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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • K.L.

    Huntsville Alabama
    Only on one channel with no audio. Wish I had all the tax monies spent on this monkey screw attempt at protection.

  • Marty Rice

    Saw and heard absolutely nothing. See no evil, hear no evil!

  • DAN

    Billions of dollar spent, thousands, if not 10’s of thousands of man hours wasted, and 30 seconds of test signal fails miserably.
    I guess they are going to have to sexually touch and abuse more of us in the airports, on the roads, and on the railways.
    I have an idea, lets give these people more money.

  • mywords

    I was waiting for my weatheralert radio to go off seeing as to how that was “supposed” to work in concert with national public service warnings since 9/11………….NOPE! What a surprise!!

  • Will

    I heard it loud and clear on multiple TV and radio stations in Colorado Springs, CO.

  • oricho

    I disconnected my cable, radios, TVs, etc for 5 minutes before and after just in case they were planting bugs in our equipment. Maybe it is how our fine government will announce Marshall Law, to quell the self serving Occupiers. Stay alert folks.

  • Sydelle Houston

    I heard the usual then some extra added words, and all of a sudden it sounded like Grand Central Station — everyone talking at once in the background. Then dead silence. I mean every week I am awake to see 2 EAS tests which work well, so why can’t FEMA get their stuff in order? If that’s what it’s going to sound like in an emergency situation, we can kiss our behinds goodbye.

  • Janice Neven

    In Philadelphia I heard a long period of dead air, then a message that it was an national emergency test and that was it, a few clicks and static then the program returned. I turned on the TV after it had begun and spun the channels, no message, no voice over.

  • Linda

    Heard the message partially but it was garbled and faded in and out. This was on a local AM station.

    • Linda

      This was in western North Carolina

  • Bob C

    East Coast – North Central Florida – News was at the top of the hour and there was no interuption. The end of the news report said if you missed the beginning of the news it was due to the emergency message but heard the entire news.

  • Stilton

    In Dallas, Time Warner Cable showed an EAS alert visual on television, but there was no sound of any kind. On WBAP radio (a major AM station), there was dead air and silence for about 30 seconds…after which a local announcer said “this has been a test.”

  • jack nichols

    Sacramento reporting, ticker at the bottom of the screen, no audio. System is a faliure as we all expected, sorry for the joke…Sacramento out

  • redsallad

    What a gaff! Gosh, I feel safer. Blunders from the same administration that wants to take over your heath care! Perfect.

  • steve

    I am at my desk, listening to an Internet radio station. I didn’t hear anything – would this have been broadcast over Internet radio?

  • r nelson

    tucson, az

    much confusion in imho…….

    started 3 minutes late… 1203 vice 1200

    was told both three minutes and also 30 minutes for length of test

    message on screen said test would end at 1218…

    message on screen was switched to a cable channel 860 without any notice and I after several minutes passed had to switch back to the channel I was on

    what could go wrong here?????????…

  • nohopey

    And you really expected something different from the gang who can’t shoot straight even with billions of your hard earned money????

    Heard the beep, beep, beep and then nothing but “air” time literally followed by another beep, beep, beep.

  • S Von Smith

    Fear, Fear,Fear… WE NEED MORE FEAR

  • Kim

    I turned everything off and went outside before 2. I don’t need to participate in the government screwing up a system that has worked just fine for decades.

  • Lilith

    I think everyone is missing the point here. The federal government took control of the airways for the first time ever. Doesn’t that make you think?

  • chic

    MN – Had USA cable channel on and saw it. Scrolling text, but no audio. It cut off before the end, though. I know this because I switched to one of the regular networks and the big ole blue EAS sign on the screen.

  • CJ

    Dallas TX
    Listening to the radio, I heard the initial beeps signaling the Emergency Alert System…then nothing for the rest of the test. No announcement, nothing. My teenage kids would call it an “epic fail.”

  • cz

    did not do anything. I suggest muting it if they do it again. They are putting out subliminal impulses over the air.

  • Pilot.Dave

    No mention of how much this cost us… Look at the details of an airline ticket if you fly to Europe and you’ll see TSA cost MORE than the airline’s portion…

  • Shawn

    I heard it on FM Radio. It was all in Mandarin except for the young lady who was signing for the hearing impaired.

  • Multitude

    Omaha Nebraska KFAB… thirty seconds of garbled transmission. It sounded like two separate transmissions overlapping, which began following a late start of the test.

    For all the hundreds of millions spent that led up to this test, this was a dismal failure. Heads would roll in the private sector, starting with the incompetent at the top. Should Obama not hold his administration to the same standard, Americans should have no faith in the competence of their government.

    • Pilot.Dave

      Both the Red team and hte Blue team have proven to us they are in it for the money only and have lost our trust..

      But, We the Sheeple love their Football game and will keep voting in the same clowns.

  • Patriot

    Nothing heard in Middle TN

  • Barry bin Inhalin

    Anyone trusting the Gubmint to keep you safe (other than our fine military) are abusing some kind of hallucinogen.

  • elevenhundred

    No sound at all on several channels in Dallas, TX. It was somewhat creepy. “Here’s a message.” Dead silence. Rofl. Can’t do a thing right, but they will most likely do like the ATF has.

    We’re incompetent. More money please!

  • Can't fool me

    You all are dumb. It was a test to find the glitches so they can work it out to gain that total control of the airwaves they were looking for. Why do you think they wanted ALL communication to go digital? At the switch of a button, they can shut it all down. Same with internet and cell phones. Sorry, but your elected officials don’t work for your benefit.

  • chloe

    was three minutes late in n florida area and was garbled. they do this every wednesday…anoying as it is, why do it nationaly? oh, wait obozo is a dictator and this is how he will control.

  • Al

    Saw alert message on Charter cable. Checked three channels at random, all had clear picture, white text on black background, no graphics. Sound was very distorted and intermittently overwhelmed by static. If this had been an actual emergency message, the audio would have been useless.

    • al

      Forgot to mention I’m in Greenville, South Carolina.

  • jojo

    All I heard was “thank you very much. You on your own, goodnight!”

  • Beef79

    TWC in Milwaukee went to QVC instead of showing the message!

  • gary battenberg

    was watching Meagan Kelly on Fox news….it never came on…did hear it listening to Rush tho.

  • Ken

    Nothing happend on the channel I was watching, they screwed this up with all this hype. Imagine what will happen to health care.

  • General

    Just a garbled message here in WY!!!

  • Anne Johnson

    Seeing as how I”m in the office, I heard or saw nothing in Manhattan, NYC.

  • dwoof

    DirecTV worked just fine, if we were supposed to hear Lady Gaga….

  • Mark

    In Indianapolis I heard the “buzzer” but no message followed. On my comcast cable
    nothing at all happened ! Better luck next test.

  • PismoJ

    San Luis Obispo, CA: On radio – standard emergency message. A little hard to hear, like the announcer was gargling, but you could still understand the message. Thought I heard GaGa in the background but wrote it off as signal skipping and a bad antenna.


    FM talk radio station just outside of DC was dead air for about a minute then it started. This is all being done so the first real message can go out ” MARK APPLICATION WILL BEGIN TODAY. HAND OR FOREHEAD? IF YOU DO NOT KNOW WE WILL PICK FOR YOU. AGAIN MARK APPLICATION BEGINS TODAY.”

  • James Leatham

    The internet stream of News Radio 88,
    WCBS of NYC?


  • jaawbone

    No sirens heard. Friends say they heard a garbled, unintelligible broadcast message.

  • This Guy

    Dunno about you guys, but I’m gonna file a sexual harassment charges!

  • cntrlfrk

    Sure glad these people are wanting to take over my Medical Care.


  • rowley

    The security of our nation depends on this bunch of screw ups who can not even warn us we are in trouble.
    No wonder they have death panel to run Obamacare .Very few will survive with our lives.

  • Mitch

    I heard it on WFAN-AM here in NYC. There were gaps of dead air between the bleeps and buzzes. I checked some other stations and there were no gaps. There was no, repeat, no test on Sirius/XM.

  • Les Government

    Some static, dead air, and garbled talking. We’ll probably have to raise some new revenue to get this darn thing fixed.

  • jonathan

    In case you couldn’t hear it, the test signal was:

    “Hi, this is Obama, your president. Can you hear me now?”

  • Chicago Nick

    And half the population want these people to run our health care? Yea right.

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