Nationwide test is at 11 a.m. Pacific Standard Time
By Darin Watkins and Robert Frank, WSU News
PULLMAN, WA The Washington State University Pullman and Tri-Cities campuses will conduct a test of their emergency communication systems at 10:30 a.m. today, Wednesday, Nov. 9.
Thirty minutes later, at 11 a.m., a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) will be launched via radio, television and other media formats. This is the first time the EAS has conducted a nationwide test.
The two tests will be conducted separately.
WSU Pullman test
WSU Pullman utilizes a multilevel emergency system to notify students, staff and faculty of potential threats on campus. To assist in the distribution of those messages messages, WSU employs Everbridge, a nationwide emergency communications company, as well as a siren/loud-speaker system that can be heard across campus. Everbridge allows WSU to send messages to faculty, staff and students via email, text and phone.
The university also dispatches more detailed informaton to students and employes via its news websites, such as WSU News and WSU Announcements. This news can include emergencies, weather alerts, road closures, school closures, etc.
“We typically use the system extensively during the winter months when ice and snow can threaten public safety,” said Michael Gaffney, WSU emergency management coordinator. “It’s time for all of us to start thinking about where to turn for critical information.”
The university’s first stop for emergency information – regarding potential threats to persons or property – is WSU Alert, alert.wsu.edu. The WSU News Center, news.wsu.edu, also provides a one-stop information site with current news articles, links to weather, highway conditions and WSU Alert.
The national Emergency Alert System is a media communication-based alerting system that is designed to transmit warnings to the American public.
Participating in the test are the Federal Communications Commission, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, the Federal Emergency Manageement Agency (FEMA) and the National Weather Service, as well as all related local, regional and state agencies.
Why the nationwide test?
The purpose of the test is to assess the reliability and effectiveness of the EAS. Participants in EAS currently conduct in-state level monthly tests and local-level weekly tests, but no top-down review of the entire system has ever been undertaken.
“The FCC and FEMA will use the results of this nationwide test to assess the reliability and effectiveness of the EAS as a public alert mechanism, and will work together with EAS stakeholders to make improvements to the system as appropriate,” according to the FCC.
For more information on the nationwide test, click the following link to the FCC site.
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