Feds Announce Take-Over of AZ Phones in October. Are You Prepared?
Our Cell Phones are Everywhere We Are
It's hard to remember life before cell phones were everywhere. I think we'd rather leave the house without shoes than without our constant companions: our electronic devices.
We do everything with our devices, it seems. We manage our shopping lists. Get calendar reminders. Track our health. There's almost nothing they don't help us with.
When was the last time you picked up a paper map? GPS navigation is much more helpful than an ordinary map. Not only with directions, but they give us advance warning if we need to reroute to avoid trouble.
Combining Communications in Arizona
Our devices even help us communicate, even though that's pretty much the last thing we use our "phones" for these days.
Our devices have combined a lot of things into one place, and local and federal government agencies are taking notice. While it seems like the government is often the last entity to catch on to a new technology, they eventually reroute their processes, too.
Even the feds have realized one of the primary ways our society communicates and stays informed is through our ubiquitous devices. Which is why they're making this important change.
The Emergency Alert System
You've probably heard of EAS or the Emergency Alert System when it's tested on radio and television monthly.
Wikipedia explains, "The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a national warning system in the United States designed to allow authorized officials to broadcast emergency alerts and warning messages to the public via cable, satellite, or broadcast television, and both AM/FM and satellite radio."
In 1997, the EAS replaced the Emergency Broadcast System, which used a digitally encoded audio system at the beginning and end of the alert. The EBS allows the president to address the nation on all platforms in the event of an emergency.
Why are the Feds Taking Over Phones in Arizona?
According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC):
[T]he Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the FCC, will conduct nationwide tests of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA). The tests are scheduled for October 4, 2023, at approximately 2:20 pm EDT, with a back-up test date of October 11, 2023.
Fema.gov says test messages will be sent to all TVs, radios, and cell phones.
FEMA and the FCC are conducting this test on October 4th to make sure all available systems are an effective means of warning the public. They focus on relaying public information about local and national emergencies.
Is the EAS Test Good for Arizona?
Yes, this system test is good for Arizona. There are a lot of local agencies that leverage cell phone alerts as we're dealing with local crises. This federal multi-agency test should help ensure the system is working on all levels.
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