Nationwide Test of the Emergency Alert System
Tuesday, November 8, 2011 - 4:22pm
On Wednesday, November 9, at approximately 2:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, FEMA, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will conduct the country’s first nationwide Emergency Alert System (EAS) test.
While in progress, programming will be temporarily interrupted during this three-minute test. As a result, cable providers have been working diligently to make this experience as least impactful for their customers as possible by informing and preparing them for the test through multiple channels.
What is it?
This national-level EAS is a national public alert and warning system that enables the President of the United States to address the American public during extreme emergencies. The purpose of the test is to assess the readiness and effectiveness of the EAS and identify incremental improvements to better serve our communities in the preservation of life and property.
How are customers impacted?
All EAS participants, including broadcast radio and television, cable, satellite radio and television and wire-line video services will participate. Thus, the test will be seen on all local, cable, and satellite TV stations across the country and heard on the radio. For Comcast & Verizon customers - during the three-minute test, all channels in each of the cable systems will force tune to the EAS messaging channel.
As a result of the test interruption, any scheduled DVR recordings during this time will be interrupted, and in some cases, lost.
However, as soon as the test ends, customers will be returned to their regularly scheduled programming.
In some rare cases, customers may need to use their remote control to channel up and then channel down or power down their set top box to fully restore programming.
Here are two easy steps to help you resume cable TV service after the test:
1. Use remote control to channel up and then channel down to restore programming.
2. Power down set top box to restore programming.