Emergency Alert System didn't work in Oregon

Emergency Alert System didn't work in Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. - The first nationwide test of an emergency broadcast signal flopped in Oregon.

The Oregon Office of Emergency Management said Wednesday reports are coming in from radio and television stations around the state — and most say they didn't get the signal, or did not get it well.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says it is aware the broadcast did not work everywhere.

In Oregon, the alert was supposed to come through Oregon Public Broadcasting.

According to Becky Chinn, a spokeswoman with OPB, software issues that caused the malfunction.

Chinn said the software could not read the Washington, D.C., feed from NPR properly because it is a different format than the state’s own emergency alert system. Because of that, the emergency alert from OPB to the rest of the state was never triggered.

Chinn also said that the software in question was from "an Oregon-specific vendor. OPB engineers are working with that vendor to troubleshoot the issue prior to the next test.

The first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System was supposed to go off at 11 a.m. Wednesday in Oregon.

A spokeswoman for the state agency, Jennifer Chamberlain, says that if there were a real nationwide emergency, the Oregon system could relay the information.


EUGENE, Ore. - A test of the Emergency Alert System does not appear to have worked at TV stations in Oregon.

KVAL News has confirmed that the test was received and worked at our sister stations in Washington, Idaho and California.

The test message issued by FEMA was not received by stations in Eugene and Portland in Oregon. The incoming point for the test signal did not or was unable to relay the signal to broadcasters for an as yet unknown reason.

The test did not appear on any of the local television stations tuned in on a bank of television monitors in the KVAL newsroom.

KVAL TV did show a frame warning that there would be a test, but the test itself was never received.

"It appears the advertised National EAS test did not take place as scheduled this morning," Ann Rakoski with the Coos County Sheriff's Office said. "We received this e-mail from Oregon Emergency Management at 11:24 a.m., and don’t have any additional information on the situation at this time."

The email from Oregon Emergency Management reads: "Per OEM’s PIO, the Emergency Test scheduled for today at 11:00 am did NOT occur in the State and you will be notified with updates as they come available." 

This is a developing story. Watch KVAL.com and KVAL 13 TV News for updates

Earlier report

At 11 a.m. on Nov. 9, a nationwide live test of the FEMA Emergency Alert System will go out on radios and TVs, briefly interrupting normal programming.

The test will last approximately 30 seconds.

As detailed on the FEMA website, radio broadcasts will indicate that it is a test, while television broadcasts may not indicate this is a test.

This could cause some confusion.

FEMA wants to spread the word in an effort to prevent unnecessary calls to 911 and to help circumvent any potential for widespread panic or fear resulting from this test.

This is the first nationwide test of the EAS and it allows the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Emergency Management Agency to test reliability of different parts of the emergency notification system chain.

Again, officials stress that although it may appear there is a real emergency, it is only a test.