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Nationwide emergency alert test today

Test canceled in Alaska

Posted: November 9, 2011 - 1:03am

Don’t panic at 10 a.m. if a screen on your TV that pops up saying, “Emergency Action Notification has been issued.”

It’s just a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System, coordinated by Federal Emergency Management Agency, Federal Communications Commission and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. While the test has been canceled in Alaska due to severe weather in some areas,  satellite television customers may see the test screen on stations originating in other states.

The system has only been tested locally before, so this marks the first ever nationwide test of the entire old Emergency Broadcast System, according to a statement from NeighborhoodWatchAlerts.com.

The usual sign indicating that “This is a test” may not appear, but the agencies are urging people not to call 911.

“The fear is this could cause uninformed users to panic and call 911, and flooding the 911 system could put lives as risk by preventing callers with actual emergencies from getting the help they need,” said Phil Petree, President of NeighborhoodWatchAlerts.com.

For more information about the test, visit www.neighborhoodwatchalerts.com/help/eastest.

Editor's note: This story has been modified to reflect the correct time of the test, and its cancellation in Alaska.

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