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).
YANKEE RADIO TOOL KIT, #106
4 weeks ago