Nevada will conduct a “mini” national EAS test on Sept. 26. This is the first such trial in the lower 48 states; similar tests have been conducted in Alaska and Puerto Rico.
At 1 p.m. local time Monday, Sept. 26, FEMA will originate and deliver a Required Monthly Test message to KKOH(AM), Reno and KDWN(AM), Las Vegas.
From those stations, the test will propagate to most of the radio and TV stations as well as cable providers in the state, according to Adrienne Abbott, chair of the State Emergency Communications Committee for Nevada. She tells Radio World broadcasters and other EAS participants in the state are in the “final stretch” of their test prep.
FEMA will monitor stations in Reno and Las Vegas to see how many facilities receive and are able to re-broadcast the message.
Because the Nevada EAS Operational Area includes parts of three states, the test also will be be heard in eastern California and northern Arizona.
“Because this isn’t the usual RMT, information on the test has been sent to our station managers along with a public service announcement to prepare the public for this test as well as the national EAS test in November. The information has also been sent to the broadcasters associations and EAS State Emergency Communications Committee chairs in California and Arizona,” Abbott told Radio World.
Test specifics, including things like the Event Code, Locator Code and Duration Code, have been sent to the station engineers and chief operators. Last week Abbott spoke to a group of state and local emergency managers about the test so they can prepare their 911 call centers for any questions and calls they might get from the public.
The Nevada Broadcasters Association has distributed a PSA about the statewide EAS test to stations; FEMA believes it’s the first statewide PSA to include public awareness information about the Nov. 9 nationwide test.
FEMA IPAWS Program Manager Manny Centeno announced the test during an EAS session last Friday during the Radio Show.
There are tentative plans for a similar test in North Carolina Oct. 12, he said.
Monday’s test is an effort of the Nevada Broadcasters Association, the EAS Committee of the Nevada SECC, FEMA, the Nevada Division of Emergency Management, the Washoe County Office of Emergency Management, the City of Las Vegas Office of Emergency Management and the Clark County Office of Emergency Management.
That joint effort reflects a partnership in Nevada to focus on public warning, according to Nevada Broadcasters Association President/CEO Bob Fisher.
He tells Radio World that Nevada is the only state whose legislature has passed legislation classifying trained and credentialed broadcasters as “First Responders.”