The errant presidential alert message actually points to the fragility of EAS, one engineer told me; and the sooner the current way alerts are broadcast becomes a background method, the better, he said.
FEMA says it’s trying to upgrade EAS with satellite delivery, and the snafu occurred in Illinois because a contractor improperly installed equipment and “basically created an open loop. That system was not supposed to be on line,” said this source.
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency said in a statement that it had no advance warning of the test and that “the federal government” used a “hot” or active code rather than a test code for the test message.
Let’s hope that as these installations proceed across the 50 states and territories that FEMA better coordinates with local authorities on this process — and that it conducts these tests at times outside of morning drive.