Digital Alert Systems has issued guidance to users of its equipment ahead of the next national test of the Emergency Alert System.
The test is scheduled for Aug. 11 at 2:20 p.m. EDT. The manufacturer released a preparation document to help users of its gear.
This test will be sent via the EAS broadcast-based Primary Entry Point (PEP) system, not the FEMA IPAWS CAP message system.
“The NPT is an occasion to perform essential checks on fundamental items, such as checking that the EAS equipment is operating, backup power is functional, the radio monitors are tuned and monitoring the appropriate sources from the state EAS plan, and the equipment’s software is updated,” the company said in an announcement.
It quoted Bill Robertson, VP of business development, saying that if a participant’s DASDEC has been maintained with current software, most steps to prepare for the test are already done. “All DASDEC software from version 3.0 onward will automatically and properly process the NPT code, using the six-zeros national-location code, by immediately forwarding the test alert in compliance with the FCC’s rules.”
But if a DASDEC has earlier than version 3.0, you should update it at least to 3.0 and preferably to V4.3, which he said is most current with security and operational features.
The company said proper configuration is important, especially regarding the system clock. Participants should confirm devices are synced to the correct time and time zone. “One way is to double-check if the device is properly synchronized to a network time source. If a DASDEC is not connected to a Network Time Protocol (NTP) server, then it is important for the user to ensure that the unit time is manually synchronized to an official time source.”
DAS also reminded stations that they must fill out forms on the online EAS Test Reporting System. Form One is due July 6. Form Two must be done after the test, by Aug. 12. Form Three is due Sept. 27.
The backup test date is Aug. 25.