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Stations Prep for National EAS Test

Aug. 7 event will evaluate the readiness of national alerting capability in the absence of internet

The next national EAS test is coming up in two weeks The date was set earlier, as we’ve reported; and now FEMA and the FCC are highlighting it in public announcements.

This year’s test focuses on national alerting in the absence of internet.

The nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 7. It will be sent to radio and television stations beginning at 2:20 p.m. EDT.

[Read: Next Nationwide Emergency Test Set for August 2019]

“The test is being conducted through FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System,” the FCC stated. “This year, the test message will originate from designated radio stations, known as Primary Entry Point stations, which participate in a component of IPAWS called the National Public Warning System. All other radio and television stations, cable, wireline service providers and direct broadcast satellite service providers should subsequently receive and broadcast the test message.”

[EAS Test Reporting System Now Accepting 2019 Filings]

It noted that this test will not include a message on cell phones via Wireless Emergency Alerts.

“This year’s test will evaluate the readiness of the national alerting capability in the absence of internet connectivity. The test will be approximately one minute long, have a limited impact on the public with only minor interruption of radio and television programs, and will be similar to regular monthly EAS tests. Both the audio message and text crawl should be accessible to people with disabilities.”

Stations must report how it went to the commission by filing ETRS Form Two on the day of the event, by midnight Eastern time; and then post-test data is due via Form Three by Sept. 23. Those forms become available in the commission’s online system at the time of the test. Filers can access it through the FCC website using their registered FCC username associated with their FCC registration numbers.

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