WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the West Virginia Broadcasters Association, and others will conduct a statewide test of the Public Alert and Warning System on Wednesday, September 17, 2014. The test will begin at approximately 2:00 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) and will last approximately two minutes.
“During an emergency, federal, state and local public safety officials must be able to provide the public with life-saving information quickly,” said Damon Penn, Assistant Administrator of FEMA’s National Continuity Programs. “This test will help us assess the operational readiness of the Public Alert and Warning System to ensure the residents of West Virginia have the information they need in the event of an emergency.”
The test will be seen and heard over radio, television and cable TV systems as part of the regular monthly testing of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) conducted by West Virginia broadcasters. The test is designed to have limited impact on the public with only minor disruptions of radio and television programs that normally occur when broadcasters test EAS in their area.
“Periodic testing of the Public Alert and Warning System capabilities is an important step to ensure that West Virginia’s public safety officials are prepared to alert and warn the whole community during an emergency,” said Jimmy Gianato, Director of West Virginia’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. “Whether it’s severe weather or another emergency in our community, it’s a reminder that everyone should make preparedness a priority.”
September is also National Preparedness Month, and FEMA reminds the residents of West Virginia to be informed about emergencies that could happen in their community. This year’s theme, Be Disaster Aware and Take Action to Prepare, encourages states, territories, local governments, tribal communities, individuals, families, schools, businesses, faith-based and community-based organizations to be informed and to practice what to do in advance of a disaster to be better prepared to handle any type of emergency they may encounter.
More information on the Public Alert and Warning System and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) is available at www.fema.gov/ipaws or www.ready.gov/alerts. Details on National Preparedness Month are available at www.ready.gov/september.