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Emergency Alert System to Be Tested In Alaska

Release Date: January 21, 2011
Release Number: HQ-11-002

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the State of Alaska, and the Alaska Broadcasters' Association (ABA) will conduct a statewide test of the national-level Emergency Alert System (EAS) in Alaska on Wednesday, January 26, 2011, at 10 a.m. local time (2 p.m. EST).

The national-level EAS is a public alert and warning system that uses the communications support of broadcasters, cable, and satellite system providers that allows the President to address the Nation in times of an emergency. When it is not in use, the EAS can be used by state and local authorities to deliver important local emergency information such as AMBER (child abduction) alerts and severe weather information.

"Testing our communications tools and warning systems is another critical step toward ensuring that our nation is prepared for emergencies," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "As we work with our federal, state, local and private sector partners on this test, it's also important for the public to remember to do their part to get ready for disasters, in part by creating their own family communications plan. I encourage everyone to visit to learn more."

"The Nation's Emergency Alert System serves an instrumental role in notifying the public of impending or ongoing emergencies," said Jamie Barnett, retired Rear Admiral and Chief of the FCC's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau. "The FCC supports FEMA, the State of Alaska and the Alaska EAS participants in their efforts to carry out this test."
"The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a vital tool in keeping Alaska and this nation safe," said Sen. Lisa Murkowski. "This test will help FEMA, the State of Alaska and the Alaskan Broadcasters Association in their efforts to ensure that our state is prepared in the event of an emergency."

"Alaskans know better than anyone the value of being prepared for emergencies. With our vast territory and extreme temperature ranges, it's important we all prepare for the emergency we hope will never come," Sen. Mark Begich said. "I'd encourage Alaskans to use the test as an opportunity to check what systems are in place for yourself, your family, and your business in the event a disaster strikes."

"Periodic testing of our emergency systems is an integral part of keeping Alaskans safe and well-informed," said Alaskan Congressman Don Young. "Our state is large with varied climate and terrain, prone to many natural disasters. It is important that Alaskans are able to receive up-to-date information, and have contingency plans in place. Such testing ensures that our citizens will know what to expect in case of an emergency and will know how to react in the most efficient way to keep themselves and their families safe."

"Alaska's emergency communications system has been proven across a vast geographical area and a wide array of broadcast technologies in annual tests of both Amber Alert and Tsunami Warnings," said Maj. Gen. Thomas H. Katkus, Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Military & Veterans Affairs and Adjutant General of the Alaska National Guard. "We look forward to this opportunity to use our expertise to test the National Emergency Alert System code and simultaneously improve our state's emergency notification capabilities."

As the federal, state and local governments prepare for, and test their capabilities, this event serves as a reminder thateveryone 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.

To inform Alaskans about this upcoming test, recurring radio and television public service announcements began airing on January 14, 2011. In the event of an actual emergency during the test, viewers and listeners will be instructed on necessary actions to take.

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Last Modified: Monday, 24-Jan-2011 08:11:02
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