Officials: Local emergency alert system worked
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Local emergency management officials said they had no problems reported in connection with Wednesday’s nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System.
This applied to all broadcast radio and television providers.
Officials at the Jefferson City 911 center said they had no calls about the event.
The local outdoor warning sirens, controlled by the center, were not part of this test.
Cole County Sheriff Greg White said they did test their emergency-notification system, which sends out alerts through various sources such as e-mail and phone messages, and no problems were reported.
The EAS is a national alert and warning system established to enable the president of the United States to address the American public during emergencies. The National Weather Service, governors, state and local emergency authorities also may use the system to issue local alerts.
The test helps federal partners and EAS participants determine the reliability of the system and its effectiveness in notifying the public of emergencies and potential dangers.
While Jefferson City officials didn’t report any problems, other areas around the country did.
The Oregon Office of Emergency Management said Wednesday reports came in from radio and television stations around the state and most said they didn’t get the signal, or did not get it well.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it is aware the broadcast did not work everywhere and is looking into why.
Broadcasters in Colorado discovered several glitches during the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System, including Denver’s KMGH-TV, whose audio was knocked out for about two hours.
KMGH-TV reports station engineers had to rebuild computer programs following the test at noon Wednesday. Other stations across the country, as well as some networks, didn’t run the test because of glitches.
KMGH-TV cable subscribers heard the test, while those receiving the signal via antennas did not.
Some TV viewers and radio listeners in Alabama also missed the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System.
Cindi McGee of the Alabama Broadcasters Association said some stations didn’t get the signal, and others got a signal with poor sound quality. She said the cause of the problem hasn’t been determined.
The director of the Alabama Emergency Management Agency, Art Faulkner, said some cable TV systems weren’t able to broadcast the test on their cable channels. He said the number that missed it and the reason for the problem are still being determined.
Faulkner said Alabama’s state emergency alert system works well and is tested often, but this was the first time to see if an alert could be issued from Washington to the entire nation.
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