NAB readies PSAs, checklist for upcoming EAS test


These, as part of a package of new resources to help broadcasters with the first-ever nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS), on 11/9 at 2 p.m. ET. The resources will help local radio and TV stations prepare for the test and raise awareness.

NAB created a checklist of relevant info for every phase of the test to ensure equipment is ready for the exercise, and what actions are required of broadcasters during and after the test.

From the list:

•Check your EAS equipment. Stations should immediately check the functionality of their EAS equipment (encoder/decoder, end-to-end connections).
•Check your EAS Sources. Stations should immediately review the sources they monitor for EAS messages, such as Primary Entry Point (PEP) stations, Local Primary (LP-1 or LP-2) stations or National Public Radio’s EAS Cue (Squawk) Channel. Stations should check their ability to receive messages from these sources and retransmit those messages.
•Local Coordination. Stations should coordinate with their local EAS Participant community (such as your state broadcasters association) for any locally-relevant information related to the nationwide EAS test.
•FEMA EAS Toolkit. FEMA has produced an EAS Test Toolkit that provides useful information on the history and role of EAS, and key messages, talking points, and FAQs regarding the nationwide EAS test.
•Public Awareness. The broadcasting industry has pledged to help increase public awareness of the nationwide EAS test. NAB has worked with FEMA and the FCC on the production and distribution of public service announcements (PSAs) designed to promote awareness.

In addition, NAB teamed with FEMA and the FCC to distribute PSAs to promote awareness of the test. Television PSAs will be available via satellite feed on 10/14 at 11:30 a.m., Radio PSAs are available here.

Sample scripts will also be available to allow stations to tailor or produce their own PSAs. NAB is asking broadcasters to begin airing the PSAs at least one week before the test, and with increasing frequency as 11/9 approaches.

The test is a diagnostic exercise to determine the reliability and effectiveness of the system. All EAS participants, including every TV and radio stations across the country, must participate in the test. Participants will not be judged on a “pass-fail” basis on their performance, but must report to the FCC certain results of the exercise within 45 days. TV and radio stations will need to report on whether, and from whom, they received the EAS test message and whether they rebroadcast it to the public, among other info.