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11/4/2011 - Emergency Alert System Nationwide Test

The first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) will take place on November 9, 2011 at 2 pm and your Comcast service may be effected.

The purpose of the test is to assess the reliability and effectiveness of the system in alerting the public. This national-level EAS is a national public alert and warning system that enables the President of the United States to address the American public during extreme emergencies.

On November 9, Comcast customers and the public will hear a message indicating that "This is a test." The audio message will repeat “This is a test.” The video message scroll may not indicate “This is a test.” The video text is likely to inform viewers that authorities have issued an “Emergency Action Notification.”

Regular programming will resume once the EAS test concludes. The audio message will be the same for both radio and television. The test may look like regular, local EAS tests that most people are already familiar with, but there will be some differences in what viewers will see and hear.

What Comcast Customers Need to Know

Comcast is taking proactive steps to inform and prepare our customers for the nation’s first Emergency Alert System test. It is important to know that during the test, Comcast programming will be temporarily interrupted. Because of this interruption, any DVR recordings scheduled during this time will be interrupted and may even be lost. As soon as the test ends, you will be returned to your regularly scheduled programming.

Additionally, Video On Demand will be interrupted during the test, but customers can pick up where they left off following the test by accessing their programming in the Guide under “Saved Programs” and clicking “resume play.”

While Comcast does not anticipate an interruption, in some rare cases to fully restore programming, customers may need to:

  • Use the cable remote control to channel up and then channel down;
  • Power down the set top box. Power the box back on to fully restore programming. (The location of the power button may vary based on the type of set top box you have.)

If you experience the Emergency Alert System message for more than five minutes, please do the following:

  • Power cycle your cable box by unplugging the power cord from the outlet. Learn more about power cycling.
  • Wait 30 seconds and then plug the power cord back in.

The guide data and Video On Demand content will take a period of time to fully restore. Please wait 20 minutes before choosing Video On Demand as this might result in other errors with your box.

Peter Schulz - Editor - Email TCR

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