As RBR+TVBR‘s Monday headlines e-mail was being finalized, word arrived via Pillsbury Law communications attorney Scott Flick that FEMA and the FCC have agreed to postpone the National EAS and Wireless Emergency Alerts tests scheduled for Thursday. The ongoing response efforts to Hurricane Florence mean there’s a small delay.
Instead, the tests will be conducted on the previously announced backup date of Wednesday, October 3.
The Wireless Emergency Alerts test will commence at 2:18pm Eastern, and the EAS test will commence at 2:20pm Eastern. FEMA has indicated that the purpose of the tests is to “assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether improvements are needed.”
In preparation for the national test all EAS Participants were required to file their Form 1 with the FCC by August 27. They were then to file their Form 2 (day of test data) on September 20, with the final test report to be filed on Form 3 by November 5.
The Form 2 (and likely the Form 3) deadline will now shift to align with the new October 3 test date, Flick says.
As of 4pm Eastern on Sept. 17, the FCC had not yet announced new filing deadlines, but the Form 2 will likely be due on October 3, and since the FCC’s Rules require that EAS Participants “are required to file detailed post-test data 45 days following a nationwide EAS test,” the Form 3 deadline will most likely move to November 19.
“Those are just predictions, however, and broadcasters and other EAS Participants should watch for a formal announcement from the FCC with the new filing deadlines,” Flick notes.