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YoBob's avatar

Can someone clue me in on the recently tested "Emergency Alert System"?

Asked by YoBob (12783 points ) November 10th, 2011

There was a recent test of the “Emergency Alert System”. Apparently this is a new system that is to be used to provide immediate communications in the event of an emergency.

Aside from numerous glitches (some involving Lady Gaga songs), I am left wondering how this system is different or better that the one we have had in place for decades. You know the one:

“This is a test of the emergency broadcast system. If this had been an actual emergency….”

Can someone clue me in?

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10 Answers

SpatzieLover's avatar

I’m no techie, but I can tell you that it now cuts in to the cable DVR.

marinelife's avatar

It was the first national test of the national system. Only the President can activate it.

lillycoyote's avatar

The Emergency Broadcast System was instituted in 1963 and replace with the current one, the Emergency Alert System, in 1997. So, it has been in place for quite a while, it isn’t new. It is frequently tested at the state and local level, but as @marinelife points out, this was the first time the system was tested at the national level.

Aethelflaed's avatar

I always wonder, with this type of thing, how much is it that the President alone can activate it? Is it like a Cold War movie, where you actually see the president’s hand on some red button? Or is it more like, the Deputy Chief of Staff’s assistant assigns the task to some newly hired junior aide, who then activates it in an official capacity for the White House?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Lady GaGa songs?? You made me spit beer, damn your eyes! ROFL!!!

lillycoyote's avatar

@Aethelflaed This was the first test of the Emergency Alert System at the national level. It is and can be tested and used at the state and local level. The president is the only one that can activate it at the national level, most likely, because he is the probably the only one with the authority to declare a national emergency. Governors can declare states of emergency in their own states and could activate the Emergency Alert System at that level.

martianspringtime's avatar

All I know is that when it comes to an actual major emergency, I’ll be the last to know since I’m hardly ever in the room with a television, nor do I listen to the radio.

lillycoyote's avatar

@YoBob Yes, apparently the test was something of a failure so it’s probably a good idea they did test it. Had this been a real emergency… place your head between your knees and kiss your ass goodbye.

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