Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


The National EAS Test Is (Still) Set for Wednesday

With the government budget issue temporarily resolved, FEMA gives the go-ahead

Now that the drama of a possible government shutdown is over, broadcasters can focus on making sure their EAS gear is ready to receive the national Emergency Alert System test on Wednesday.

FEMA on Monday confirmed that, with the government budget issue temporarily resolved, the EAS will go on as planned. The agency will transmit the nationwide test at 2:20 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, Oct. 4, using IPAWS, the Integrated Public Alert Warning System. 

Radio broadcasters will have their regular programming interrupted as the emergency message is delivered. The planned EAS message will say: 

This is a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System, issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, covering the United States from 14:20 to 14:50 hours ET. This is only a test. No action is required by the public.”

This is the seventh nationwide EAS test, according to FEMA; however, this year’s test will be disseminated as an IP-based Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) message. It will be sent at approximately the same time as a Wireless Emergency Alert, which will be directed to cell phones and other compatible mobile devices.

Radio broadcasters will have to follow through on filing requirements as the FCC requires all stations to report the reception and relay of the national test. ETRS Form Two will need to be filed within 24 hours of the test and Form Three by Nov. 20, according to the FCC. 

The commission is also reminding broadcasters they do not have to run a Required Weekly Test (RWT) this week due to the national test. In addition, the Required Monthly Test (RMT) scheduled for Oct. 12 has been cancelled since the EAS test will replace the October RMT.

The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau previously released a checklist for broadcasters to help ensure readiness and compliance.

[Sign Up for Radio World’s SmartBrief Newsletter]