TULSA, Oklahoma -- A nationwide Emergency Alert System test will take place as scheduled Wednesday. In light of recent events, the City of Tulsa wants to make sure residents understand: this event will be just a test, and not a real emergency alert.
Starting at 1 p.m. and lasting about 30 seconds, regularly-scheduled television, radio, cable and satellite programming will be interrupted as the new emergency notification system is tested for the first time.
"With the recent earthquakes as well as the severe storms in the area, we ask that you help us spread the word in any way you can to help," City of Tulsa spokesperson Michelle Allen said in a news release.
The point of the test is to make sure the government can communicate urgent information in the event of a major national disaster or other "doomsday" scenario.
The test will take place across the U.S., the territories of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa.
The new alert and warning system is a cooperative effort by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Federal Communications Commission and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It can be activated by the President, if needed, to provide information to the public during emergencies.
Wednesday will be the first test of the system's reliability and effectiveness.
Officials say the test will be done on television, cable, satellite and radio. The test may last up to 3 1/2 minutes.