The Broadcasters' Desktop Resource

EAS News Archive: 2022

The idea is to bring some clarity to the issues and answer your questions.
For more detail on EAS and some Q&A, please check the EAS Issues.

12/16/22 – Did you file a Form One on the ETRS this year? It is requred.

Of course, you did not. Until this week, the FCC did not open the ETRS (Emergency Test Reporting System) this year. And no, do not rush to the ETRS before 2022 ends. It will not open until January 3rd. (However, the FCC says that Form One will be “open” until February 28th. ) 

There is no indication yet of when the next NPT will occur –  likely sometime in the first half of 2023. 

12/12/22 – The FEMA advises their weekly RWTs were not sent to the Atlantic, East and Central time zones this morning.

In your logs, just put “failed, on notice from the FEMA.”

12/5/22 – We previously mentioned the FCC’s new rule that EAS boxes will need to hold for 10 seconds and run the audio from IPAWS CAP if available. 

All EAS boxes will need to be capable by next December. Right now DASDEC boxes are able to do this if on Version 4. The other manufacturers are preparing updates … to be announced.

11/23/22 – a draft NPRM has now been published in the Federal Register, with comment due 12/23. If adopted as written it will add more items said to strengthen security and operation readiness of the EAS (and WEA). The Commission will seek notification of any unauthorized access, annual certification of system cybersecurity, and how such controls are implemented. If adopted at the October Open Meeting on 10/27/22 it will go to Comments and then to be published in the Federal Register.

11/22/22 – The NWS, which has been testing PCA – Partial County Alerting – for the past year, is going roll it out in more areas in 2023, with consulation to modify/set boundaries in each area to better target alerts.

You can learn more here. And here.

11/14/22 – A fifth state has had their EAS plan approved. Alaska joins the others: IL, NV, AL, and MN.

The list of approved state plans is here.

9/29/22 – More EAS changes: The FCC has approved changes that may make alerts more user friendly. Within the next year or so, stations are expecting a software update to “select” IPAWS CAP audio when available over local LP audio. Also, multilingual alerts will be easier to use, and alerts on TV will be better formatted for the deaf and /or blind. 

Some adjustments to the way tests are worded has been arranged to make things clearer to listeners:

  • The event code *EAN* will now be phrased as a “National Emergency Message,” instead of the old “Emergency Action Notification.”
  • NPT will nowbecome “Nationwide Test of the Emergency Alert System.”
  • The originator code “PEP” turns into “United States Government.”

9/7/22 – The FCC Chairwoman has circulated a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding EAS. 

The idea is to bolster security of the EAS, reducing time stations may operate without a receiver, requiring stronger security, and yearly reports to the FCC that it is being done. 

Given the events in LA and Boston over the past week or so, this is becoming a major issue.

9/4/22 – Reports and logs show someone in the Boston area tried to send an EAN, perhaps as a prank. Details are still coming in, but it seems someone took audio from the 2011 NPT or a movie and tried to send it out. 

In several cases, the DASDEC and Sage receivers noted a date in November being used and did not forward the alert. 

Why some air “talent” continues to think it is funny to “prank” they syatem is unclear, but this is likely to set off some more requirements from the FCC, which just instituted a requirement to report fake alerts.  

9/2/22 – NBC News reports
“An evacuation order telling residents to leave Los Angeles immediately was accidentally broadcast on television Wednesday, authorities said. “

It apparently originated at the County of Los Angeles and referred to the “Eastern North Pacific Ocean” as also needed evacuation.

One might suspect a report will be made to the FCC?

8/10/22 – IL and NV now make three state plans now approved by the FCC. While the FCC required them to be submitted early last month, vetting is taking time. Also, some states are still having trouble finishing the task, but the FCC seems to be a bit patient for the most part.

8/2/22 – The FEMA and the FCC issued Public Notices warning about potential issues with EAS receivers causing some worry. Specifically, a hacker apparently bought one or more old DASDEC units and demonstrated an issue that has been known and largely fixed for the past three to five years. Any station doing minimal IT security and software updating is well protected. 

Bill Robertson of DASDEC (Digital Alert Systems) was on our Thursday video presentation to answer questions and share information. The video is located here. 

7/11/22 – The FCC has issued a Notice for any state SECC that has not been able to upload a current State Plan for EAS. There is also a page with a list of accepted Plans. (As of this morning, only Illinois is shown, although Washington and another state or two have filed but not yet been approved.)

4/28/22 – The FEMA announced during the NAB Spring Show that there was not going to be a National Periodic Test (NPT) this year, with one tentatively scheduled for early 2023.

2/20/22 – The NWS is moving along with Partial County Alerting, an attempt to reduce the load on some areas as relatively small areas are affected by some emergencies. Perhaps you saw the presentation the NWS did for the BDR last year.
It might motivate you to visit their page and comment on the proposals, which anticipate implementation next year.

Also, the NWS has even more information here. 

1/20/22 – Starting on January 27th, SiriusXM said they will enhance the value of their Preview Channel for EAS with weekly “log only” RWT’s as assurance for those who are taking advantage of this means to receive Primary Entry Point tests and alerts. (Some EAS Participants in the CONUS still cannot reliably monitor a PEP station. Some have already purchased low cost home SiriusXM receivers with analog jacks for this purpose. SiriusXM weekly tests will enhance the value of this means of PEP reception.) – Thanks to Richard Rudman.

1/10/22 – The RWT from the FEMA failed today for all time zones up to Hawaii. Word is that a software update killed the cron job – something that can happen to any of us! Tests will resume next week.

Just log that no RWT came from IPAWS this week.