It’s official. The next nationwide EAS test is set for September 28 with a back-up date of October 5, if necessary.
We’ve been reporting the September 28 date, however the FCC didn’t consider that official until the agency had coordinated with FEMA, NOAA and other participants like state broadcast associations and state emergency personnel , as well as completed other actions behind the scenes.
What does this mean for stations? Your facility must be prepared to take part in the test no matter which date it actually occurs — the ability to receive and pass along a nationwide EAS alert or test is mandatory.
The commission says the message will state clearly it’s only a test and the 2:20 Eastern origination time is chosen for the least amount of programming disruption nationwide. The message will be transmitted in English and Spanish and include audio and text that can be used for a video crawl.
Remember after the first nationwide EAS test in 2011, broadcasters used a very simple form to let the commission know whether they received and were able to pass on the message. Now, the reporting system has been updated and stations must register and fill out an initial form by August 26.