With an asteroid larger than a football field and measuring a quarter-mile-wide bearing towards Earth, the nationwide alert will come a day late. Upon impact, the asteroid is estimated to leave a crater 1,700 feet deep, stretching across four miles. This asteroid, named YU55, will be approaching from the sun and visible to the naked eye Tuesday November 8th. It is expected that the best view will be at approximately 5:30 PM Central time when it will be closer than the moon at approximately 202,000 miles.
The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is not scheduled to test their Nationwide Alert System until the following day, November 9th at 1:00 PM Central time. At that time residents will be hearing beeps and blaring sounds coming from their radios and TV sets, providing that they were fortunate to be far away from the asteroid’s impact. This will go on for approximately three minutes and effect most major network services. This is the same type of emergency warnings that residents see scrolling across their TV screens and hear on their radios for local emergencies and weather related warnings.
The good news is that since there won’t be enough room for everyone to safely hide in the Bean Bunker, the asteroid is expected to miss hitting the Earth as it did 200 years ago.
At the Federal Communications Commission’s June 9, 2011 Agenda meeting, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Chief Jamie Barnett, joined by representatives from FEMA and the National Weather Service, announced that the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) would take place at 2:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time) on November 9, 2011.