National Emergency Alert to test system this afternoon

By Northern Star staff

All cable TV systems, broadcast AM and FM radio stations and broadcast television stations will be interrupted for a national Emergency Alert System test at 1 p.m. today.

Dennis Miller, coordinator of the DeKalb County Emergency Services and Disaster Agency, said the national test could last anywhere from 30 seconds to three minutes. The federal government is issuing the test to make sure that the new communication system works properly, Miller said.

Miller said the purpose of the system is to alert the public of any bad weather or emergency that could affect a local area or the entire country.

Paul Palian, director of NIU Media and Public Relations, said the national Emergency Alert System can be activated by the president to notify the public of a state, local or national emergency.

Palian said NIU’s police department will not be involved in conducting the test because it is part of a national alert system.

NIU will conduct its own test for its text alert system at 1:55 p.m. Nov. 17.

To sign up for the text alert system, go to