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TEMA plans statewide emergency alert test Thursday to advance public preparedness, state readiness in Tennessee

Posted on Tuesday, August 30, 2016 at 2:00 pm

September 2016 is National Preparedness Month

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency and the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters, and its members, will conduct a statewide test of the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) to deliver a voluntary Emergency Alert System (EAS) message and a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) at 2:30 p.m., CDT, on Thur., Sept. 1.

TEMA and TAB’s partnership and IPAWS test is a collaborative effort to raise awareness about the importance of emergency preparedness and in recognition of September 2016 as National Preparedness Month.

TEMA_Seal_Logo“This year, in Tennessee and across the nation, natural and human-caused disasters have taken lives, destroyed homes and damaged roads and infrastructure,” said TEMA Director Patrick Sheehan. “While we live in some of the safest times in history, these fires, storms, flash-floods, heatwaves, tornadoes, accidents, and active shooter tragedies serve as reminders of the importance of being aware of the potential threats around us and to prepare ourselves and our loved ones. This statewide EAS test message will recognize National Preparedness Month and emphasize the importance of emergency preparedness.”

TEMA will send the voluntary EAS and WEA test messages through IPAWS, allowing TEMA to assess its operational readiness to alert and warn the public during statewide disasters and emergencies. The message will be as follows:

“This is a statewide test of the Emergency Alert System. This is only a test. September is National Preparedness Month. The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, Tennessee Association of Broadcasters and this station are reminding you how important it is to be ready for disasters and emergencies. Take some time to prepare an emergency kit for your home, office, and vehicle, and have an emergency plan so you and your family are ready. Visit www.tnema.org for information.”

The EAS test is designed to have limited impact on the public and there is no Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulatory liability for stations that choose not to participate.

“TAB’s radio and television membership is looking forward to partnering with TEMA to help bring awareness to families and businesses getting ready for the when, not if of an emergency or disaster,” said TAB President Whit Adamson. “We know this statewide test is the perfect warmup for the national test scheduled on September 28, 2016, which will be coordinated with the FCC and Federal Emergency Management Agency.”

Also on Sept. 1, just after 2:30 p.m., CDT, Tennesseans, and those travelling through the state, will receive the following WEA, or text message, on their mobile devices:

September is National Preparedness Month, make sure you are ready for the next disaster.

Authorized alerting authorities can use WEA to send emergency text messages through mobile carriers. WEA messages include a special tone and vibration, repeated twice, to alert callers. The message also will display the type and time of the alert. More information on WEA is available at <www.fema.gov/frequently-asked-questions-wireless-emergency-alerts>.

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