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Nationwide Emergency Alert System Test Is Wednesday Afternoon

NEW YORK (AP / WCBS 880) - The White House is preparing for the first nationwide test of the country's emergency alert system on Wednesday.

WCBS 880's Marla Diamond: This Is Only A Test


The test will occur at 2 p.m. EST Wednesday and will last about 30 seconds, presidential spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.

It will go out on all television and radio stations simultaneously, including WCBS 880, CBS2, and 1010 WINS.

The alert system can be activated by the president to inform the public in times of emergency. It has already been tested and used on the local level.

Carney said everyone should remember about Wednesday's action by the administration: "It's just a test.''

"It's to make sure the system works. So, in the event there is an emergency that it does work, and also to figure out, what were our shortfalls? How do we need to modernize this?" Don Caetano, FEMA deputy director of external affairs, told WCBS 880 reporter Marla Diamond.

The original emergency test was designed in the 1950s.

What was supposed to be a three-minute test has been shortened to thirty seconds to avoid causing panic.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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