It's been on hold since June of last year, but FEMA and the FCC say they are ready to attempt another national EAS test. The test is scheduled to play on all Sioux Falls radio stations at around 1:20 pm on Wednesday, August 8, 2021.

You've heard the strange EAS tones on your radio or TV that all licensed broadcast stations are required to air on a weekly and monthly basis. If all goes to plan, this test will sound similar to those.

Wednesday's test on the radio should last about one minute and broadcast this message, “This is a test of the National Emergency Alert System. This system was developed by broadcast and cable operators in voluntary cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Communications Commission, and local authorities to keep you informed in the event of an emergency. If this had been an actual emergency an official message would have followed the tone alert you heard at the start of this message. No action is required.”

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A visual message for local television stations and cable systems may be displayed. FEMA is also testing the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) infrastructure to deliver a test message to mobile phones. Only phones that have been opted in specifically to receive system test messages will display the message.

This will be the sixth time a national EAS test has been attempted. The goal is "to test is to assess the effectiveness of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) to receive and convey a national message via radio and television," according to a FEMA press release. So if there is a national emergency like a nuclear war or if aliens land on the South Lawn of the White House, the government can tell us about it.

The first national EAS test occurred on November 9, 2011, and it didn't go according to plan. Only half of the participants received a garbled message and the other half never transmitted the test. Tests continued on a yearly basis between 2016 through 2019, but in 2020 FEMA and the FCC decided to not run one due to C-19.

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