The Emergency Alert System provides the president the ability to speak to the nation over radio and television in times of national emergency. It’s also available to state and local authorities for warnings about tornadoes, fires, and child abductions.
Unfortunately, EAS isn’t working particularly well.
A reliable source advised EAS scored poorly during a national test this past summer. While an official report is not yet available, it appears the receiving station in Redding failed to even receive the national test message.
With a new reliance upon computers and cell phones, EAS has lost much of its original shine.
I’ve never received an EAS message while watching Dish or Direct TV. Even last winter’s National Weather Service tornado warning for Shasta County was not received.
Given the obvious importance of such warnings, I contacted the chairman of the California Emergency Communications Committee. I wanted to know if I should be receiving alerts from Direct and Dish TV providers.
Here’s the Chairman’s reply, in part:
“…unfortunately Sirius XM, Direct TV, Dish and satellite services cannot technically provide local EAS alerts. They do send out National Alerts.”
Dare I Say, this huge gap in local EAS coverage must be fixed now. Lives depend on it!