Survival & Preparedness Blog


Understanding The U.S. Emergency Alert System

Updated: Jun 18, 2020

To fully prepare for a disaster you should have and maintain a solid understanding of how our emergency alert systems work in the US.

What is The Emergency Alert System?

The Emergency Alert System or EAS is a national wide warning system that was put in place in the US to provide timely and dependable systems that can alert the American citizens in the event of natural calamities or man-made disasters. The emergency system is designed to provide mechanisms that allow the US president to address the nation through all TV and radio stations in case there is a national emergency. The system can also be used by state and local governments to convey important emergency information to their people. All these measures are put in place to promote a culture of disaster preparedness in the case of harsh weather conditions such as hurricanes, flash floods, and AMBER Warnings in case of family emergencies.

How the Emergency Alerts Systems Work.

The Federal Communications Commission works in collaboration with FEMA to implement the emergency alert system at the national level. At this level, only the president is legally allowed to decide when the EAS can be activated and has delegated this responsibility to FEMA. This body activates the national Emergency Alert System and leads the national Emergency Alerts Systems checks and exercises. The National Weather Service, on the other hand, uses EAS at the state and local levels to convey important alerts and warnings to the public about dangerous weather and other disastrous conditions.

The Emergency Alerts Systems allows emergency responders to rapidly and automatically send and receive emergency information. If there is a gap in the EAS, the members of the public have alternative sources of emergency information. The equipment put in place by the EAS provides a mechanism of automatic disruption of regular programming. In some instances, emergency messages are transmitted in other dialects other than English. At the family level, FEMA has put in place, family emergency preparedness programs that aim at educating the community about disaster preparedness. These programs target everyone in the community to educate, promote, and assess their disaster preparedness. FEMA also trains and assists local government officials, private companies, and volunteers on how to design activities aimed at testing their emergency plans.

Emergency alert apps available in the US

For individuals living in the US, technology has made it easier for them to access emergency alerts. This is through the use of Emergency alert apps on their phones. You quickly receive wireless emergency alerts by signing up for either text or email notifications in your jurisdiction.

You can also sign up for the CodeRED community notification system. This mobile alert app enables users to receive emergency alerts directly to their mobile phones anywhere around the country. CodeRED delivers location-based emergency alerts. The free emergency alerts available are emergency alerts, community alerts, and missing person's alerts.

How can you find out about Local Emergency Alerts in Your Area?

Receiving Emergency alerts directly to your phone can save your life. Sometimes, these notifications can be annoying, but in reality, they can save you a big deal. The good thing with these alert apps is that they follow us everywhere. The only thing you have to do is to sign up, and all those emergency notifications will pop up on your screen.

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