By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The nationwide test of the emergency alert system went off as scheduled Wednesday afternoon but, for many, the medium was the only message.

Let’s say the phone rings, you answer it but nobody’s there. That’s essentially what happened here and at many other radio stations where a 30-second message embedded between the nasty-sounding alert tones was either garbled or missing.

The idea was to test the system of inserting an emergency message on every TV, cable, and satellite and terrestrial radio station all at once. Mary Goepfert with New Jersey Emergency Management says they’re still evaluating how the test went, but have already ceased to depend solely on this sort of media.

“You have people that are very much engaged with social media, and we use that.  We’re on Facebook and we’re on Twitter.”

And they have phone and email alerts that you can sign up for.  Go to for a link to the start page.

Reported by John Ostapkovich, KYW Newsradio 1060

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