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The Federal Emergency Management Agency is planning to shut down all television and radio stations across the country for a nationwide test of the Agency’s Emergency Alert System.

The test will happen next Wednesday, November 9 at 11:00 a.m. Pacific time. Because the system used is an antiquated and different-sounding version of the more familiar regional alert systems, the federal agency and local law enforcement are trying to inform the population of the test in advance. Their goal is to avoid unnecessary calls to 911 and other emergency services from the many they anticipate will panic and flood emergency hotlines, blocking access for those with real emergencies.

The November 9 date was chosen, the agency says, because it is near the end of hurricane season but before winter storms set in, making it unlikely a real emergency will be occurring anywhere in the country at the time of the broadcast. The national system was set up and is maintained for the use of the President or other authorized personnel in addressing the nation should the need occur.

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Comments

Visduh Nov. 4, 2011 @ 10:18 a.m.

I can remember those system tests as far back as my early teen years, a looonng time ago. Was the system ever used? As in the aftermath of the terror attacks on 9/11? Not that I remember. So, why test a system that isn't used? Some more "feelgood" stuff to reassure a nervous population? Or some reason that is more sinister?

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Twister Nov. 4, 2011 @ 1:49 p.m.

It be a gummint snow-job w/o a blow-(*&, y'all!

A simplistic simulcast simulation simultaneously cummin' wi' a real disassed'er?

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Burwell Nov. 5, 2011 @ 4:31 p.m.

In the 1950s and 1960s they used to test the emergency system everyday at 12 noon. San Diego was networked with a system of sirens mounted on metal poles as high as telephone poles. Every day at 12 noon the sires were activated and could be heard throughout the city.

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 5, 2011 @ 5:20 p.m.

Every day at 12 noon the sires were activated and could be heard throughout the city. == Lansing Michigan where I used to live had a HUGE OUTDOOR siren that would be activated on a regular basis for testing and to warn of storms....!!!

I rememebr the gov testing on TV stations very good. That was before cable TV, when you only had the 3 big networks/stations (before 1987 and Fox) and maybe 3-6 local UHF independant stations with very weak signals. of course back then TV statiosn would go off the air at 2 AM, always playing the Star Sprangled Banner before shutting down for the night.

Man Im old.

Kids today have no idea how much better they have it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=969h8gPvYGo .

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