The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission, will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System, known as EAS this afternoon at 1:20 Central Time.
This is the fifth such test that all radio, television, and cable operators are required to participate in.
Arkansas State Emergency Communications Chairman Chris Daniel said that this test is different than the others since internet connectivity is not being tested through the Common Alerting Protocol Server using the Integrated Public Alerting and Warning System (IPAWS), with the purpose of determining if each state's EAS plan will allow for information to to get to all EAS systems at the local level in the absence of the internet.
Unlike the old CONELRAD system developed in 1951, and the EBS system that replaced it in 1963, the EAS system which came online in 1997 has become increasingly dependent on the internet which has caused many, especially in rural areas of the country, to question how dependable the overall system would be if there were an actual emergency.
There will little interruption in radio and television programming today when the test is activated, according to Daniel.
This test does not include cell phones and the WEA (Wireless Emergency Alerts) system.
Comments, questions and observations from the general public are welcome and reports after the test will be helpful. Direct correspondence to email@example.com.
8-7-19 7:42 a.m. KAWX.ORG