Local and state EAS components are tested weekly and monthly, but this will be the first national test of the system. It is significant that FEMA will conduct the mandatory test.
FEMA was created by executive fiat. EO 12148 was signed into law by a stroke of Jimmy Carter’s pen on July 20, 1979. FEMA is described as a federal agency designed to coordinate government response to natural disasters that overwhelm the resources of local and state authorities.
In fact, the federal agency was established as part of a martial law mechanism.
Under Reagan, FEMA was headed by Louis O. Giuffrida, the former national guard general who contributed to the Garden Plot and Cable Splicer, two sub programs under REX 84, a plan to establish concentration camps in America. Operation Cable Splicer is described as “the program for an orderly takeover of the state and local governments by the federal government.” For more information on these martial law programs, see Mary Louise, Stalag 17, American Style Plans For Civilian Internment (& Worst).
Giuffrida, a counterinsurgency enthusiast, focused the agency’s resources on the “civil disturbance” aspect of its charter and worked to undermine Posse Comitatus. In 1982, Reagan formally militarized FEMA with National Security Decision Directive (NSDD 26). The result was a series of national training exercises led by the military. Under REX 82, civilian police from around the country received what FEMA euphemistically referred to as “military police methods” for quelling domestic political unrest.