Nationwide test of emergency alert system todayby Madeleine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The federal government will conduct a test of its emergency alert system at 1 p.m. Wednesday.
It's the first nationwide test of the alert system, which has been in place for more than 50 years and is often tested at the local level.
The test will interrupt all broadcast radio and television stations for about 30 seconds, said Minnesota Department of Public Safety spokesperson Julie Anderson.
"It's designed to make sure that in the event the president or public safety officials should need to put out an emergency notice to the entire country, that the actual technical system will succeed in carrying that message nationwide simultaneously," Anderson said.
Federal officials are putting out advance word of the test so the public does not mistake it for an actual emergency, Anderson said.