ANCHORAGE (KTUU) – Officials in Alaska want to hear from residents and what they think about the effectiveness of a national emergency system.
The alert test will be performed on the National Wireless Emergency Alert system next week on Thursday, Sept. 20 at 10:18 a.m., with a EAN (Emergency Action Notification) test at 10:20 a.m. It will be in the form of a cell phone alert with a distinct tone and alert message.
After the alert, The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management wants Alaskans to weigh in on how they thought the test went, by completing a survey that will be found on the state’s website.
The system message distributed during the test will read, “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”
According to Jeremy Zidek, spokesperson for DHS&EM, this will be the first time that a nation-wide WEA message will be distributed.
DHS&EM operations chief Bryan Fisher said that Alaska feedback is important as communications in the state differ from the Lower 48.
Earlier this year, an errant emergency alert went out across Alaska, indicating that the entire U.S. West Coast from San Diego, California to Alaska’s Aleutian Islands was under a tsunami threat. The “test” portion of the message was only at the end of the message.
A third-party vendor was found to have a coding error in the test.
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In January, the state of Hawaii was put on alert when the Wireless Emergency Alert system was used to send an alert of a ballistic missile attack. The alert, which read “THIS IS NOT A DRILL” was sent in error by an employee.