Municipalities Participate In National Emergency Test


POTTSTOWN PA – The first test of a nationwide emergency alert system, which includes participation from emergency management teams and police departments across greater Pottstown, is scheduled to be held Wednesday (Nov. 9, 2011) at 2 p.m., and will be conducted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Homeland Security, and the National Weather Service using a variety of communication methods.

From its perspective, the FCC said, the test will “assess the reliability and effectiveness of the system in alerting the public.” It intends to send test messages over broadcast and satellite radio and television stations, cable television providers, and wireline video services. Those messages likely will be the most obvious clues to media listeners and viewers that the tests are being held.

However, the Montgomery County Public Safety Department last week (Nov. 2) notified test participants that the emergency message to be broadcast would “use a live national code, the same code used in an actual emergency. As a result, there may be instances where the message will appear real due to any audio or visual limitations” of the system. Don’t be unduly alarmed, the department urged county residents.

Emergency planners also have the capability, they said, to transmit messages to mobile devices, but that will not occur Wednesday, they added.

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