Jeff Smith is supervisor of broadcast/studio systems for Clear Channel Radio in New York. He writes here in his capacity as co-chair of the national SBE’s EAS Education Committee.
A lot if not all of the focus about EAS of late has been on CAP and IPAWS. But wait a second, before all that new stuff happens we need to truly test the national relay ability of the existing EAS system.
The FCC and FEMA have announced that sometime later this year there will be a nationwide test of a real EAN activation. Smaller tests of just such a thing have been conducted in Alaska and a lot of issues and successes came to light.
Building on information gathered in Alaska, FEMA along with the SBE and other government and industry experts have put together a series to help educate the broadcast community as well as the federal government about the national test.
FEMA will sponsor a series of “Virtual Roundtables” via Microsoft Office Live Meeting beginning on June 9. There will be separate sessions for radio and TV.
Leading up to June 9 FEMA has setup a website for individuals to share their ideas, concerns and comments about the national test. The comments left on this “Idea Scale” website will drive the direction of the FEMA Virtual Roundtables.
This makes it very important that as many broadcasters as possible contribute their thoughts to the Idea Scale website. The more comments, ideas and concerns that are submitted the better! It will only help make the national test and the entire EAS system better.
Jeff Smith, CSRE, CBNT