What does the federal government expect from you in the upcoming national EAS test?
The FCC has posted a handbook that spells it out — and is requiring that you post it.
The commission is requiring that stations post a copy of the handbook “at normal duty positions or EAS equipment locations where an operator is required to be on duty and must immediately be made available to staff responsible for participating in the test.”
The handbook supersedes other EAS handbooks only for the purposes of the Nov. 9 test.
The handbook also points stations to three new online forms that stations can use to report to the commission.
The text consolidates much of what the industry has been told to date, plus new specifics.
Prepared under the auspices of Gregory M. Cooke of the FCC and Manny Centeno of FEMA, it first reminds stations of important preparatory steps. These include setting EAS gear for automatic relay if possible; reviewing FEMA best practices; checking with your equipment manufacturer for current installation instructions; reviewing your state EAS plan to confirm your designation and monitoring obligations; and entering your station data into the new Nationwide EAS Test Reporting Database. It also reminds stations that National Weather Radio is not a source of the Emergency Action Notification.
It then walks through steps for the actual test, starting with receipt of the EAN. The information includes equipment manufacturer sample EAN header code scripts for Sage, TFT, Trilithic and Monroe Electronics/Digital Alert Systems, as well as a sample Emergency Action Notification Audio Message. It reminds stations that an emergency action termination (EAT) event code will not be used to end the test. It also details what to do if you don’t receive the nationwide test EAN alert code.
Read the handbook here (PDF).