Future Tragedy or Just a Warning?

    Future Tragedy or Just a Warning?

    On October 4th, 2023, there was a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert Systems which was broadcasted to all phones, televisions, and radios. The message stated, “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System,” at 2:20 PM Eastern time. The alert was orchestrated by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and FCC (Federal Communications Commission). The Emergency Alert System has happened six other times, this being the seventh, for all radios and television, while for cellular devices this is only the second time this has happened.  

    Purpose of the Alert

    From 2015, FEMA has been required by law to test its Public Alert and Warning Systems. These tests happen once every three years and consist of a series of different alert systems such as the wireless alert system and the cellular alert system. The test conducted on October 4th was to evaluate the technological capabilities of the alert system. By accomplishing this, FEMA could evaluate how well the emergency alert system worked to see if it required further improvement. The main reason for the need of an evaluation of the emergency system is to see how it would perform in an actual emergency situation.

     

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    How Do These Tests Affect Americans?

    The testing of these emergency alerts has an important impact because if a national tragedy were to occur and the alerts were not effective, many citizens could be harmed or even die. To avoid these disasters, the government does a check-up on the alerts to test if they work or not. There are many different types of disasters: a declaration of war, weather disasters, and other important government alerts. It is important to use these national alert systems responsibly to avoid chaos. For example, in January 2018, an emergency alert system was sent to the people of Hawaii warning them that a missile was incoming towards them, but it was later proven as a false alarm thirty-eight minutes later. However, when used appropriately these alert systems prevent the deaths of millions of people by warning and notifying disasters and if shelter should be sought out. 

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