By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It was only a test but for many people across the state, they didn’t hear anything during the nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System.

The idea was to test that EAS because the Federal Emergency Management Agency wants the president to be able to address the nation immediately in case of a terrorist attack or other disaster.

But the test found that the system still needs work because the “hearing” portion of the EAS test never happened for some.

“Apparently there have been issues and we’re hearing about them on a nationwide basis,” said Jim du Bois with the Minnesota Broadcasters Association. “Some states are reporting that they received distorted audio, no audio at all. We’re not hearing about a lot of stations at this point that actually did not receive the test itself.”

WCCO-AM radio is a main distributor of the Emergency Alert System signal for radio stations in our area.

“It’s a daisy chain, basically. What happens is FEMA sends out the test to what are called the primary entry point radio stations, and they then distribute the test to other stations that monitor them,” du Bois said.

WCCO-TV did not get the audio from the test. And whether you get an alert on radio or TV, the audio is the most important component.

“And if there is a national type of emergency, maybe some type of terrorist incident, some type of big earthquake, like a new Madrid-type earthquake, and a lot of the systems are down, that EAS system is going to be critical to get information to the public,” said Doug Neville with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

The current Emergency Alert System includes over-the-air AM and FM radio, broadcast and cable TV, as well as satellite radio and television.

As Tuesday’s problems are resolved, the federal government is also working on including new ways to get warnings to people.

“In the next few years it will be commonplace for you to get emergency alerts via text message. There will also be a Facebook presence, utilization of social media like twitter,” said du Bois.

The test was supposed to run for 30 seconds, but while some stations heard nothing at all, others heard double or triple audio. Some people said they even heard a Lady Gaga song and some stations were just stuck on a test graphic for as long as four minutes.

The Department of Homeland Security is reaching out to viewers to find out what they heard. They are asking Minnesotans to take a very short survey to describe what they saw or heard during the test.

If you want to participate, click on the link below. They would love to hear from you so they can pinpoint the problem and figure this out.

Nationwide Emergency Alert Test Survey

Comments (14)
  1. jimmy says:

    “WCCO-AM radio is a main distributor of the Emergency Alert System signal for radio stations in our area.”

    Well there’s your problem, the two bit talent on that station was probably goose stepping at the time.

    1. Swamp Rat says:

      Thanks for the educational trashy diatribe!

  2. Murph says:

    The problem is with FEMA,if they did’nt kill you off in New Orleans with letting you boil to death trapped in your attic , or put you up in poisonous trailers that the the GOP POTUS,Part Of Satanic Offerings Sufficient to let them hold on to power thru broadcast of stupid vaudville AKA,B.O.S.V or FOX ..,however you want to spell it!FEMA is the system that has 800 concentration camps, by he way ,your tax dollars pays for the guards already in place! That can hold up to 20,000 peopleEACH . By doing the simple math,it is confirmed that the top 1 or even 2 percent of people ranked by income aretargeted for these hell holes! So just draw a big circle with a crosshairs thru it and wait to see how lucky you are if you are stupid enough to vote GOP.Ventura has fled the country.He has the money to do it,do you?

    1. Murph says:

      Sorry,bad proof reading{ aren’t} targeted for GOP’ers ,Of course their not.At least not the top 2% .The rest of the idiots who regularly vote for them are slum Republicans who wish they were super rich but never will be because of their stupid votes! You might as well be mining coal for the benefit of big oil,while algae co 2 elimination technology sits waiting in the wings for you to wake up!So your coal does not pollute and you make a lot more money! Instead of that coal belt people are still enslaved and poor, while 450 lb Texas oil magnates get fatter and fatter! Stupid is ,as stupid does!

    2. Swamp Rat says:

      You crack me up! LMOA! Thanks to you also for the educational trashy diatribe! What do your remarks contribute to improving the system? Again-LMOA!
      Thanks Murph, you are hilarious!

  3. WOW says:

    Murph what ever your smokin pass the pipe bro I wish I could get that high

    1. Swamp Rat says:

      Thank a stiff drink!

  4. Murph says:

    I hate to tell you,but is’s all true! Put REX 84 concentration camps on your search engine! You be the judge! Who are they really targeting…Jose Montoya or John Q. Public? How much faith do you have in a bunch of lying,theiving,bought and paid for nincompoops? We are all under attack,turn off FOX and turn on the truth before it is too late.It’s a Goddam horror movie that’s for real!

  5. 11 Gladiator 11 says:

    That is the time Asteroid YU55 was passing closest to Earth according to my calculations, not yesterday at (6:28)pm eastern. NASA thought it might hit in the Pacific ocean around 2:00pm eastern if gravity pulled it in, looks like we were lucky. Along with the first ever “Nationwide EAS test” today was the first ever ” Worldwide Exercise Pacific Wave”. This day will be remembered in history- 11/09/2011.
    ….Asteroid YU55 was almost a direct hit, missing Earth by 0.0022 AU. They think by trying to keep us in the dark we can’t see the light. They’re Wrong! This is why the EAS test never happened

  6. Microblogger says:

    Why is the FEMA using old and method like relaying audio signals from station to station, somewhat like the old traffic message system used by ham radio operators? Wouldn’t it be far better is they use satellite downlinks for stations to re-transmit?

  7. Lee says:

    Preliminary evidence is showing the root cause of the audio feedback heard on other stations across the country was a result of a feedback loop in WCCO’s EAS equipment. Their equipment failed to broadcast the EAS message on 830 kHz, but instead retransmitted the audio on the national party line from FEMA that connects all the primary entry point stations, creating an echo herd on all the other stations in the country. So in a way, this article is paradoxical. The headline should read “Did WCCO cause the national EAS test to fail?” There were numerous unrelated technical failures at other stations all around the country, but this glitch ended up affecting every single station. We all make mistakes and have technical glitches. It’s only good nature to report them in an unbiased manner with honest reporting. We need more of these national tests since there are obviously numerous bugs to be worked out.

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