Statewide Emergency Alert Test to Advance Public Preparedness, State Readiness in Tennessee

Friday, August 19, 2016 | 07:59am
September 2016 is National Preparedness Month

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency and the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters, and its members, will conduct a statewide test of the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) to deliver a voluntary Emergency Alert System (EAS) message and a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) at 2:30 p.m., CDT, on Thur., Sept. 1, 2016.

TEMA and TAB’s partnership and IPAWS test is a collaborative effort to raise awareness about the importance of emergency preparedness and in recognition of September 2016 as National Preparedness Month.

“This year, in Tennessee and across the nation, natural and human-caused disasters have taken lives, destroyed homes and damaged roads and infrastructure,” said TEMA Director Patrick Sheehan. “While we live in some of the safest times in history, these fires, storms, flash-floods, heatwaves, tornadoes, accidents, and active shooter tragedies serve as reminders of the importance of being aware of the potential threats around us and to prepare ourselves and our loved ones. This statewide EAS test message will recognize National Preparedness Month and emphasize the importance of emergency preparedness.”

TEMA will send the voluntary EAS and WEA test messages through IPAWS, allowing TEMA to assess its operational readiness to alert and warn the public during statewide disasters and emergencies. The message will be as follows:

“This is a statewide test of the Emergency Alert System. This is only a test. September is National Preparedness Month. The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, Tennessee Association of Broadcasters and this station are reminding you how important it is to be ready for disasters and emergencies. Take some time to prepare an emergency kit for your home, office, and vehicle, and have an emergency plan so you and your family are ready. Visit for information.”

The EAS test is designed to have limited impact on the public and there is no Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulatory liability for stations that choose not to participate.

“TAB’s radio and television membership is looking forward to partnering with TEMA to help bring awareness to families and businesses getting ready for the when, not if of an emergency or disaster,” said TAB President Whit Adamson. “We know this statewide test is the perfect warmup for the national test scheduled on September 28, 2016, which will be coordinated with the FCC and Federal Emergency Management Agency.”

Also on Sept. 1, just after 2:30 p.m., CDT, Tennesseans, and those travelling through the state, will receive the following WEA, or text message, on their mobile devices:

September is National Preparedness Month, make sure you are ready for the next disaster.

Authorized alerting authorities can use WEA to send emergency text messages through mobile carriers. WEA messages include a special tone and vibration, repeated twice, to alert callers. The message also will display the type and time of the alert. More information on WEA is available at

Prepare for Emergencies

National Preparedness Month is designed to raise awareness and encourage Americans to take steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, schools, organizations, businesses, and places of worship.

The first step in emergency preparedness is to create a written emergency plan for you and your family. Basic emergency plans include information such as:

• The evacuation procedure for your home, in case of fire or flood, so everyone will know which exits to take during a home emergency;
• How family members should contact each other if they are separated in a disaster;
• Where family members should meet after evacuating their home, or if your neighborhood is being evacuated; and,
• The important contact phone numbers for work locations, medical providers, and insurance carriers.

Also, check the emergency plans and preparations for places where you and your family spend time such as schools, day cares, sports facilities, and faith organizations. It is also important to have an emergency kit in every automobile your family uses.

Finally, make sure you exercise your plans with your family. Practice a family fire drill or try out your communication plan on a day when you know family members will be separated.

Emergency Kit Basics

The contents of a well-stocked disaster kit vary depending on household needs. There are certain essentials for any kit:
• Water – at least a gallon per person per day, for three to five days
• Nonperishable food (such as dried fruit or peanut butter) – enough per person for three to five days
• Pet supplies
• Pet food and water
• Baby supplies (formula, diapers)
• Weather radio (battery-powered or hand-crank) and extra batteries
• First-aid kit
• Prescription medications and glasses
• Flashlight and extra batteries
• Dust mask (to filter contaminated air)
• Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
• Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
• Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
• Cellphone (with charger, inverter or solar charger)
• Matches in a waterproof container
• Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap
• Paper plates, plastic cups and utensils, paper towels
• Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
• Whistle (to call for help)
• Can opener (manual)
• Local maps
• Extra batteries

More information on emergency plans and preparedness can be found at, with sections that include family emergency communication plans and emergency plans for kids.

About National Preparedness Month
National Preparedness Month is in its 13th year as an opportunity to share emergency preparedness information to help Americans understand what it truly means to be ready. For more information, visit

IPAWS connects emergency management agencies to multiple communications channels to send alerts to the public when a disaster or other imminent danger occurs. More information on IPAWS and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) is available at or

About TAB
Through a spirit of cooperation in matters of common interest, the TAB is committed to the purpose of promoting our industry in the best interest of the public and broadcasting, both in our local communities and the country. Working together, we can keep radio and television local and free. More at

About TEMA
TEMA’s mission is to coordinate preparedness, response and recovery from man-made, natural and technological hazards in a professional and efficient manner in concert with our stakeholders. More information is available at