So That Emergency Alert System Test Was Pretty Much a Failure (Updated w/ Gaga)

Illustration for article titled So That Emergency Alert System Test Was Pretty Much a Failure (Updated w/ Gaga)

As if today's 2pm EAS test didn't have enough going against it—seriously, let's get on Twitter and Facebook, people—the NY Times is reporting that in several regions the test either didn't work at all, or misfired badly. Whoops!


The various system malfunctions are anecdotal for now, but what anecdotes! My favorite, again from the NYT:

Some DirecTV subscribers said their TV sets played the Lady Gaga song "Paparazzi" when the test was underway.

Which is sort of an emergency in and of itself. Other mishaps included an alert that lasted more than 15 minutes for some LA cable subscribers, the total absence of an alert on NC broadcast tv, and one television that decided it was an opportune time to switch from MSNBC to QVC for 30 seconds.

So maybe it's for the best that the FCC hasn't invaded our Twitter and Facebook streams yet; they clearly haven't gotten all the kinks worked out yet, there's nothing more embarrassing than a news feed misfire.

What about you? Any hiccups, or was the beep as alarming and informative as you expected? Let us know in the comments below or on the Twitter.

Update: According to National Journal's Marc Ambinder, FEMA has acknowledged that a "glitch" occured, possibly related to how satellite and cable providers prepared their equipment. Well, then! This is, I suppose, why we have tests.


Update #2: Vince Romanelli sends in what appears to be definitive proof of DirecTV's Emergency Gaga System:

Which is pretty much the best thing I've seen all day. You poor, poor bastards. [NYT, Thanks Vince!]



Arggh! there goes a...snake a snake!

So what kind of national emergency would actually warrant such a test? For instance, we've had this emergency alert system for quite some time, but it has never actually been used (to my knowledge). I know it wasn't used on September 11th. Is it really worth having such a system anymore anyway this day and age? With all the social media, news spreads fast as hell.