Larry Wilkins, the director of Engineering Services with the Alabama Broadcasters Association, said EAS is used to originate and distribute emergency information to the public for impending danger that could affect life and property.
“The purpose of the Oct. 4 test is to ensure that the systems continue to be effective means of warning the public about emergencies, particularly those on the national level,” a FEMA press release stated.
All AM, FM and television stations are required to participate in the test. Wednesday’s test will include an alert tone and a message that says it is a test of the National EAS System.
The state issues a “closed loop” Required Monthly Test to test local and state alerts, according to Wilkins.
A routine alert; nothing to worry about
These tests are routine, according to WKRG Chief Engineer Keith Vrazel.
“Well, I don’t know if you realize it, but we run them every week, and there’s a monthly test and a weekly test that we’re required to run every week,” Vrazel said. “Well actually they send it down, and it runs automatically on air. This is the same thing except it’s a national test.
“They do this I think every three years, this national test … And then when the test runs, we have to go back, fill out another form saying the test was good … or ‘no we didn’t get the test. There were issues and figure out how to rectify the problem.’
“And then when we rectify it, verify it’s been rectified, so they do that to make sure everyone’s on the same page.”
What to expect on the Gulf Coast
In the Mobile-Pensacola-Fort Walton Beach viewing area, the Emergency Alert System test will take place during “The Talk” on WKRG and during “We the People with Judge Lauren Lake” on WFNA, according to WKRG Programming Director Venetia Rainer.
“In case the Oct. 4 test is postponed due to widespread severe weather or other significant events, the backup testing date is Oct. 11,” the FEMA press release stated.