City Asks: Don't Freak Out During Next Week's Nationwide Emergency Alert System Test

In case you didn't already know this -- and I didn't -- at 1 p.m. Wednesday will be the first-ever nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System. Should last three minutes, so, no, this isn't your standard test, but part of what the feds refer to as the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System that allows local, state and federal emergency officials -- including the president -- "to address the public during extreme emergencies," per the city's just-sent heads-up.

Matter of fact, says Josh Roberts in the city's Emergency Management office, "This nationwide test will be initiated at the federal level, with the intent of being broadcast simultaneously to all local radio and television, cable, and satellite service providers across the U.S. ... The test should last about three minutes, and then regular programming should resume, and during this test the public should hear or see a message indicating that 'This is a test'."

The city's asking you not to freak out or dial 911.

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