NOAA’s National Weather Service, the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and the Alaska Broadcasters Association plan to conduct a test of the tsunami warning communications system on Wednesday at approximately 10:15 a.m. Alaska Daylight Time.
The emergency test will be broadcast on NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards, local television and radio stations, and residents in some communities may hear warning sirens. To avoid any confusion with an actual alert the test will be canceled if there is excessive seismic activity within 24 hours prior to the test.
Many television systems are programmed to scroll a standard emergency alert text message and in some cases, the message may not contain the word “TEST.” An audio message will say that the message is only a test, but if the volume is turned down or otherwise unheard, viewers may not realize the message is a test. In addition, siren audio may not contain the word “TEST.”
Officials are asking coastal Alaskans to provide feedback online at ready.alaska.gov.
The test is part of Tsunami Preparedness Week, March 22 to 28. During Tsunami Preparedness Week, emergency managers urge coastal residents to review information on what to do in the event of a tsunami. NOAA’s National Tsunami Warning Center Web site, ntwc.arh.noaa.gov/, offers information, including the current status of tsunami warnings, advisories and watches. A list of frequently asked tsunami questions and answers as well as tsunami safety rules can be found on the Center’s site under “Education.”
— Staff report