View Full Version : Emergency Alert System to get Presidential test

7th February 2011, 20:43
Very interesting preparations are going on:

"The president is going to issue an emergency alert to be broadcast to the nation. But donít panic ó itís just a test.

The Federal Communications Commission has approved the final step in the bureaucratic process that will allow such a test to be made.

The system being tested is the US Emergency Alert System, which took effect from 1997. It allows the President to address the nation during an emergency and means that on less than 10 minutesí notice he can be speaking on all broadcast, cable and satellite services, plus satellite radio.

Although the technology behind the system is tested regularly, thereís never been a Presidential broadcast. When you consider that the system was active on 11 September 2001, you can try to imagine just how bad things would have to be for the system to actually be activated.

Still, were the worst to happen, it wouldnít exactly be a great time to find a technical fault, which is why the FCC has authorized the test. It will not include a transmission of the emergency code that tells broadcasters to carry the signal, but will include an address from the President.

Although the date hasnít been set for the test, it wonít be a secret. Thereíll be ďpress statements, workshops, regional outreach, and television and radio public service announcementsĒ in the run-up to the event. (Of course, you canít help thinking that if anyone is planning to nuke the US, this would be exactly the day to do it.)

Itís possible that by the time of the test, the range of communications methods may be even wider. In 2009, a New York official proposed asking games console manufacturers to include a capability to broadcast messages to people playing online games. And last November Alcatel-Lucent announced the creation of a system allowing government agencies to send emergency messages via text message."

White Rabbit
7th February 2011, 21:06
There has been a noticeable increase in the EBS test from our local affiliates the past couple of months I have noticed. Normally it is a not so often interruption in something that I am listening to or watching, but I have noticed that it has gotten to the point where I am wondering why is there this sudden drastic increase in these "this is only a test... blablabla" if it is supposed to be a "required monthly test" then why is it not just monthly anymore... and now they have the technology to interrupt DVR'd programs with it. If that is something that has been happening (the interrupting of recorded programming vs watching 'live' tv, whether it is a rerun or an actual live programme) maybe I just haven't noticed until recently... it is disconcerting that they are doing it so so much more and just recently. Just very curious...

~White Rabbit

7th February 2011, 21:50
I find it funny that on the wiki page for Emergency Alert System they report a bunch of situations when someone goofed up and put some message by mistake and the broadcast did not cause any evacuation or panic (or at least is not mentioned, but then again I would think that it would be mentioned if would have happen'). And on top of this, after 9/11 the system was not even used it seems that because the media was faster. So... what to make of this? Is this just one big project costing a ton of money and with no impact?

White Rabbit
7th February 2011, 21:54
I believe it is getting to a point where people will just be like "eh AGAIN" .... and tune out... maybe that is what they want? idk it's just another of those 'things'.