DAS Issues Guidance for August Mandatory National EAS Test
|RADIO ONLINE | Friday, July 19, 2019|
Digital Alert Systems has announced guidance ahead of the next National Periodic Test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS), scheduled for August 7 at 2:20pm ET. All broadcasters must participate in the test, which is conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
"This year's national EAS test is happening almost two months earlier than last year's, so now is a good time to start preparing if you haven't already. We put together a brief with the necessary steps people must take and recommendations that will help ensure a successful test," said Monroe Electronics and Digital Alert Systems Senior Director of Strategy and Government Affairs Ed Czarnecki. "The FCC issued a report on the outcome of the 2018 test and noted that, for the small percentage of test failures, the main problems were audio quality issues, equipment misconfigurations, out-of-date software, and device failure. Our readiness document can help operators avoid those pitfalls."
An important part of the test procedure is submitting the required forms through the FCC's EAS Test Reporting System site (ETRS). Form One, which covers EAS equipment status, was due by July 3. Form Two, which will track how the system performs on the day of the test, is due on August 7. Finally, Form Three, which will cover additional detail on any test issues or failures, is due by September 23.
In addition to completing the required paperwork, EAS participants should take other steps to prepare for the test. These steps include checking that EAS equipment is powered on and operating and that backup power is functional; ensuring that the equipment's radio monitors are tuned to the appropriate monitoring sources to accept national alerts; and ensuring that the equipment's software is updated.
"The Digital Alert Systems guidance is intended not just for DASDEC and One-Net users, but for any EAS participant. These national tests are most effective when everyone is prepared and the technology is ready to go, so we invite everyone to share the document within your organizations," added Czarnecki.
Digital Alert Systems' preparation document is available to all at www.digitalalertsystems.com/DAS_PDF/DAS%20FSB-7119.pdf.