EAS Test Verdict: A Bust

Based on the comments of emergency managers and broadcast professionals, today’s national EAS test was a bust,

  • Radio magazine:  ”The other TV station aired the EAS header tones and the attention signal. The screen crawl showed the EAN text. There was no test audio and there were no EOM tones, so I assume the station aborted their EAS unit and returned to programming. Just before this station aired the test, I heard some very low-level EAS header and attention tones, which sounded like bleed from the receiver.”
  • The comments to the Radio article indicated many busts
  • Articles posted by emergency managers in Missouri indicated the test failed in their region
  • Gizmodo. ”Pretty much a failure.”
The spin being put on this failure is, “well we had to test to learn were the weak spots in the system were.” Perhaps.
But, think of it this way: In a genuine emergency isn’t better that all of our notification eggs are not in one basket?!
Let’s retire the Emergency Alert System along with the TSA and put the money toward something useful like hardening our electrical system infrastructure. 

UPDATE 8:17PM:  From CBS NewsRoughly two hours after the test occurred, Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman released this statement to BusinessInsider.com:
“The weaknesses exposed by today’s test of the emergency alert system are unacceptable. Government and media carriers must work together to make sure the system does what it is intended to do, which is to transmit a nationwide message from the President in a crisis. I commend FEMA for carrying out this long-overdue, first-ever, nationwide test of the system. Without it, we would never have known the extent of the system’s vulnerabilities.”

Of course, this being government, scrapping this deeply flawed and unnecessary system never occurs to them. 

3 thoughts on “EAS Test Verdict: A Bust

  1. I was watching the 11am news on the local ABC affiliate and it was interrupted about 3 times. Didn't even get the normal nasty ass noise that accompanies the local checks. What a waste.