Nationwide Test of the Emergency Alert System
Today at noon MST, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will conduct a nationwide test of the emergency alert system. This means that television and radio broadcasts will be interrupted for about 30 seconds with an emergency alert similar to the local emergency alert tests you are used to seeing or hearing. This is the first time the emergency alert test has been conducted nationally and includes all 50 states and territories including American Samoa, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
In a real emergency, the president has the power through Executive Order 13407 to use this emergency alert system and it can be used "in situations of war, terrorist attack, natural disaster, or other hazards to public safety and well-being..."