The national emergency alert system is set to conduct a test Wednesday at 2 p.m. (WRDW-TV / Nov. 8, 2011)
News 12 at 6 o'clock / Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- You've heard it before, and you'll hear it again -- that beeping message that plays across your TV or radio warning you a test is taking place.
It might be a test you're familiar with, but this time it's much different.
"I was somewhat surprised that there had never been a nationwide test; I think it is a step in the right direction," said Todd Glover, assistant Aiken County administrator.
"It is our opportunity to test and make sure our systems are working across the country if we have a national emergency," said FEMA representatives in a PSA.
The emergency alert system has been used on the local level for decades.
"Where they will interrupt your TV show or your radio program and tell you about an impending weather event, possibly an Amber Alert for a missing child," explained Glover.
He says the system was first created to reach everyone in the country. But it hasn't until now.
"It was for the president to be able to get a message out to all of the citizens in a national time of emergency," Glover said.
And we've seen examples where this was needed here and abroad.
"Just this past summer in Japan with the nationwide disaster
certainly some type of system would have been useful in that kind of case, and locally we have had the Graniteville accident where we have had multiple jurisdictions state and federal involved," he said.
Glover says although Aiken County won't be doing anything differently, he's anxious to see how that works and whether or not it can be improved upon going forward.
So here is what you need to know. The alert test message will be sent through all the TV and radio stations across the U.S. for about 30 seconds Wednesday at 2 p.m. So if you see it, it means the test worked in our area.