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11/8/2011 - Emergency Alert System put to the test across country

The EAS system could be used to alert residents in the event of a severe disaster.

At 2 p.m. (ET) on Wednesday, Americans listening to their radios or watching their televisions will experience a national test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS).

The test of the EAS will be conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Communications Commission and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as a means to measure the readiness and effectiveness of the alert system.

While the EAS has been tested at the local and state level on numerous occasions for the past 15 years, this is the first time it will be performed at a nationwide level. The organizations are conducting the alert to ensure it will operate effectively should a national alert ever need to be relayed.

During the test, viewers and listeners can expect to hear "This is a test," but the video and audio message will vary slightly.

The test is expected to last 30 seconds in length and all stations will return to original programming upon completion.

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