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Alabama Updates EAS Database

Broadcast association polls members to get latest EAS monitoring assignments

The Alabama Broadcasters Association is polling its members for an EAS database update. The state is one of several complying with a request from FEMA and the FCC that broadcasters update their state EAS plans. Alabama’s was last written in 1996.

Specifically, the ABA wants stations to detail their monitoring assignments so the organization can update its database. Larry Wilkins, state chair of the Alabama EAS committee, tells Radio World the database will be similar to the old “mapbook” the commission used to use in the days of EBS.

Alabama rewrote its EAS plan after the Common Alerting Protocol was implemented. Then the FCC asked states to update broadcasters’ EAS monitoring assignments as part of those plans.

The ABA sent out some 1,000 requests for updated monitoring assignments. Those have started to come in.

“Once completed it will become part of the state plan that will be sent to FCC for their approval, then made available to all stations,” according to Wilkins.

Alabama was one of the first states to install a satellite-delivered state CAP server. It’s used for state alerts and test, including Amber Alerts, Required Monthly Tests and other statewide alerts.

Global Security Systems designed the server which feeds 30 major stations around the state, according to Wilkins, who adds that the ABA and GSS are testing the ability to also push the alerts through the FEMA IPAWS server. “Any approved agency can gain input to the system to issue alerts,” according to Wilkins. “Presently we are working with Gulf Coast counties (concerning hurricane issues), and the two nuclear power plants in the state.

The Alabama EAS state distribution system includes not only GSSNet, but the nine television stations of the Alabama Public Television Network as well as National Public Radio affiliates.