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General Information... A Test of the National Emergency Alert System by Talbot County Emergency Services (DES) on Tuesday, November 1, 2011


MEDIA CONTACT: Michael Boldosser, 410-770-8166

Talbot County Emergency Services and our response partners want residents to be aware that on November 9, 2011 at 2:00 pm the Federal Government will be conducting a nationwide test of the National Emergency Alert System (EAS).

This test will be similar to the regular tests that television and radio broadcasters are required to make, with one big difference. At approximately 2 PM on November 9th, every television and radio broadcast, including cable and satellite, will be interrupted for up to three and a half minutes with the warning tone and the message, “This is a test”.

The EAS is a national alert and warning system established to enable the President of the United States to address the American public during emergencies. NOAA's National Weather Service, governors and state and local emergency authorities also use parts of the system to issue more localized emergency alerts. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will conduct the first ever nationwide test of the EAS. A national test will help the federal partners and EAS participants determine the reliability of the system and its effectiveness in notifying the public of emergencies and potential dangers nationally and regionally.

“The upcoming national test is critical to ensuring that the EAS works as designed,” said Jamie Barnett, Chief of the FCC's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau. “As recent disasters here at home and in Japan have reminded us, a reliable and effective emergency alert and warning system is key to ensuring the public's safety during times of emergency. We look forward to working with FEMA in preparation for this important test.”

According to Clay Stamp, Director of the Talbot County Department of Emergency Services, “The EAS system is one of many tools in our communications toolbox. When disaster strikes, it is vital to get important information to the public as quickly as possible, using every means at our disposal.”

As the federal, state, and local governments prepare for and test their capabilities, this event can also serve as a reminder that everyone should establish an emergency preparedness kit and emergency plan for themselves, their families, communities, and businesses. Anyone can visit for more information about how to prepare for and stay informed about what to do in the event of an actual emergency. For more localized information, you can also go to or follow Talbot DES on Facebook.

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