SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- Alaska on Wednesday became the first state in the United States to host test of a national emergency alert system on its capabilities to allow the U.S. president to address the whole nation during a crisis, local media reported.
At about 10 a.m. local time, test alert lasting about three minutes was heard on the radio and seen on local and cable TV, the Anchorage Daily News said in a report on the newspaper's website.
The statewide exercise of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) was jointly conducted by federal and state agencies as well as the Alaska Broadcasters' Association.
The EAS is a national public warning system designed to enable the U.S. president to address the American public during a national emergency.
Regulated by the Federal Communications Commission, the EAS is administered by the Department of Homeland Security through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
According to other media reports, Wednesday's test in Alaska included the first official activation of the Emergency Action Notification, an event code used by the EAS to signify a federal activation of the system, which is technically reserved solely for the U.S. president.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the FEMA confirmed that Wednesday's exercise "will test the Presidential alert and warning capabilities over radio and television broadcast stations and cable television systems only."
"Periodically exercising our communications capabilities is an important step to ensure that we, as a country, are prepared for an emergency," said Craig Fugate, the administrator of the FEMA.
Alaska was chosen to be the first state to test the Emergency Action Notification because of its isolation and Alaskans' familiarity with tsunami tests, according to the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.