PUBLIC SAFETY AND HOMELAND SECURITY BUREAU ANNOUNCES UPDATES TO THE NOVEMBER 9, 2011 NATIONWIDE EAS TEST
On November 9, 2011, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time1 (EST), the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will conduct the first-ever
nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS). The purpose of the test is to assess the reliability
and effectiveness of the EAS as a way to alert the public of national emergencies.
The EAS Third Report and Order, which adopted the rule allowing for nationwide testing of the
EAS, delegated authority to the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (Bureau) to determine, in
consultation with FEMA and other EAS stakeholders, as appropriate, various operational procedures for
implementing national tests of the EAS, including the duration of the test.2
On August 23, 2011, the Bureau released a Public Notice addressing operational procedures for
the Nationwide EAS Test, which, among other things, stated that the test would last for "approximately
On October 26, 2011, the FCC released a Public Notice announcing the availability of a
Nationwide EAS Test Handbook (Handbook) providing EAS Participants with operational instructions
for the test and which also stated that the test would last for "approximately three minutes."4
After a careful review of the technical elements of the test, FEMA and the FCC have concluded
that a thirty-second test will allow the agencies to effectively assess the reliability and effectiveness of
the EAS as a way to alert the public of national emergencies with limited disruption to the public.
Today's public notice supersedes any prior Public Notice, and announces that a revised Handbook
reflecting the new thirty second test length has been posted at www.fcc.gov/nationwideeastest.
1 See Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Announces that First Ever Nationwide Diagnostic Test of the
Emergency Alert System Will Occur on November 9, 2011 at 2 PM EST, EB Docket No. 04-296, Public Notice, 26
FCC Rcd 8398 (PSHSB 2011).
2 See Review of the Emergency Alert System, EB Docket No. 04-296, Third Report and Order, 26 FCC Rcd 1460,
1490 ¶ 81 (2011) (Third Report and Order).
3 See Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Provides Additional Information to EAS Participants for the
November 9, 2011 Nationwide Test of the Emergency Alert System, EB Docket No. 04-296, Public Notice, 26
FCC Rcd 11461 (PSHSB 2011).
4 See Federal Communications Commission Reminds EAS Participants About November 9, 2011 Nationwide EAS
Test, Public Notice, DA 11-1788 (PSHSB rel. Oct. 26, 2011).
All EAS Participants, (e.g., broadcasters, cable operators, satellite radio and television service
providers, and wireline video service providers)5 should consult and use the updated version of the
Handbook. A copy of the Handbook must be located at normal duty positions or EAS equipment
locations when an operator is required to be on duty and be immediately available to staff responsible for
administering the Nationwide EAS Test. The Handbook supersedes all other EAS Handbooks for the
duration of the November 9, 2011 Nationwide EAS Test.6 A copy of the Handbook is attached to this
Public Notice as Appendix A. Copies of the Handbook can also be downloaded from the Bureau's web
site at http://www.fcc.gov/nationwideeastest.
The Bureau will continue to provide additional information about this first Nationwide EAS Test
through the release of further public notices, as necessary. Please also visit the Bureau's web page
(http://www.fcc.gov/nationwideeastest) for additional announcements of significant developments
affecting the Nationwide EAS Test for both EAS Participants and the general public. Updated
information on this test, including recommended "best practices," can also be found on FEMA's
"Emergency Alert System (EAS) Community Information Updates and Test Preparations" web page
For further information regarding this test, contact Tom Beers, Chief, Policy Division, Public
Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, (202) 418-0952; or Gregory Cooke, Associate Chief, Policy
Division, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, (202) 418-2351.
-- FCC --
5 See 47 C.F.R. § 11.2(c).
6 See 47 C.F.R. § 11.15.
Posted: November 3, 2011