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FEMA Schedules Next National EAS Test

Number three and counting …

Mark your calendars, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has scheduled the 2017 national EAS test for Wednesday Sept. 27 at 2:30 p.m. ET.

(If, by chance, a hurricane is making landfall on that date, or some other event interferes, the test will be run on the following Wednesday.)

The test will be conducted in the same way it was last year, with both English and Spanish language text and audio. Total duration is expected to be about one minute. (Shown below are FEMA officials about to launch the 2016 test in a facility not far from Washington.)

The Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission has already released instructions as to how Emergency Alert System participants must register for access to the 2017 EAS Test Reporting System.

As a result of feedback regarding last year’s use of the ETRS, the FCC has mandated that filers using the ETRS must use a single account. The Public Safety Bureau also said to expect a further notice soon about the opening of the 2017 ETRS, and the date by which EAS participants must file their data.

As Radio World has reported, the 2016 EAS test was considered by officials to be a success, with an over 87 percent participation rate, although there were some technical glitches. A few test participants reported complications ranging from equipment configuration issues, equipment failures, failure to update equipment software, audio quality issues, source issues, clock errors, and, in some cases, noncompliance with Part 11 rules.

At the local level, the Alabama Broadcasters Association plans to discuss the test procedure in depth at its annual conference next month in Hoover, Ala. Other active state associations will likely be communicating with their own members about the test as well.