The familiar emergency alert system, the one where we in the U.S. occasionally hear a radio or television broadcast interruption that reassuringly reminds us that ‘this is only a test’… well, it has just been upgraded to enable emergency alert messaging direct from the President, or FEMA, and is ready to be tested soon in the U.S. The timing for the test is now being worked out.
From federalnewsradio.com, Lisa Fowlkes, deputy chief of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau of the FCC, “The primary goal is to provide the President with a mechanism to communicate with American public during times of national emergency.”
From the Homeland Security Bureau, The EAS is a national public warning system that requires broadcasters, cable television systems, wireless cable systems, satellite digital audio radio service providers, and direct broadcast satellite providers to provide the communications capability to the President to address the American public during a national emergency.
They are also working on a Next Generation EAS system that will become operational soon. It will complement other public alert and warning systems and will enable consumers to receive alerts through a variety of multi-media platforms on their smart-phones, blackberries and other mobile broadband devices.