Two federal agencies – FEMA and the FCC – will test the national Emergency Alert System on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at approximately 2 p.m. Regularly scheduled programming on TV and radio will be interrupted for about three minutes for an emergency test message.
This is only a test. Because this is a "live code" test, the automatically generated text crawl on TV screens will display as an actual emergency. Nothing in the text crawl will indicate that the alert is a test, but FEMA and the FCC have urged broadcasters to use their own text to alert viewers that this is not an actual emergency.
The City of Virginia Beach encourages residents to use this test to think about their own emergency preparedness. The EAS system is one of many tools to alert the public to impending threats and emergency conditions. Residents should understand how these warning systems can provide vital information during emergencies. Everyone should have multiple means of getting information during emergencies, including texting, e-mails and social networking sites.
During some emergencies in Virginia Beach, the city uses the VBalert system – commonly called reverse 911 – to call residents in specific geographic areas and provide important information through pre-recorded messages. Virginia Beach residents can always call 911 to report an emergency and 311 to get more information on city services.
To learn more about emergency preparedness, visit www.fema.gov and www.ready.virginia.gov.
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