We interrupt this weblog! This is not a national emergency! The asteroid did not hit the planet! But it seemed a good way to get your attention to remind you that tomorrow, Wednesday, November 9, for about 30 seconds starting at 2 p.m., every television and radio station in the country will be/should be undergoing a test of the National Emergency Alert System. This nationwide test of the alert system will, the White House assures you, be just that: A test.
The decades-old system, which has been tested locally before, has not been tested on a national scale in its modern form. Initially the plan was to run the test for three minutes, but that was shortened to, well, avoid panic.
"It’s to make sure the system works. So, in the event there is an emergency that it does work, and also to figure out, what were our shortfalls? How do we need to modernize this?" explains Don Caetano, FEMA deputy director of external affairs.
So, to review: Don't freak out tomorrow at 2 p.m. EST when the your TV and radio start beeping. It is just a test. If it happens at 9 p.m. however...