Rumor mill: extension of CAP compliance deadline may be in the works

As the first ever nationwide EAS test rapidly approaches, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has announced another “virtual roundtable” designed to assist the government and industry in prepping for the Big Day (that would be November 9). Here’s the scoop, according to a FEMA announcement:

Please save the date for the final EAS Participant Virtual Roundtable discussion with government and industry leaders on September 30, from 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM ET. The discussion will involve a variety of topics and draft documents for feedback that will support updates to the EAS Best Practices Guide and Nationwide EAS Test Informational Toolkit. Some examples include:

Television and Cable EAS Background Slate

Nationwide EAS Test Message Transcript Draft

Public Service Announcement Audio Sample

Nationwide EAS Test Data Reporting

Required Monthly Test Activities and Findings

Event Details:

What: FEMA IPAWS Special Event – Prepared & Ready: The Final Stretch Before the Nationwide EAS Test When: September 30, 2011; 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM ET

Where: Microsoft Live Meeting 2007 (This link will be active the morning of September 30th) ( Please note that if you have Live Meeting Client correctly installed, you do not need a pass code or username (Live Meeting instructions

The event will finalize the best practices guide with industry for a formal release on October 3, 2011.

The “best practices guide” mentioned in the blurb is a project designed to produce a comprehensive guide covering end-to-end National EAS message procedures. If you want to learn more about that guide – or even contribute some ideas to it – check out A National Dialogue on the Emergency Alert System. You can also follow FEMA on Twitter (!/NationalEASTest) for information updates and events.

Meanwhile, the September 30 deadline for implementing the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) is also fast approaching – even though there remain a number of unresolved questions that could affect various aspects of CAP compliance. The Commission signaled several months ago that it might be amenable to extending that September 30 deadline, and a number of groups have specifically requested such an extension. To date, however, no word from the Commission – although some reports indicate that an item granting an extension has been drafted and is sitting somewhere on the 8th Floor. The smart money seems convinced that an extension is indeed in the works and will be announced shortly – but when that may happen, and how long an extension may be provided, well, you just never know. Check back here for updates. (Important Reminder: The nationwide EAS test will proceed on November 9 regardless of the deadline for CAP implementation.)