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October 26th, 2011
All Broadcast Communications to be Shut Down on November 9

NAB is providing resources to assist broadcasters with the first-ever nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS), to be held on Nov. 9 at 2 p.m. EST.

The National EAS Test, conducted by the FCC and FEMA, will be a diagnostic exercise to determine the reliability and effectiveness of the system. All EAS participants, including every TV and radio station in the country, must participate. The test is designed to increase public awareness.

Participants will not be judged on a "pass-fail" basis regarding their performance in the test, but must report to the FCC certain results of the exercise within 45 days. Broadcasters will need to report on whether, and from whom, they received the EAS test message and whether they rebroadcast it to the public, among other information.

To assist broadcasters in meeting requirements of the test, NAB has created a simple checklist of relevant information for every phase of the National EAS Test. The checklist provides steps for broadcasters to ensure their equipment is ready for the exercise, and what actions are required of them during and after the test.

NAB has also teamed with the FCC and FEMA to distribute radio and television public service announcements (PSAs) to promote Americans' awareness of the test. Television PSAs will be available via satellite feed on Oct. 14 at 11:30 a.m. Sample scripts will also be available to allow stations to tailor or produce their own PSAs.

NAB encourages broadcasters to begin airing the PSAs at least one week before the test, and with increasing frequency as Nov. 9 approaches.

For further information about the National EAS Test, NAB members may contact NAB's Legal Department at 866-682-0276 or 202-429-5430.


From TheBlaze.com :

Only the President has the authority to activate EAS at the national level, and he has delegated that authority to the Director of FEMA. The test will be conducted jointly by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through FEMA, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS).

In essence, the authority to seize control of all television and civilian communication has been asserted by the executive branch and handed to a government agency.

The EAS has been around since 1994. Its precursor, the Emergency Broadcast System (EBS), started back in 1963. Television and radio broadcasters, satellite radio and satellite television providers, cable television and wireline video providers are all involved in the system.

So this begs the question: is the first ever national EAS test really a big deal?

Probably not. At least, not yet.

But there are some troubling factors all coming together right now that could conceivably trigger a real usage of the EAS system in the not too distant future. A European financial collapse could bring down U.S. markets. What is now the “Occupy” movement could lead to widespread civil unrest. And there are ominous signs that radical groups such as Anonymous will attempt something major on November 5th- Guy Fawke’s day.

Now we know in the event of a major crisis, the American people will be told with one voice, at the same time, about an emergency.

All thats left to determine is who will have control of the EAS when that day comes, and what their message will be.



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