Goal: Help prepare EAS participants for upcoming nationwide EAS test

As we all know, the first NATIONWIDE test of the Emergency Alert System is scheduled for November 9. Lisa Fowlkes, Deputy Chief of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, has passed along the following message about a “virtual roundtable” being conducted next week (August 15, to be precise – see details below) featuring FCC, FEMA, NOAA and other experts. The exercise is intended to help one and all prepare for the nationwide test. Among other topics will be a “best practices guide” which is being developed to guide participants through the entire EAS alert process. 

Additionally, an EAS website has been set up to provide a forum for suggestions and discussion about a variety of EAS-related matters.  Ideas from that website will be among the topics on the agenda at the August 15 roundtable.

Here’s Lisa’s message:

FEMA IPAWS Special Event: Are You Ready for the Nationwide Emergency Alert System Test?

You’re invited by the FEMA Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), Federal Communications Commission (FCC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and industry experts to the next EAS Participant Virtual Roundtable: Are You Ready for the Nationwide EAS Test?

This virtual roundtable will share, build, and refine elements of the best practices guide with industry; discuss overall improvements to the system through coordinated State/local and EAS Participant activities; share and discuss an EAS Test public awareness and information toolkit for State, Territorial, and local government and EAS Participants; review the technical process to receive and relay the EAN; and conclude with elements of an EAS Test Preparation Checklist.

Participating Government and Private-Sector Organizations:

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
International Association of Emergency Mangers (IAEM)
National Emergency Management Association (NEMA)
Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE)
Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE)
American Cable Association (ACA)
National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA)
Tennessee Association of Broadcasters (TAB)
Washington Military Department Emergency Management Division (WMDEM)

Primary Entry Point Administrative Council (PEPAC)

Event Details

What: EAS Participant Virtual Roundtable: Are You Ready for the Nationwide EAS Test?
When: August 15th, 2011; 11:00 am- 1:00 pm (Eastern)
Where: Microsoft Live Meeting 2007 (https://www323.livemeeting.com/cc/eiip/join?id=IPAWS&role=attend

IPAWS will briefly recap elements of the best practice guide and discuss a variety of topics with virtual roundtable participants, including:

·         EAS Receive and Relay Process

·         EAS Originator Message Content and Quality

·         State and Local EAS Testing

·         EAS Equipment Operation and Maintenance

·         Nationwide EAS Test Information Toolkit

·         EAS Test Preparation Checklist 

In order to prepare EAS Participants for the November 9, 2011 Nationwide EAS Test, FEMA IPAWS, the FCC, and NOAA are partnering with industry leaders and experts to draft a comprehensive technical best practices guide on end-to-end National EAS message procedures. The guide will be updated incrementally with the EAS community through webinars, roundtables, and other activities leading up to the Test.

Want to contribute to the best practices guide? Please visit A National Dialogue on the Emergency Alert System website: https://nationaldialogue-emergencyalertsystem.ideascale.com/ to vote on ideas and solutions for a variety of EAS discussions. Ideas from the website will be directly discussed in August 15th virtual roundtable. Follow us on Twitter @NationalEASTest (https://twitter.com/#!/NationalEASTest) for events and information updates.     

For more information on the Nationwide EAS Test, please visit the FEMA IPAWS website: http://www.fema.gov/emergency/ipaws/eas_info.shtm 

Please contact ipaws@dhs.gov for a meeting invitation and questions.
Microsoft 2007 Live Meeting link:
https://www323.livemeeting.com/cc/eiip/join?id=IPAWS&role=attend (this will not be active until the morning of August 15th)  

Microsoft Live Meeting Connection Information:

Live Meeting Client must be installed in order to hear the audio portion of the program. 

Microsoft Windows (XP or later) and sound card are required.  Please refer to the Live Meeting Instructions for configuring your system. http://www.fema.gov/pdf/emergency/ipaws/livemtginstruct.pdf.

Use the following URL to log in to the Webinar:


This appears to be an excellent opportunity to get updated on both the nationwide test and the overall EAS process — and maybe even to contribute some good ideas to help make it work as smoothly as possible. As the November test approaches, we’re all bound to hear a lot more about EAS – the virtual roundtable could be a good place to start reminding yourself of just what’s involved, particularly if you’re feeling a bit rusty, EAS-wise.