It’s official: The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau has set Sept. 27 as the date for the next nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System.
With a notice released Monday, the EAS Test Reporting System is now open for 2017 filings.
Perhaps most importantly for radio and TV stations, the latest edition of the EAS Operating Handbook has been released. A writable PDF version of the Handbook can be found on the Bureau’s web site at https://www.fcc.gov/general/eas-test-reporting-system.
The nationwide test of the EAS is being conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in collaboration with the FCC.
The test will occur at 2:20pm Eastern/11:20am Pacific on Sept. 27.
The 2017 nationwide test will assess the reliability and effectiveness of the EAS, with a particular emphasis on testing FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), the integrated gateway through which common alerting protocol-based (CAP-based) EAS alerts are disseminated to EAS Participants.
The test message will clearly state that the alert is only a test of the EAS. FEMA’s alert will be transmitted in English and Spanish and include both audio and the text of the test message, which can be used to populate an accessible video crawl.
If conditions on the day of the test require the rescheduling of the test, it will be conducted on Oct. 4, 2017.
All EAS Participants are required to participate in this nationwide test.