Yesterday the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Communications Commission conducted the first ever nationwide test of the emergency alert system. Radios and TVs from coast to coast were supposed to receive that familiar beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep at 2:00 p.m. Eastern. The test went off without a hitch in most parts of the country. Some people, however, didn't hear a thing, and if you were watching DirectTV at the time, you might have seen the test pop up, while hearing Lady Gaga. Emergency indeed.
On its blog, FEMA wrote, "It was our opportunity to get a sense of what worked, what didn't and additional improvements that need to be made to the system as we move forward. It's only through comprehensively testing, analyzing, and improving these technologies that we can ensure the most effective and reliable emergency alert and warning systems available at a moment's notice in a time of real national emergency."