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November 7, 2011

IEMA Reminds Public of National Test of Emergency Alert System on Nov. 9
First-ever Nationwide Test Will Last Approximately 30 Seconds

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) today reminded Illinois citizens that radio and TV stations throughout the state will be participating in a first-ever nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System at 1 p.m. CST on Wednesday.  IEMA also noted that the federal government has shortened the length of the test to approximately 30 seconds instead of three minutes as originally planned.

“We want people to be aware of the test to avoid unnecessary concern,” said Jonathon Monken, director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA).  “The test will be similar to those we hear regularly on TV and radio, the main difference is that on Wednesday, all TV and radio stations will be conducting the test at the same time.”

The test is being coordinated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

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.  Alerting authorities can leverage the state and local EAS to send alerts and warning to radio and television stations, cable television, satellite radio and television services and wireline providers.

Dennis Lyle, president and CEO of the Illinois Broadcasters Association remarked, “I'm delighted to report that Wayne Miller, Illinois EAS Chairman, has told me that all of Illinois' stations are ready to receive the test. It's important that listeners and viewers remember at 1 p.m. Wednesday what they're seeing on their screens and hearing on their radios is exactly what the script suggests, "this is a test… this is (really) just a test."


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