By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The federal government wants to know if radio and TV stations are ready in case of a national emergency. They’ll find out today at 2:00 p.m. when FEMA holds its first-ever test of the Emergency Action Notification system.

“It’s an automated system where, once the president starts to speak, every radio station in the country will automatically pick up the audio and transmit it, as well as every cable system and every TV station in the country,” Glynn Walden, vice president of engineering for CBS Radio, explains.

And he says we won’t hear President Obama’s voice in this 30-second test.

“Radio stations are licensed to serve in the public interest, and being able to have an active alerting system to the citizenry is one of the important things that radio does.”

But the test could mess up your DVR.

If you have a recording set for 2 o’clock, Comcast says the program will be interrupted and it could be lost. You might even have to unplug your cable box if the EAS message gets “stuck” on your screen for more than five minutes.

Reported by Ian Bush, KYW Newsradio 1060

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