11 November 2011 ~ 1 Comment

Nationwide Emergency Alert: Are TV and Radio Enough?

Did you know that there was a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System this week? On Tuesday, November 9, at 2:00 pm Eastern, the Emergency Alert System interrupted all TV and radio broadcasts for a 30-second test.

Emergency alert system

Did you have a TV or radio on at 2:00pm Tuesday? It’s not very likely. However, you probably did have Twitter, Facebook or Google open. Those networks, though, didn’t broadcast the alert.

Robert Baldwin of Gizmodo, shares our sentiment, “When I was a kid, the Emergency Broadcast System was the alert that interrupted my cartoons or warned my family of potential flash flooding. The system made sense back then; we all had either the TV or radio on during our waking hours. The irritating honking would sound and we’d rush to see if it was only a test or something more sinister. It was the 90s. It worked.”

He goes on to say, “…Today’s test, the first of its kind to be a fully coordinated nationwide effort, is a eunuch. At 2pm EST most of us will be at work, without access to radio or TV. What we will be checking constantly? The internet. Facebook, Twitter, Google. Which is why if this system is going to have any teeth, the FCC needs to implement a system that alerts the nation via their social networks.”

As we mentioned in our In Case of Emergency: Use Social Media infographic, social networks are a very efficient way to share information before, during and after a crisis or emergency situation. We also noted that all of the major government agencies use social media networks like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr.

In light of that, do you think the FCC should incorporate social media into their Emergency Alert System? Weigh-in by leaving a comment below!

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One Response to “Nationwide Emergency Alert: Are TV and Radio Enough?”

  1. Marc 12 November 2011 at 4:12 am Permalink

    It is called ‘IPAWS’, Integrated Public Alert and Warning System. I will extend EAS to every screen, from computer, cell and even traffic signs.

    After they fix the EAS National problem, then they can work on it.

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