On Wednesday, November 9, at approximately 2:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, FEMA, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will conduct the country’s first nationwide Emergency Alert System (EAS) test.
While in progress, programming will be temporarily interrupted during this three-minute test. As a result, cable providers have been working diligently to make this experience as least impactful for their customers as possible by informing and preparing them for the test through multiple channels.
What is it?
This national-level EAS is a national public alert and warning system that enables the President of the United States to address the American public during extreme emergencies. The purpose of the test is to assess the readiness and effectiveness of the EAS and identify incremental improvements to better serve our communities in the preservation of life and property.
How are customers impacted?
- All EAS participants, including broadcast radio and television, cable, satellite radio and television and wire-line video services will participate. Thus, the test will be seen on all local, cable, and satellite TV stations across the country and heard on the radio. For Comcast customers – during the three-minute test, all channels in each of the cable systems will force tune to the EAS messaging channel.
As a result of the test interruption, any scheduled DVR recordings during this time will be interrupted, and in some cases, lost. However, as soon as the test ends, customers will be returned to their regularly scheduled programming. Additionally, Video OnDemand will be interrupted as well during the test, but customers can continue viewing where they left off following the test by accessing their programming clicking “resume PLAY.”
In some rare cases, customers may need to use their remote control to channel up and then channel down or power down their set top box to fully restore programming.
Customers will be notified of this national test through multiple customer channels to include, bill messaging, IVR messaging, On Demand, email, as well as through our social media channels. But, we can also use your help with being in the know.
Help us Help Customers — Be Prepared and Informed
In your daily interactions, if a customer approaches you with concerns about returning to their regular programming after the test on November 9, be prepared.
Here are two easy steps to help customers resume service after the test. They can:
1. Use their remote control to channel up and then channel down to restore programming
2. Power down their set top box to restore programming
Below is a video link that will explain further information. For those that are hearing impaired PLEASE watch this video as it will explain in sign language.