At 2 p.m. the United States prepared for a national pop quiz. Would the Emergency Alert System work? The Federal Emergency Management Agency wanted to test its ability to send messages out to the entire country via a 30-second television and radio interruption.
So, how’d it go?
The results likely won’t come back for some time, but in the Post newsroom, the initial reaction was less than impressed. Television channels switched the alert on at different times; some did not switch it on at all.
The peanut gallery on Twitter also was underwhelmed by the alert:
Update: FEMA spokeswoman Rachel Racusen just sent this statement along, “The nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System test was administered and the FCC and FEMA are currently collecting data about the results. This initial test was the first time we have tested the reach and scope of this technology and what additional improvements that should be made to the system as we move forward. Only through comprehensively testing, analyzing, and improving these technologies can we ensure an effective and reliable national emergency alert and warning system. We thank all of our partners who made this test possible and look forward to working with all our stakeholders to improve this current technology and build a robust, resilient, and fully accessible next generation alerting system that can provide timely and accurate alerts to the American people.”