ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — A test of the Emergency Alert System which will take place later this week will be different than any that have gone before it.

Dan Stumpf with the St. Louis County Office of Emergency Management tells KMOX News that the order came down from the White House to coordinate the first-of-its-kind simultaneous national test of the EAS system.

That means every radio and every television from Maine to Hawaii will run the test this Wednesday at 1 p.m. CT, because its the only way to root out bugs in the system.

Stumpf says one reason for this nation wide test dates back to 9/11. “They’re just starting to look at all their angles that they need to figure out how to do one mass communication to the residents of our country,” explains Stumpf.

The Federal Emergency Management Association recently announced the length of the test has been cut back from three minutes to just 30 seconds to prevent a undue confusion and panic.

Missouri officials are urging residents to use this week’s nationwide test to check their own preparations. The State Emergency Management Agency says it’s a good reminder for people to replace and replenish supplies that are nearing their expiration dates in their personal emergency kits.

Officials recommend keeping bottled water, canned food, flashlights, batteries, first aid kits and other items on hand. There should be enough to last three days without power or water.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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