TV and radio to shutdown at 2PM EST

And here we have another national first, courtesy of the Obama administration. This afternoon at 2:00 PM EST, all radio and TV will be shut down for three and a half minutes. While it’s not uncommon for state and local governments to those terribly annoying, beep-filled emergency system tests, this marks the first time the authority has been delegated to FEMA. 

The FCC website provides the following information:

At the Federal Communications Commission’s June 9, 2011 Agenda meeting, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Chief Jamie Barnett, joined by representatives from FEMA and the National Weather Service, announced that the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) would take place at 2:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time) on November 9, 2011. The purpose of the test is to assess the reliability and effectiveness of the EAS as a public alert mechanism. EAS Participants currently participate in state-level monthly tests and local-level weekly tests, but no top-down review of the entire system has ever been undertaken. The Commission, along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will use the results of this nationwide test to assess the reliability and effectiveness of the EAS as a public alert mechanism, and will work together with EAS stakeholders to make improvements to the system as appropriate.

Cause for concern? Glenn Beck certainly thinks so.

I’m not an alarmist (unless there’s a cockroach involved), but I can’t help but raise an eye brow any time the federal government unilaterally seizes control of anything.



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