On November 9, at 2:00 pm EST, all televisions in the United States will show an Emergency Alert System (EAS) test. Two federal government agencies, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), are testing this system for the first time nationwide to find out how well it works.
It is only a test. There is no emergency. The FCC and FEMA are asking many organizations including the NAD to let everyone know that this is only a test. Please tell all your family and friends about this test warning and that there is no reason to worry.
The NAD met with the FCC and FEMA to advocate for a fully accessible EAS test including for deaf and hard of hearing people. However, while the EAS test will visibly show an Emergency Alert, technical challenges may prevent a visible warning which explains that it is only a test.
While the NAD expressed its dissatisfaction to the FCC and FEMA regarding the inaccessibility of the test, the test involves old technology that poses technical challenges. According to the FCC and FEMA, the test will provide them with the information they need to improve the Emergency Alert System so that it is fully accessible and more effective.
The test was originally planned to last three minutes, but will now only last 30 seconds. According to the FCC and FEMA, everyone should see a visual warning on television right before the EAS test begins at 2:00 pm EST on November 9th. If you are watching the EAS and notice that there is no visual warning before it starts, please let us know about it so that we can share this information with the FCC and FEMA.
Both the FCC and FEMA have information about their EAS test, and we encourage you to go to their websites provided here for this information including video with ASL and captioning:
FCC EAS website and YouTube video.
In addition, here’s a longer video from TDI about the November EAS test (one correction since the video has been published, the EAS will be 30 seconds, not 3 minutes).