As radio broadcasters prepare for the upcoming national test of the Emergency Alert System later this month, Radio World is speaking with manufacturers of EAS equipment to determine what stations should know in advance of the test.
The next national EAS test is set for Wednesday, Sept. 27 at 2:20 pm (in case of massive inclement weather, the backup test date for the EAS test would be Wednesday, Oct. 4). The test will be conducted in the same matter as the 2016 national test, meaning that FEMA will use the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System.
In Part II of a three-part series, Radio World connected with Ed Czarnecki at Monroe Electronics.
Radio World: What types of equipment were put in place during last year’s test?
Ed Czarnecki: In broadcast, we have the DASDEC and DASDEC-II emergency messaging platforms have been deployed across industry since before the CAP mandate. In cable and IPTV, the One-Net has been a mainstay of the industry.
Radio World: What is your sense of the readiness of equipment for the test later this month?
Czarnecki: In general, I think that stations have been very attentive to this upcoming NPT test. The number of NPT-related support calls is significantly lower than last year, which may mean that stations have a better understanding and comfort level with the NPT, and their device configurations.
Radio World: What versions should stations have installed?
Czarnecki: We strongly recommend that stations should be running at least version 3.0 on their platforms. There are some differences in NPT handling between the older than 2.6 software and v3.0/v3.1. This is discussed in detail at our NPT Test Support Page.
Our latest DASDEC software update is v3.1. However, if a station is running software older than version 2.6, they absolutely should be in contact with us for a software update.
Radio World: What guidance do you have for customers who still need to update their equipment or ask questions?
Czarnecki: First, don’t panic, as the “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” would say. We’ve all gone through last year’s NPT test, so this year’s event is just the next in the series. This test will be originated and sent in the same manner as the previous 2016 National Test.