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National Emergency Alert System test scheduled for Wednesday afternoon

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WASHINGTON — A nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System will interrupt radio, broadcast TV, cable, satellite, and other forms of media at 2:20 p.m.

The mandatory test aims to ensure the alert system is “an effective means of warning the public about emergencies,” according to a news release from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The nationwide test will be administered by FEMA, in cooperation with the FCC and National Weather Service, and with the participation of radio, broadcast TV, cable, satellite, and other service providers (known as “EAS Participants”). EAS Participants are required to file reports with the FCC after the test, which the agency will analyze to determine how the test performed.

The alert will include audio and on-screen test, and will indicate it is “only a test.”

The test will be transmitted in English and Spanish and last about one minute.