EAS Test Plans Jar Some Folks Into Fresh Awareness
sense, the national EAS test on Nov. 9 is already successful.
the EAN test front, we’re getting phone calls and emails from people who haven’t
taken a close look at their EAS system in years,” Sage Alerting Systems
President Harold Price told Radio World. His company makes a popular EAS coder/decoder.
“So from the standpoint of increasing awareness in the broadcast community, the
test is already a success before it is even run.”
Freinwald, who has long been involved with EAS matters, sounded a similar note;
he’s quoted in a blog post by Radio
World’s Paul McLane as saying, “It appears that many [people] are, perhaps for
the first time, starting to really think about EAS and what this national test
might reveal about their previous attitude and/or efforts regarding
asked Harold Price of Sage to list the questions and concerns he’s hearing from
stations since the test handbook was posted this week.
Price said, are seeking to make sure their hardware and software are configured
properly, including filter settings, and that their audio levels are set
correctly. (Sage, like other manufacturers, has prepared documents to help
users with those questions.)
topic is reconfiguration of monitor sources to make sure the Emergency Alert
Notification is heard in areas where there is no coverage.
community seems to be split into the ‘let it fail and document it’ camp and the
‘make it work’ camp,” he said in an email conversation. “I lean toward the
make-it-work camp, as long as it doesn’t rely on a one-time-only fix. Any
changes that use permanent resources should simply become part of the state
plan going forward.”
continued, “If a local area knows there is a hole, and can fix it with local
resources that are permanent, then that change should be made now. FEMA
and the FCC don’t have the resources to find or fix every coverage hole for
every local area. Only the locals really know what works and what
doesn’t. They need to step up and fix the problem locally, (and they are)
making the appropriate changes in the state plan. Obviously, FEMA does
need to continue its work on expanding the coverage of PEP stations, and they
Sage is also hearing confusion about whether or not particular state relay
networks will carry the EAN, and whether or not the LP1 in an area has any
other way to get the EAN. “Hopefully, states are taking steps to get the
EAN to as many stations as possible, and if they are using special resources
for this test, they will make those resources a permanent part of the state plan.”
Some broadcasters apparently aren’t clear on the role CAP plays in the Nov. 9
test. The short answer is none; this test focuses on “legacy” EAS.
“Everyone is getting a little frazzled as we get down to test day,” Price concluded.
“Contract engineering resources are stretched thin checking on status; large corporate
groups are having all-hands conference calls; no one wants to look bad.”
expects the test will produce good information on actual coverage from the PEP
network. “I think the increase in overall awareness of the actual connectivity
in the legacy network is already leading to improvements. Sage has
received ideas for improvement and new features as a result of this, and I’m
sure we’ll learn more starting at 2:05 p.m Nov. 9.”
Radio World is
interested in your experiences with the test, in how you are preparing for it
and your observations about the resources provided by federal officials at FEMA
and the FCC. Share thoughts by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org.