A public announcement stated: "This is a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System, issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, covering the U.S. from 2:20 p.m. to 2:50 p.m. ET. This is only a test. No action is required by the public." The nationwide test will occur simultaneously across all time zones in the United States.
The test is slated to last approximately one minute and will be broadcast across different channels, including radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers and wireline video providers. The message will be transmitted in both English and Spanish, depending on the language settings of the device.
Furthermore, authorities inform people to anticipate a surge of news stories and warnings leading up to the test to prevent panic. FEMA and the FCC are working closely with wireless providers, broadcasters, emergency managers and other stakeholders to ensure that the public is well-informed about the upcoming test.
The FCC said the test will be moved to Oct. 11 if widespread severe weather or other significant events happen on Oct. 4.
After the emergency warning sirens in Maui failed to alert residents of the approaching wildfires on Aug. 8, the FEMA and FCC decided to test the effectiveness of conducting emergency alerts.
Hounded by criticisms, Herman Andaya was forced to resign as administrator of the Maui Emergency Management Agency.
Andaya defended his decision to not sound the outdoor all-hazard siren system as Lahaina burned. He claimed the sirens are only typically used for tsunami alerts and that this could have sent people to go "mauka," or toward the mountains or further inland. (Related: Head of Maui’s emergency management agency resigns amid criticism for not sounding alert sirens during wildfire.)
"The sirens are used primarily for tsunamis and that's the reason why almost all of them are found on the coastline," said Andaya. "The public is trained to seek higher ground in the event that the siren is sounded. Having sounded the siren that night, we're afraid that people would have gone 'mauka' and if that was the case, then they would've gone into the fire."
Andaya further suggested that operating the warning sirens wouldn't have made any difference, especially for the people trapped by the fires on the Lahaina mountainsides.
"As I've said, most of our sirens are on the coastline. So, if there is a fire occurring inland, the sirens will be of no use," he said. "You have to also remember that that day in Lahaina, it's an outdoor siren, so a lot of people who are indoors, with their air conditioning on, whatever the case may be, they're not going to hear the siren."
Visit Disaster.news for more stories about the wildfire in Hawaii.
Watch Herman Andaya defending his decision to not sound the sirens during the Maui fires.
This video is from the Daily Videos channel on Brighteon.com.