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This Just In

Just as I was reaching the end of my radio show this morning, the Emergency Alert System (EAS) suddenly activated.  I hadn’t triggered our equipment; this was an external alert coming in, taking over the air signal.  My stomach immediately clenched and I swore softly, firing up the browser on the in-studio computer to hit CNN.  Wondering, desperately and dreadfully, what had happened now.

It was a test of the system, of course.  But here’s the thing: there was no leading announcement.  They hit the tones, and then told us it was a test.  Maybe that’s the way the system ought to be tested.  It felt every bit as real and scary as I expect it should.  An hour later, I was still wound kind of tight.

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November 2003
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