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FEMA, Premiere Networks Partner on EAS

The agency will add Premiere as PEP for satellite distribution of alerts

FEMA has been installing satellite receivers at Primary Entry Point stations, intending to use satellite delivery of emergency alerts as an alternative distribution method, we’ve reported.

Now, FEMA says it will add Premiere Networks as a PEP station. Premiere, formerly Premiere Radio Networks, is a subsidiary of Clear Channel. 

Premiere would use its satellite program receivers in 5,000 affiliates as another tool for delivering national EAS messages. The radio affiliates would in turn broadcast the emergency messages to the public within its network.

Since the national EAS test in 2011, both FEMA and the FCC have been studying the results and executing fixes.

For example, FEMA has been looking at alternative transmission methods for the FEMA/PEP connection. The agency plans to introduce satellite connectivity to back up the public switched telephone network-based connection that FEMA currently uses to send the Emergency Action Notification, the code used to activate the national EAS, to the PEPs. The EAN is the code that would be used should the president want to address the nation using EAS.

Damon Penn, assistant administrator of FEMA’s National Continuity Program, said the agency counts on broadcasters to alert and warn the public through EAS including AM, FM and satellite radio, as well as broadcast, cable and satellite TV, if a national emergency occurs.