take enforcement action in the event a station takes part in the test and its forwarding fails. The test will run between two and three minutes and will be accompanied by PSAs ("Stop, Chill! It Is Just A Drill") on radio and TV to explain the test to the audience.
The drill comes in the wake of FCC Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Chief Rear Adm. JAMES BARNETT (Ret.) telling an audience at the UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO LAW SCHOOL's SILICON FLATIRONS CENTER that he was "flabbergasted" to learn when he started his FCC job in JULY that the national EAS alert "has never been used. Not through the entire Cold War, 9/11 … never been used. And it’s never been tested."