Michigan to launch new EAS public warning system


The Michigan Emergency Alert System (EAS) will go to a new public warning delivery system, effective Monday, July 19th. The new EAS system will allow for direct input from the Michigan State Police and Emergency Managers.

Through funds provided by the federal government, the Michigan State Police and several Emergency Managers will be able to send emergency messages and AMBER alerts directly to key EAS stations throughout the state. The EAS terminals are linked by both satellite and Internet to provide redundancy when communication systems have failed. Additionally, as the warning is sent to key broadcast stations, it can be sent in a short length format that can be used to post to web sites, feed electronic signs and be sent to email accounts, as well as text messages to mobile devices.

“EMnet is a proven system, in use in nearly 25% of the United States and is compliant with the forthcoming government required messaging format. We expect to demonstrate its ability to provide full text messaging for the hearing impaired in the coming weeks,” said Larry Estlack, State Chair for EAS and Director of Technology for the Michigan Association of Broadcasters.  “These early warnings will allow the broadcasting community to inform their audiences quicker, ultimately helping to save lives.”

For over a year, emergency managers have trained on the EMnet equipment, testing weekly, as required by the FCC.  The system is multilingual, with the ability to send messages in English, Spanish and French.  In addition, it delivers prompt messaging; from the time an Emergency Manager pushes the send button to the receipt of the message, takes just 10 seconds.

Broadcasters who need more information about the new system may contact Estlack at the Michigan Association of Broadcasters in Lansing, 517-484-7444 or [email protected].