Unless it is delayed by a real national emergency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) and the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) are on track to conduct a combined nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) on Wednesday, August 7, at 2:20 p.m. EDT. For most participants, this year’s test will be disseminated only using the broadcast “daisy chain,” rather than through the internet-based Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (“IPAWS”). IPAWS this year will be used only to disseminate the test message to Primary Entry Point stations, which will then distribute it through the broadcast daisy chain.
EAS participants should have already filed their EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS) Form 1 providing information about their EAS equipment. On August 7, the FCC will be expecting EAS participants to monitor their equipment and, for most participants, to file “day-of-test” ETRS Form 2 by the end of the day. Finally, all EAS participants will also be required to file a post-test ETRS Form 3 no later than September 23.
Based on our experience with previous years’ tests, we would expect that there will be some congestion in the ETRS system after the test, so you should probably be prepared to spend some time completing your filings. Please contact us if you have any questions about the EAS test or the ETRS filing systems.