As the Commercial Mobile Alerting Service prepares its initial roll-out next month, the text message alerting service backed by the wireless industry could learn a few points from the existing EAS.
Timm is a long-time broadcast engineer for Journal Broadcast in Milwaukee and is now an EAS expert for the Touchstone Consulting Group. He’s also broadcast chair of the Wisconsin State EAS Committee.
EAS and CMAS are similar in that they both involve alert originators sending messages to voluntary disseminators, broadcast and cable for EAS and wireless carriers for CMAS.
While broadcasting casts a wide net to deliver alerts, with geo-targeting capability, CMAS can more narrowly target its delivery area, states Timm. EAS, on the other hand, uses a number of committees that could be a model for CMAS governance, he writes. An example is the committee that meets after every Amber Alert is issued, to review appropriateness of the alert and scout for possible improvements in the system.
Testing, so vital for EAS, could benefit the visibility of CMAS, and expose areas where improvement is needed, as it has for EAS, according to Timm.