Don’t be surprised if you hear a loud noise coming from your cell phones, radios and televisions this Oct. 4 at 11:20 a.m. Santa Clara County, along with counties across the United States will be participating in an Emergency Alert Systems nationwide test. The test will affect the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA). According to the county, the tests ensure that the country’s critical emergency communication systems are effective in alerting the public about emergencies, particularly at the national level.
The WEA test will be administered through FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS). The message will be displayed in English or Spanish depending on the primary language of your device.
The message will read: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”
Devices that use Spanish will display: “ESTA ES UNA PRUEBA del Sistema Nacional de Alerta de Emergencia. No se necesita acción.”
The EAS test will last approximately one minute and will include communication systems such as radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers and wireline video providers. The test message will resemble the familiar monthly EAS test messages and will emphasize that it is only a test.
Santa Clara County officials say this is a good reminder to make sure you are prepared for emergencies and disasters.
- Make sure you and your loved ones are signed up for AlertSCC, which is the official emergency alert and warning system for Santa Clara County. You can sign up for local alerts at www.alertscc.org.
- Make a plan with your family. Develop an emergency plan for your household’s specific needs and circumstances. Consider evacuation routes, communication methods and how to get in touch with one another if household members become separated.
- Pack a Go Bag for when an evacuation is required and build a Stay Kit in case you are asked to shelter-in-place. Consider essentials like food, water, prescription medications, important documents, family pictures and other things.
- Help others by extending preparedness efforts. Help by educating and assisting others in the community to make their own emergency plans and assemble emergency kits.
For additional information about the Emergency Alert Systems nationwide test and further emergency preparedness tips, please go to www.preparescc.org.