Uncle Sam will be taking over your television or radio on Wednesday. Don’t worry, it’s not some sort of Big Brother conspiracy, instead it’s just a test.
Federal emergency managers will test the nationwide Emergency Alert System (EAS) at 2 p.m. The test will last 30 seconds and interrupt programming on all television, radio, cable and satellite shows.
“This test will provide important conformational data on the capabilities of the system should it ever need to be activated for an actual emergency,” said Florida’s director of emergency management Bryan Koon in a statement.
Under the FCC’s rules, radio and television broadcasters, cable operators, satellite digital audio radio service providers and direct broadcast satellite service providers are required to receive and transmit presidential EAS messages to the public.
A national test will help federal emergency managers and EAS participants determine the reliability of the system, as well as its effectiveness in notifying the public of emergencies and potential dangers both nationally and regionally.