At 9 a.m., Oct. 17, the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA), in coordination with the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), will conduct a live test of the territory’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) capabilities, which includes the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) and the Emergency Alert System (EAS). The test will signal the start of the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill in the territory.
The Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alert test messages will state: “This is a test of the U.S. Virgin Islands Tsunami Warning System. No action is required.”
The test will last approximately three minutes. All WEA and EAS messages will be issued to radio, television and cable, and on mobile phones throughout the territory. Due to the tsunami sirens throughout the territory being inoperable, there will be no tsunami sirens used during the exercise.
Once the alerts are received, VITEMA is encouraging all Great ShakeOut Drill participants to:
Rehearse earthquake response procedures: DROP to the ground (before the earthquake drops you!), take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops (about 45 seconds).
All participants will then evacuate to a “safe zone” and conduct 100 percent accountability of personnel.
In preparation for the event:
Visit www.shakeout.org to register participation and for more information on how to prepare for earthquakes.
Create, review and discuss evacuation plans for your home, school, business, agency or department.