Amber Added to EAS Event Codes - Radio World

Amber Added to EAS Event Codes

Amber Added to EAS Event Codes
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The FCC has added several new event and location codes to the Emergency Alert System, including a child abduction emergency event code, called Amber.
The Amber Plan is a voluntary partnership between law enforcement agencies and the media used to alert the public of serious child abduction cases, where police believe that the child is in danger of bodily harm or death. Under the Amber Plan, radio and television stations interrupt programming to disseminate information concerning serious child abduction using the EAS. Adoption of the new Child Abduction Emergency event code responds to concerns that the current practice of using the Civil Emergency Message event code to activate Amber alerts has resulted in confusion as to the intent of the alert.
The revised EAS rules permit, but do not require, stations and cable systems to modify their EAS equipment so that the gear may transmit and receive the new event and location codes. However, new EAS equipment installed after Feb. 1, 2004 must be able to receive and transmit the new codes.
The commission also increased the time period within which the Required Monthly EAS Tests must be retransmitted from 15 to 60 minutes.
Low-power FM stations are exempt from the requirement to install EAS decoders until the commission certifies those boxes.
Also, satellite radio and repeater stations do not have to install EAS equipment, as they rebroadcast 100% of their programming of their hub station.
The new rules are effective 30 days after publication in the "Federal Register."

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'Amber' Abduction Alert Likely for EAS

WASHINGTON With the FCC expected to add an Emergency Alert System event code for abducted children later this year, law enforcement and children’s advocates are hoping more broadcasters will sign on to so-called Amber Plans.