Turn on the tube or radio tomorrow at 2pm Eastern time, and you’ll be witness to the first-ever nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System. It’s expected to last about 30 seconds. Though the system has been used locally for concerns like weather alerts, this is the first time it will be tested at the national level, ABC News reports.
Homeland Security and the FCC want to examine how the system functions and make sure it’s clear to people who are hard of hearing or don’t speak English fluently. “Because of the system design, not all of you will see the crawl that says this is a test,” says FEMA chief Craig Fugate. “It will say this is an emergency alert. But we want you to understand this is a test.” FEMA has more information and videos here.