News Release, St. Mary’s County Public Information Office

Leonardtown, MD – The Federal Emergency Management  Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019. The nationwide test will be sent to radio and television stations beginning at 2:20 p.m. EDT. The test will not include a message on cell phones via Wireless Emergency Alerts.

“Our vision to shape a resilient St. Mary’s County where communities thrive begins with awareness and preparation,” said Stephen Walker, Director of Emergency Services “It is vital that the public knows about the National Emergency Alert System, how it’s used, and why it is important to all local residents. It is necessary to test the system on a regular basis, and each test gives us the opportunity to raise awareness about it.”

The Department of Emergency Services is not involved in the test but is helping to make residents aware of the test and the Emergency Alert System.

The test is being conducted through FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System. This year, the test message will originate from designated radio stations, known as Primary Entry Point stations, which participate in a component of IPAWS called the National Public Warning System.

All other radio and television stations, cable, wireline service providers, and direct broadcast satellite service providers, should subsequently receive and broadcast the test message.

This year’s test will evaluate the readiness of the national alerting capability in the absence of internet connectivity. The test will be approximately one minute long, have a limited impact on the public with only minor interruption of radio and television programs, and will be similar to regular monthly EAS tests. Both the audio message and text crawl should be accessible to people with disabilities.

For additional information on awareness and preparation, please visit our website at www.prepare.stmarysmd.com 

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...