Friday, July 29, 2011

Tinfoil Hats At The Ready!

FEMA plans a nationwide test of the EAS system, with live code, no less. ("This is only a test. The broadcasters of your area involuntary cooperation with the FCC to tell you GET UNDER THE CARPET NOW! Smear yourself with jam! Stay tuned to this station for additional information, we need the ratings!")

The present system -- which replaced the two-tone EBS system, which replaced Conelrad -- has never, ever been tested at the national level. The old two-tone (annoying) system was tested all across the country in 1971, by accident, and it failed.*

So, a mere 40 years later -- and what, a quick 14 years after the current system was put in place -- the Feds think maybe it's time to test it all the way through.
Expect paranoid-sound speculation as the word gets out.

Cynics, however, know that this can only mean one thing: they've got a whole other Emergency On The Air Eeek! system ready to roll out. Sure enough, just a tiny bit of websearching finds it -- and this one may even call your cellphone. Oh, joy. Junk phone calls from the Feds. For my safety.

I'd better buy a carpet and stock up on jam.
* One place where it didn't fail was at Indiana's own WOWO, in Ft. Wayne, where all-around good guy Bob Sievers, W9FJT, double-checked the authorization and went on the air with it, exactly by the book -- only there was very little info in the mistaken warning and no follow-up message until the "oops." The link goes to an MP3; if you want to hear how a pro handles TEOTWAWKI and an information vacuum, give it a listen. (WOWO history page).


Keads said...

The Gentleman was a pro and handled that well! I fired up the two tone EBS back in the day for a AOR station. I would think the stoners were not amused at my interrupting "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" by Pink Floyd.

Standard Mischief said...

I seem to recall a little thing called 9/11 where the officials just totally forgot to activate the EBS. I guess that makes a fine excuse in some people's minds to overhaul everything instead of scrapping the idea.

Your "voluntary cooperation" jab was a good one. I found this sung version of the test on youtube a few years ago.

Roberta X said...

Actually, I think not lighting off the system on 9/11 was a good idea -- TV networks had live coverage, actual images. EAS would be just scrolling text on a plain background and spoken words.

Ed Skinner said...

What year is it? Oh, never mind. I'll go get another cup of coffee that I'm obviously in need of.

Bubblehead Les. said...

Sounds to me as if a Federal Agency is scared that they'll be a massive reduction of the Hog Slop in the Public Trough, and they are trying to Justify their continued existence during this so-called "Budget Crisis".

Or Sarah Palin will be announcing her Candidacy that day. When is the Cutoff Day to file for the 2012 Election?

Loki1776 said...

Sorry, I can't listen to the Bob Sievers broadcast right now. I'm busy listening to Shine on You Crazy Diamond. Really.

Justthisguy said...

WOWO is one of my favorite old blowtorch stations. I used to listen to them in the middle of the night while driving on long trips. WSB and WSM are also way kewl.

Robert said...

Listening to the WOWO recording now; getting not-fun flashbacks and the urge to crawl under my desk. I remember that 2 of 3 local tv stations sent out the warning. Things were a bit tense for a while. The WOWO announcer done good. I'm gonna go drink heavily now.