Glitches Reported During FEMA’s First-Ever National Emergency Alert System Test

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The first-ever nationwide test of the country’s Emergency Alert System was conducted Wednesday.

But did you hear or see it?

The 30-second test of the emergency alert system was scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. Eastern Time, but it appears there were problems with the audio message. Some viewers reported seeing the alert, however, several radio listeners reported hearing nothing but dead air for 30 seconds. Others reported hearing a garbled message.

The test is similar to local emergency alert system tests. Today’s test was the first time the system had been activated nationally.

If there is ever a catastrophic event such as terrorist attack or major national disaster, the president could use the system to make an official announcement.

Roughly two hours after the test occurred, Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman released this statement to

“The weaknesses exposed by today’s test of the emergency alert system are unacceptable. Government and media carriers must work together to make sure the system does what it is intended to do, which is to transmit a nationwide message from the President in a crisis. I commend FEMA for carrying out this long-overdue, first-ever, nationwide test of the system. Without it, we would never have known the extent of the system’s vulnerabilities.”

Did you see or hear the test? Let us know below

(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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • Waco Man

    In Waco, TX, the news came on the radio at the top of the hour. The news caster announced that the test was being done at that moment. Then she added: “If you hear me saying this, the test failed”.

    • JennIferW

      Nope, but my TV did switch over to CSPAN. What a waste of time and resources.

    • ChuckYooFarley

      Same here in Las Vegas. I flipped through the channels and found only MSNBC was broadcasting. Does this mean that in an “emergency” we have to rely on MSNBC? You know MSNBC — all 0bama, all the time

      • Independent

        The emergency message will be that they need to vote for him!

    • neener63

      Same thing in Birmingham, AL.

    • Guest

      Same in New York.

    • Jasonn

      Same thing on Time Warner Cable here in Orange County, CA. Feel more secure now?

    • Abilene

      These are the same people who think they can manage your health care.

    • Deus Vult

      LMAO!…..Well IMO: the system worked perfectly…..SILENCE!;….would ANYONE really want to hear anymore B.S. from “resident”(thats NOT a typo!) obama???
      NO MORE “resident” obama, mooochelle “antionette” and the cabal of socialist/marxist czars!!!

    • Mr. Wolf

      Exactly the same thing happened in Medford, Oregon.

      • Margaret Doty Hensley

        Same thing in Morehead City, North Carolina

      • Fanny Forbes Franklen

        The government has failed and is being run by a bunch of power tripping ego maniacs. Arrest the criminals and start the treason trials.

      • Steve

        Same thing in Boston, MA.

        • Kaycee

          Ditto for San Antonio.

          • Jim

            Ditto Dallas dead air

            • Chris

              Same thing in Tallahassee

              • Allan Szast

                And Waterbury, CT

                • Paul Gabriel

                  And Columbus.

                • american

                  Only one station in SW Missouri, though local town sirens went off.

                • Paul Anthony

                  Same in Albuquerque, NM – Regular programming, no alert.

  • Voters Ofny

    Surprise. The system is as stupid as she is.

    Now remember this you kids. When you grow up, do not elect morons into politics because this is what happens. They are in politics because of two reasons. 1) They are as dumb as a hammer. 2) They want to steal our money.

    We elected a dope for president who in turn appointed another dope and then another and another and so on. Now we have a govt full of dopes who are stealing our money.



      • Locke

        So do ‘Progressives’ like Obama, to bring in Marxist slavery.

  • was studying in car

    didnt know of it but heard local sirens.
    student in nassau county

  • scott

    On local radio here (Salt Lake City) it was a minute or so late. The announcement seemed more garbled than usual. I thought digital made it HD quality? I checked Sirius radio and nothing happened. No announcement. Didn’t check TV.

    • mike

      I heard FEMA is still using plain old analog phone lines to get the audio out, so while most broadcasters now transmit a digital signal, it remains Garbage In, Garbage Out!

      Apparently no one in the state of Oregon received the test.

  • Arthur

    All this stuff really sounds like 1984.. Does that mean we get to have have Ronald Reagan back? Re really need him right about now.

    • ChuckYooFarley

      “…the president could use the system to make an official announcement.”

      Are they kidding? We see 0bama on the tube EVERY DAY. People see his face and change channels. Now we will have to simply turn the TV off — instead of changing channels.

      • Prez

        That’s one ‘attaboy’ for ChuckYooFarley. Ooorah! Not Harpo!

    • Deus Vult

      NO MORE “resident” (thats NOT a typo!) obama, mooochelle “antionette” and the cabal of socialist/marxist czars!

  • MB

    I didn’t even turn Radio or TV on

  • We Know What You're Up To

    It was supposed to fail. This is part of the mission.
    When it fails on TV and radio stations, the government gets the opportunity to argue it should also target cellphones, and the power grid, and Internet service providers so that every means of communication is interrupted and may be controlled.

  • Lunch Lady

    Heard it in south Jersey, on a Philly FM radio station (104.5). Heard the initial announcement (i.e., “This is a test…”), then dead air. In a way, I’m glad. I’m a baby boomer who’s a fan of George Orwell’s. No Big Brother or martial law for me, thank you very much.

    • JapesMacfarland

      But this was the plan. This fails, to a degree that allows them to take on more of the grid.

  • Son's of Liberty

    The mice are legs down. Tom has a long mustache. I repeat, the mice are legs down. Tom has a long mustache.

    • krusaderrabbit

      Mike is in the outhouse, repeat: Mike is i …………………….*

    • BillyRayBob

      “Tom has a long mustache” HAHA! I remember that! Thanks for the laugh.

  • Barbara

    Was watching Fox News… saw and heard nothing from the EAS.
    Hmmmmmm…… :/

    • Ron S.

      I also had on Fox News and it seemed to have worked OK here in Houston, TX

      • Ron Jakubowski

        Was also watching Fox News on Bright House in Central Florida. Nothing heard or seen. Was listening to Rush on the local radio station… heard FSK tones but no voice. Not even a pause between the setup and release tones!

        • al

          Fox News & Rush Limbaugh at the same time ???? Is that Legal?

        • JohnK

          Also watched on Bright House in Central Florida. Saw the text and heard a few beeps, but no voice message. I was listening to Rush on 540, but I listen online through i-Heart radio, and there was no interruption at all.

  • Janet Incompetano

    Heard it? There was nothing to hear.

    Janet Incompetano proves she can’t even do this?

    And we entrust her with national security?



    Nothing here on radio in Birmingham, AL …… and these morons want to run your healthcare! Chances are, it was an intentional failure so they can now claim the need to steal more of our money to update their system. LMAO

    • George

      oh geez, you’re probably right.

  • Jane

    Nothing at all on FOX 2 in the St. Louis, MO area.

    • sillywabbit

      Ditto.. nothing here at all in the St Louis area. Sure hope we didnt need that. LOL!!

  • Steve in SP

    I blinked in St Pete, FL. Seems like another failure. Bush caused it!

  • Jay

    Heard the first 5 seconds, then garble and then dead air…..maybe with all the government regulations they ended up screwing themselves :)

  • JohnK

    Saw the text, heard a few beeps, my cable channel switched from 28 to 640 on its own, which was showing regular On-Demand programming.

    Your tax dollars at work.

    • DCCS

      My TV jumped from one station to another, too…so, guess it didn’t work. Shocking, just shocking…NOT.

  • Dale

    I was listening to AM radio at the time. There was an announcement, then a “beeping” followed by the regular programming coming on for a few seconds, then back to the “beeping” again.

    It went back and forth a couple times between the beeping signal and regular programming.

  • Ohnoyoudidnt

    Los Angeles here. We got 30 seconds of midget porn.

    • Huh?

      I heard some drums – like in a Tarzan movie. I think it was Obama calling someone in Kenya.

      • Deus Vult

        OMG! LMAO@ your comment; Im passing that 1 on,…and on….LMAO!!!

    • Barbara

      LOL :)

      • ray

        He was calling Jane – t nepalatamo

  • joe

    not to worrie we all have cell phones word will get around faster that the news

  • RichY

    My children listened to this profanity. I am shocked!

  • broccoliobama

    Total Liberal incompetance. Liberals couldn’t run a blind-man’s pencil selling concession.

    • danny

      Ugh! Enough politicizing. Why does everyone blame every leader for everything?

  • George

    These pinheads screw up a 3 minute Emergency Test and they tell us they can handle healthcare for 300+ million people.

  • rod

    “ There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to… The Outer Limits… ”

    • Sydelle Houston

      Perfect response! ^5!

    • Allan Szast

      well played sir. my compliments to you and rod serling.

      • Al Dente

        Rod Serling created _The Twilight Zone_, not _The Outer Limits_.

    • Broccoliobama

      Awesome comment…………………….Awesome ! ! ! !

    • krusaderrabbit

      Don’t touch that dial!

  • Old Fard

    Heard the first three seconds of audio while listening to Sirius/XM Radio Classics Channel…then dead air for the remaining 27 seconds.

  • typicalwhiteguy

    “Nothing to see (or hear) here. Now move along.”
    Not only is the Dept. of Homeland Nit Wits and its Dear leader, Janet Incompetano, unable to adequately respond to a national “crisis”, they aren’t even capable of alerting us to one.
    Better hurry up and get these boobs in gear, Barry, or you’ll have a hard time alerting the sheeple that you have taken over based on a manufactured crisis of your own doing say around next November; thereby pre-empting the election.

  • RichY

    Repeated garbled message. Sounded like the “F” word 20 times followed by “You” 20 times. Weird and perverted. What the hell is going on.

  • nickatdabeach

    New World Order is running into more problems than they anticipated.

  • broccoliobana

    It wasn’t hooked-up to the teleprompter…………….what an elementary faupau.

  • in-the-Lou


    • krusaderrabbit

      Yes…….you will

  • The Joker

    Nothing, NADA on radio or TV in Southeast Michigan..another epic governmental bureaucracy fail or something more sinister?

  • jonathan

    Here I am casually listening to a radio stream when the test emergency alert is issued and takes down my internet connection.


    I can’t wait to hear how that one is spun up.

  • Scott

    I have one of those watches that sets from the Bureau of Standards daily. I heard the signal on my radio, but it was 41 seconds late. Close enough for government work!

  • bruce

    Comcast in Houston switched to a Mexican Soap Opera! The cable box did display EAS on the LED, though….

  • mike

    A banner came across the screen first saying that you have just seen a test of the emergency alert system. The the test pattern came on with the familiar beeps and then it cut to music, amazingly the first word in the song (middle of a country song) was Conspiracy?! then beeps again and finally more country music….

  • Dennis Justice

    I was watching espn. They had a promo. No EAS.

  • Joe

    Atlanta here, got nothing on FM radio. Never blinked, music just kept playing.


  • Steve Tougas

    I heard today’s FEMA test. From my audio engineering background, I would say that the audio track was clipping very badly, and that’s why it sounded garbled.

  • BrandonS

    My radio was on WCBS-FM…there was the alert noise, about 2 seconds of a voice, then 30 seconds of dead air, and finally the opening and closing alert noises back-to-back. One television that is connected to a cable box switched from WCBS-TV to NY1 and there was no alert message of any kind. Another TV with basic cable did absolutely nothing. I’d say it was a failure all the way around!

  • Bob Rasch

    Nothing on Comcasr TV in Ponte Vedra, FL

  • Lawyer

    It was a mess. Completely garbled with 2 or 3 things playing on top of each other. Another confidence builder from the O’Bummer administration.

  • Wayne

    This is your federal government. This is not a test. Drink your Kool-Aid. Drink all of it. Now.

  • JOe Dutra

    Where is ANONYMOUS when you need them?

  • rlgarza

    watched the test on television in break room tuned to a local news channel. saw the message but did not hear a sound

  • Bob

    I didn’t hear a thing. My radio and tv were in the o f f mode.

  • cr1776

    The news station here just had dead air. The TV said it was going to switch, but it never did. Fail.

  • scott

    I “heard it”. Couldn’t understand a thing that was being said.

    • Chuck

      Heard the alert, but could not understand anything except a few words near the end. Can I come out of the basement yet?

    • Dave George

      I didn’t hear it or see it!

    • T.D.

      Heard the tone on the radio but, didn’t get any audio message.

    • Dixie Norus

      It doesn’t matter in the context that was meant… this was just a prelude to imposing martial law next year; “They” will just have an excuse to shoot on sight now, and say that it’s Constitutional because of a “technical breakdown”. :(

    • Stephen Harding

      Listening to 780 WBBM Chicago. Just 3 seconds of garbled audio, then silence.

    • jt williams

      I was listening to talk radio and the program keep going. Heard the stocks but no alert!

    • adub49

      Nothing but dead air on my car radio.

    • DP

      Hey, what do you expect? FEMA & the Government running the test. Anyone ever see FEMA get it right even after multiple tries??

    • abcd

      I ran a DVD so I wouldn’t have to put up with Big Brother Crap.

  • meatmeinSt. Louis

    I didn’t hear or see squat.

  • danny

    I guess Sirius/XM was excluded. I’m listening to the stream on my computer and I heard nothing. Great, there will be an emergency and I will never know about it.

    • John Thomas

      You never needed “Homeland Security” to interrupt ever single broadcast in the U.S. to tell you there was an emergency before, why do you need it now?

  • joe

    he can use it to make an announcement from underground.but the rest of us or poop out of luck.

  • michaelfury

    “In the event of a terrorist attack or other major disaster, a president could use it to make an official announcement.”

    Or not.

    • Richard

      Had Fox News, (The NATIONAL ONE), on, actually to tape it for fun. Megan Kelly announced it kind of tongue in cheek…NO MESSAGE AFTERWARDS AT ALL…then MS. Kelly comes back and says something to the effect of “that was fun” WHAT WAS FUN….never saw any message….

      • healthywannabe

        same exact thing here in Central New York State while on Satellite TV….I normally do NOT have the TV on during the day, but figured I’d watch and see how ‘it’ would come across…also put the local radio station on and they warned of what would be happening, but nothing just ‘regular’ programming….at first, I just laughed thinking, ‘well, their late; what’s new’…then thought, hell they can’t even do this right….wait till they take hold of your healthcare totally folks…

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