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Reminder: EAS Test Today

Nationwide test on schedule for 2:20 EDT

The following is excerpted from the Alabama Broadcasters Association’s weekly e-newsletter, Monday Morning Coffee and Technical Notes. Thanks to Larry Wilkins, who puts together the content and shares it with broadcast industry professionals. To subscribe to the newsletter, send an email to [email protected], and he will add you to the database.

According to Al Kenyon, IPAWS National Test Lead, “The current plan is to proceed with the National EAS Test on Wednesday, Sept. 27, as scheduled, unless there is yet another hurricane expected to be making landfall at the time. Should we have postpone the September test, it will be scheduled to Oct. 4.”

Once the test is completed stations will have until 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 27 to file the ETRS Form Two. Then, the more complete form — ETRS Form Three — is due on or before Nov. 13. Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau has extended the Sept. 27 Nationwide EAS Test “day-of-test” filing deadlines to Nov. 13 for EAS Participants affected by 2017 Hurricanes.

In addition the FCC has issued a revised National EAS handbook which is available here. All stations are required to have a copy of this new EAS handbook located at the control point.

It is imperative that all broadcasters should immediately check their EAS equipment to ensure it has the most recent software updates, synchronize its clocks, print out, read and place the new EAS Handbook at the appropriate location, and be ready on Sept. 27 at 2:20 p.m. (EDT) for the National Test.

The FCC deregulated a number of paper keeping rules several years ago, among those was the requirement to maintain a “transmitter log” which contained the actual transmitter power readings. Even though the requirement of maintaining an actual log for a period of two years has been removed, licensees are still required to ascertain that the station is operating per all the technical requirements listed on the station authorization at all times.

Now instead of a “transmitter log” the commission created a “station log,”, which must be kept for the same two year period as the old transmitter logs.

The station log should include the following ….

1. A record of all required EAS activations, including reception of Required Weekly Tests from both assigned monitor sources and the national IPAWS server; the transmission of the stations’ own RWT; reception and relay of the Required Monthly Test; and reception and relay of any national alerts or required test.

2. A record of any malfunction or extinguishment of tower lighting, or any notification made to the FAA of the same, a log entry should be made when normal functioning resumes. Any failure or malfunction that lasts more than 30 minutes and affects a top light or flashing obstruction light, regardless of its position, should be reported immediately by calling 877-487-6867.

3. A record each failure, out-of-tolerance condition, or corrective action (including calibration of automatic devices) made to the transmission system equipment, including monitoring and control devices.

The most important item is that the station chief operator or assistant chief operator is required to review the log once each week, and then sign and date the log. Any discrepancies should be reported to engineering and/or management.