The first ever nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System is set for Wednesday, November 9, at 2:00pm EST. The test is being conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). You may attribute the following statement to AT&T’s Vice-President-Federal Regulatory Hank Hultquist:
“As a provider of video services, we will participate in the national Emergency Alert System (EAS) test tomorrow, and we look forward to receiving the alert on our U-verse TV network. In the last week, the authorities shortened the planned duration of the test from three minutes to 30 seconds. If the test only lasts 30 seconds, alert messages will not be transmitted to U-verse customers and their receivers may not be automatically tuned to a local news station. However, in the event of an actual emergency alert, our customers’ receivers would automatically tune to a local news station and all customers would receive the emergency alert message.
“In an effort to keep our customers informed, we today notified our U-verse TV customers via an on screen message that a) the National Emergency Alert System is being tested tomorrow at 2pm EST, b) the test has been shortened by the authorities from three minutes to 30 seconds to reduce overall disruptions, and c) because of the shortened duration of the test, the test may not appear on their TV screens.”