You'd be hard pressed to find anything, that will only last sixty seconds, as heavily promoted as the national EAS test planned for Wednesday. The test of the Emergency Alert System was recently shortened to 30 seconds instead of the originally planned two and a half minutes. This will result in a total test time of approximately 60 seconds including the data burst tones. The test is being conducted by FEMA, in coordination with the FCC and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It's the first ever nationwide Emergency Alert System test and it will take place Wednesday at 2 p.m.
Broadcasters, cable television systems, and satellite radio providers are all required by law to participate in the test. FEMA says they need to know the system works effectively should public safety officials ever need to send an alert or warning to a large region of the United States. For the first time, the system designed to interrupt radio and television broadcasts to enable the government to deliver information to citizens in the event of a national emergency will be tested from coast to coast.