The Federal Emergency Management Agency has rescheduled an EAS test for the state of Alabama.
FEMA has also set up a new protocol for communications around future tests.
A National Periodic Test (NPT) for the state of Alabama will be conducted Thursday, March 10, at 11:15 a.m. Central Time. It will take the place of the normal Required Monthly Test (RMT) that had been scheduled.
Alabama was among the half-dozen states where the regional EAS IPAWS test in late February was waved off before air because of real weather situations. FEMA then reached out to state broadcast associations, cable associations and state emergency communications groups to thank them for their patience as it worked around the extreme weather and recovery efforts.
FEMA has offered to conduct independent NPT tests for states that were dropped. Those will be coordinated with state broadcast associations, emergency communications committees, cable associations and emergency management groups. Interested parties should contact the FEMA IPAWS office about setting up an independent NPT test.
Also, to avoid confusion in future tests, the agency plans to assign additional personnel to support communications with broadcast and cable representatives and emergency managers. If a similar situation should occur, FEMA would send a separate message using the required weekly test event code, containing a brief explanation that the expected NPT was excluded from a given area. FEMA also plans to have a dedicated communicator on site to facilitate email and phone notification as well as to send an e-blast to IPAWS Gov Delivery subscribers.
The Alabama Broadcasters Association asks that stations participating in next week’s test send an email so the agency and FEMA can determine the success of the NPT. The goal of the test is to identify and correct any distribution problems before the next full national test, now scheduled for Sept. 28, ABA said.