The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the FCC have announced that a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) will take place on September 27, 2017, at 2:20 PM EDT.  As a precursor to this test, all EAS Participants (which includes most broadcast stations and cable and DBS operators) must file a “Form 1” in the EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS) no later than August 28.  The Form 1 provides details on the participant’s location, service area, EAS equipment, and contact information.  In addition to the Form 1, each EAS participant must file a “day-of-test” ETRS Form 2 on September 27, and a post-test ETRS Form 3 no later than November 13, 2017.

If all of this sounds rather familiar, that is because a similar system was used for reporting on the 2016 EAS National Test.  There is, however, one important change that will impact participants filing Forms 1, 2, and 3 for this year’s test: the FCC now requires users to log-in to the ETRS system using an FCC Username obtained from the Commission’s CORES system.  This is a change from last year, when users created an account directly in the ETRS system.  Those accounts can no longer be used to file ETRS Forms.

Users who have not registered in CORES will need to create a CORES account using an e-mail address as their username.  Users will then need to use CORES to associate the usernames of the individuals who will be filing ETRS reports with the applicable stations’ FRNs.  Once the station FRNs are associated with an individual’s CORES username, that individual can log into the ETRS system.  Within ETRS, the user will have the opportunity to file Form 1 (and later, Forms 2 and 3) for EAS Participants whose FRNs have been associated with that username in CORES.

The substance of the Form 1 in ETRS is essentially the same as it was last year, and requests information identifying the participating station, its EAS equipment and monitoring assignments, and contact information for EAS purposes.  Forms can be submitted on a station-by-station basis or on a “batch filing” basis for certain commonly-owned stations.  All Form 1s must be filed by no later than August 28.

If you have any questions about the CORES or ETRS systems, or the national EAS test, please contact us.