Though FEMA had planned to phase out the required weekly tests for CAP-EAS now that the June 30 deadline has passed for stations to acquire and install updated EAS equipment, now the agency has decided to hold off on any changes in the testing schedule at the moment.
Originally the FEMA IPAWS office had planned to end the weekly required tests, which are occurring every Monday, after June 30. Then the deadline was extended to July 31.
However broadcasters told FEMA that the tests are still necessary so that engineers can definitely confirm that their equipment is receiving the IPAWs feed and correctly decoding the CAP-formatted alerts.
Since there is no required CAP monthly test, the weekly test “is the only way we know if it is actually working. Without the RWT [Required Weekly Test,] I may not know of a problem until I see a failure on a real alert,” said one engineer on the SBE EAS Listserv.
We had reported earlier that FEMA was looking for a more permanent solution to continue CAP-EAS testing.
Neil Graves of the IPAWS Engineering Branch thanked the engineers who expressed their concern and said on the Listserv the CAP weekly required tests will continue “until further notice.”