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The federal government will conduct the first ever nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) at noon Wednesday. The test will last about 30 seconds. During this period, regularly scheduled television, radio, cable, and satellite shows will be interrupted as the system is being tested. This event is NOT a real emergency alert, it is only a test.
The nationwide EAS test will trigger a drill in New Mexico to test communications and response capabilities of emergency responders in a select number of counties.
“While state and local tests of the EAS are done more frequently, the national EAS test is a great opportunity for the country and the state to assess our abilities to communicate emergencies and respond,” Secretary Mike Duvall said. “The test and accompanying state drill will provide an opportunity to ensure a more coordinated effort to keep New Mexicans safe.”
The test is being conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as part of their ongoing efforts to keep the nation safe during emergencies and strengthen our resilience against all hazards.
“This test is very important because it will help us to identify areas where the EAS needs to be improved, in order to get accurate and reliable information to everyone during a real emergency,” said FEMA Region VI regional administrator Tony Russell.
Throughout the year, the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management conducts drills testing the components of the state and local response capabilities.