Save the Date!
There will be another EAS/National Weather Service meeting at NAB this year! It will be held Tuesday, April 9th, from 2:00 to 4:00 PM in Room N221 of the North Hall. While NAB passes are not needed to access this room, now is the time to apply for a free “Exhibits Only” floor pass. They’re only available now through mid-March. Register at https://www.nabshow.com/
The Agenda includes a review of EAS activations in 2018, discussion of issues related to EAS weather activations and the project to subdivide Clark County. Broadcasters, including engineers, Chief Operators and Program Directors and emergency managers/Authorized Originators are encouraged to attend.
Let me know if you have a specific issue you would like to add to the Agenda.
Adrienne Abbott, W6BCY
Nevada EAS Chair
“Radio burps, it cries, it needs to be fed all the time, it requires constant attention, but we love it.” Jim Aaron WGLN
2019 Required Monthly Test Schedules
SIGNIFICANT CHANGES TO EAS RULES
The FCC has announced some significant changes in EAS rules, now allowing “Live Code” tests, the use of the EAS attention tones in “educational” PSA’s, and requiring stations to report “false” EAS activations within 24 hours of discovery.
Click HERE for the full 21-page order which is summarized in the release below.
Rochelle Cohen, (202) 418-1162
For Immediate Release
FCC PROMOTES EMERGENCY ALERT RELIABILITY
Action Supports More Effective Local Emergency Alert Tests and PSAs,
Addresses False Alerts, and Seeks to Improve Wireless Alerts
WASHINGTON, July 12, 2018—The Federal Communications Commission today took the latest in a series of actions to bolster the reliability of the nation’s emergency alerting systems and support greater community preparedness.
In a Report and Order adopted today, the Commission set forth procedures for authorized state and local officials to conduct “live code” tests of the Emergency Alert System, which use the same alert codes and processes as would be used in actual emergencies. These tests can increase the proficiency of local alerting officials while educating the public about how to respond to actual alerts. The procedures adopted by the Commission require appropriate coordination, planning, and disclaimers to accompany any such test.
To further enhance public awareness, today’s action will also permit authorized Public Service Announcements (PSAs) about the Emergency Alert System to include the system’s Attention Signal (the attention-grabbing two-tone audio signal that precedes the alert message) and simulated Header Code tones (the three audible tones that precede the Attention Signal) so long as an appropriate disclaimer is included in the PSA.
Today’s action also requires Emergency Alert System equipment to be configured in a manner that can help prevent false alerts and requires an Emergency Alert System participant, such as a broadcaster or cable system, to inform the Commission if it discovers that it has transmitted a false alert. In addition, in an accompanying Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Commission seeks comment on other specific measures to help stakeholders prevent and correct false alerts.
The Commission also seeks comment on the performance of Wireless Emergency Alerts, including how such performance should be measured and whether, and if so how, the Commission should address inconsistent delivery of these messages.
Action by the Commission July 12, 2018 by Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC 18-94). Chairman Pai, Commissioners Carr, and Rosenworcel approving. Commissioner O’Rielly approving in part and dissenting in part. Chairman Pai, Commissioners O’Rielly, Carr, and Rosenworcel issuing separate statements.
PS Docket Nos. 15-94, 15-91
ASL Videophone: (844) 432-2275; TTY: (888) 835-5322
This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC, 515 F.2d 385 (D.C. Cir. 1974).
PUBLIC SAFETY AND HOMELAND SECURITY BUREAU OPENS THE EAS TEST REPORTING SYSTEM FOR 2018 FILINGS
PS Docket No. 15-94
Today, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission provides notice to all Emergency Alert System (EAS) Participants that the EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS) is now open and accepting 2018 filings.
I. FILING IDENTIFYING INFORMATION IN THE EAS TEST REPORTING SYSTEM
Pursuant to Section 11.61 of the Commission’s rules, EAS Participants must renew their identifying information required by ETRS Form One on a yearly basis. Accordingly, all EAS Participants must complete the 2018 ETRS Form One on or before August 27, 2018. Each EAS Participant should file a separate copy of Form One for each of its EAS decoders, EAS encoders, or units combining such decoder and encoder functions. For example, if an individual is filing for a broadcaster (or cable headend) that uses two units combining decoder and encoder functions, that individual should file two copies of Form One.
Filers can access ETRS by visiting the ETRS page of the Commission’s website at https://www.fcc.gov/general/eas-test-reporting-system. Instructional videos regarding registration and completion of the ETRS Form One are available on the ETRS page.
To access the ETRS, filers must use their registered FCC Username (Username) that is associated with the FCC Registration Numbers (FRNs) for which they will file. Filers that have already created a Username for use with another FCC system may access the ETRS with that Username. Filers that do not remember the password that corresponds with their Username may reset it at https://apps2.fcc.gov/fccUserReg/pages/reset-passwd-identify.htm. Filers that have not previously created a Username may do so by visiting the User Registration System at https://apps2.fcc.gov/fccUserReg/pages/createAccount.htm. Filers can associate their Username to an FRN by logging in at https://apps.fcc.gov/cores/userLogin.do and clicking on the appropriate option. Additional information regarding creating and associating FRNs with a Username can be found on the CORES FAQs page at https://apps.fcc.gov/coresWeb/publicHome.do?faq=true.
I. FILING INFORMATION
All EAS Participants – including Low Power FM stations (LPFM), Class D non-commercial educational FM stations, and EAS Participants that are silent pursuant to a grant of Special Temporary Authority – are required to register and file Form One in ETRS, with the following exceptions:
- Analog and digital low power television (LPTV) stations that operate as television broadcast translator stations are not required to register and file in ETRS.
- FM broadcast booster stations and FM translator stations which entirely rebroadcast the programming of other local FM broadcast stations are not required to register and file in ETRS.
- Analog and digital broadcast stations that operate as satellites or repeaters of a hub station (or common studio or control point if there is no hub station) and rebroadcast 100 percent of the programming of the hub station (or common studio or control point) are not required to register and file in ETRS. However, the hub station (or common studio or control point) is required to register and file in ETRS.
Filers can update previously filed forms in ETRS by clicking on the “My Filings” menu option and then clicking on the record for that form. Broadcasters can pre-populate Form One by completing the FRN and Facility ID fields. Cable systems can pre-populate Form One by completing the FRN and Physical System ID (PSID) fields. EAS Participants that pre-populate Form One using a Facility ID number or a PSID number are urged to review their pre-populated data to ensure accuracy. EAS Participants are urged to review Form One as soon as possible to allow sufficient time for possible corrections. EAS Participants are allowed thirty days after submission (i.e., on or before September 26, 2018) to submit any updates or corrections to their 2018 Form One filings.
III. FURTHER INFORMATION
For further information regarding ETRS, contact Austin Randazzo, Attorney Advisor, Policy and Licensing Division, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, at (202) 418-1462 or email@example.com, or Gregory Cooke, Deputy Chief, Policy and Licensing Division, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, at (202) 418-2351 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Filers may contact the CORES Help Desk for assistance with creating a Username or resetting a password at CORESHelpDesk@fcc.gov or (202) 418-4120. Filers may contact Bureau staff for assistance in completing ETRS Form One at ETRS@fcc.gov.
Firmware update for Sage Digital ENDEC model 3644
This message is from Sage Alerting Systems regarding your Sage Digital ENDEC model 3644. It applies only to users in the United States.
Sage has released a firmware update that you must install to permit your ENDEC to continue to receive EAS CAP alerts from FEMA. A FEMA signing certificate will expire at 11:45am June 24, 2018; if you do not install this update, you will not receive CAP messages from the IPAWS system after that date.
This release also updates the SSL certificate roots that your ENDEC must have in order to download alert audio files from state or county alert originators.
Please read the release notes at https://www.sagealertingsystems.com/release1-1/cr-rev4-release-notes.pdf. They will explain why this release is necessary, and what Sage will do in a subsequent release to reduce the number of this type of update in the future.
The installation process is straightforward, as is described in the release notes. Installing this update will not change any of the settings on your ENDEC.
If you have any questions regarding this update, please email us at email@example.com or call 914-872-4069 and press 1 for support. If you get voice mail, please leave a message and we will call you back.
Broadcaster Access to Disaster Areas Becomes the Law of the Land
Yesterday’s enactment of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 (feel free to read it, it’s only 2232 pages) was welcomed by broadcasters. If you’ve been following the trade press, you’ll know that’s largely because it not only added a billion dollars to the FCC’s fund for reimbursing broadcasters displaced by the spectrum repack, but for the first time made FM, LPTV, and TV Translator stations eligible for repack reimbursement funds.
At a time when trust in government has hit historic lows, Chairman Walden of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and other congressional leaders stepped up, making sure the government lived up to it original promise that broadcasters retaining their spectrum in the Spectrum Incentive Auction would be “held harmless” in the post-auction repack. Of course, a spirited lobbying campaign by NAB and state broadcasters associations across the country didn’t hurt.
What few seem to have noticed, however, is while that short term influx of reimbursement dollars is certainly welcome for stations being involuntarily relocated in the repack, the Consolidated Appropriations Act had other language in it that will bring a longer-term benefit to broadcasters and the public they serve.
To read the full article click HERE
To cut right down to the chase: this is good news for broadcasters all around.
To read the full article click HERE.
What Stations Need to Know about Blue Alerts
The countdown toward implementation of Blue Alerts has begun.
EAS device manufacturers now have 12 months to make it possible for Blue Alerts — characterized by the three-character BLU code — to be delivered over the nation’s Emergency Alert System. It was in December that the Federal Communications Commission adopted a Report and Order that required EAS devices to have the capability to transmit the newly adopted Blue Alert code, which can be used by state and local authorities to notify the public of threats to law enforcement.
Now, with a notice filed in the Federal Register, the deadline is set for Jan. 18, 2019. (The wireless industry has a bit longer — 18 months — to ensure that a wireless alert can be delivered over the nation’s Wireless Emergency Alert system.)
What do stations need to do to prepare? Radio World spoke to two manufacturers of EAS equipment — Monroe Electronics, maker of Digital Alert Systems EAS products, and Sage Alerting Systems — to ask their opinions on what’s ahead for the broadcast industry when it comes to Blue Alerts.
Click HERE to read the full article
Hawaii False Alarm Highlights Broadcasters’ Role During Emergencies
The false ballistic missile warning on Jan. 13 in Hawaii has raised important questions about America’s emergency alerting apparatus and the best practices for keeping citizens informed during times of crisis. Currently, Hawaiian public safety officials, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Communications Commission and Congress are reviewing what went wrong and how to prevent mistakes in the future.
This incident also offers an opportunity for everyone to review their own emergency preparedness plans. As we saw last year during the natural disasters that wrought havoc across the country – from hurricanes flooding major cities to devastating wildfires to tornado outbreaks – it is imperative that Americans prepare themselves, their families and their homes so they are ready if the worst happens.
Click HERE to read the full article
The EAS System Isn’t Designed to Be Second Guessed…
Regardless, the EAS system isn’t designed to be second guessed, he says. “One of the biggest questions I get from broadcasters is, ‘If this happens again, how do we confirm it?’ And my response is you can’t, and you shouldn’t,” says [Courtney] Harrington.
Read the entire article here:
Hawaii EAS False Alert
Click HERE to read Nevada EAS chair, Adrienne Abbott’s, statement about the Hawaii False Alert.
2018 Required Monthly Test Schedules
UNDERSTANDING THE NEVADA EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM
By Adrienne Abbott, Nevada EAS Chair
WHAT IS IT?
The Emergency Alert System, or EAS, is a network of radio and television stations, cable television operators and IPTV services (EAS Participants) that is available 24/7/365 to local, state and federal officials to inform the public of a pending emergency, disaster or crises. This network is available at no charge because providers buy their own specialized EAS equipment, pay to maintain it and train their staff to understand the purpose and use of EAS. In addition, the broadcasters and other providers set aside program time in their weekly schedules for routine testing which ensures that the system is always ready for use. The Federal Communications Commission set up a national framework for EAS for National, Presidential warnings while allowing each state to build its own EAS plan tailored to local needs.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The Nevada EAS Plan provides state and local government officials, as well as law enforcement and public safety officials, specific information on how to almost instantly access local radio, television and cable TV facilities to provide critical information, instructions and assistance to the public in a time of crisis. The Nevada EAS Plan also includes the Nevada AMBER Alert Plan which gives local law enforcement agencies nearly immediate access to radio and television stations, cable and IPTV services through EAS to get information to the public about abducted, endangered children.
While many state and local government agencies have existing plans for dealing with the electronic media during an emergency, an EAS activation allows officials to instantly access every radio and television station, not just those with news staff, to provide critical information to the public. EAS operations were expanded in 2006 to include cell phones through the use of Wireless Emergency Alerts or WEA messages. In addition, the use of Common Alerting Protocol, or CAP programs, emergency officials can add EAS messages to their Social Media platforms and other Internet programs, giving emergency managers more ways to get life-saving information to the public.
WHERE DOES IT OPERATE?
Broadcast signals don’t recognize geopolitical borders so the Nevada Emergency Alert System not only covers Nevada, but also the portion of California east of the Sierra Crest, and extreme northern Arizona. Because no single broadcast service covers the entire state, Nevada’s EAS is divided into three regions, as shown in Figure 1.
o The Western Nevada/Eastern California Operational Area includes northern Nevada and northeastern California. This area is shown in blue on the map.
o The Southern Nevada/Inyo County California Operational Area serves southern Nevada, southeastern California and Mojave County, Arizona. This area is shown in pink on the map.
o The Eastern Nevada Operation Area serves eastern Nevada. This area is shown in yellow on the map.
o Some areas of both Nevada and California are completely isolated from outside broadcast signals, including satellite services and EAS providers in those communities operate independently.
WHO’S IN CHARGE?
The FCC regulates the Emergency Alert System through rules established in CFR Title 47, Chapter 1, Subchapter A, Part 11. The FCC appoints each state’s chairperson who oversees EAS activities with the assistance of the State Emergency Communications Committee or SECC. Together they develop state and local EAS plans, as provided in the Part 11 rules. The chairperson selects SECC members from the organizations which have a role or interest in providing public warning and other EAS activities. The chairperson and the committee members serve on a volunteer basis with support from their State Broadcaster Association.
The EAS State Chair in Nevada is Adrienne Abbott. Members of the State Emergency Communications Committee include Vice Chairs Steve Scott, Bill Croghan and Dan Mason. All three are original Committee members who have served since 1995. The President of the Nevada Broadcasters Association, Mary Beth Sewald, also serves on the SECC along with other broadcasters.
The most frequent user of EAS is the National Weather Service which uses EAS to present critical weather information and warnings to the public. NWS is currently represented on the SECC by Todd Lericos, Meteorologist in Charge of the Las Vegas Weather Forecast Office or WFO; Daniel Berc, the Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the Las Vegas, WFO; Jon Mittelstadt, Meteorologist in Charge of the Reno WFO; Chris Smallcomb, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the Reno WFO; Gregory Barnhart, Meteorologist in Charge of the Elko WFO; and Clair Ketchum, Lead Forecaster at the Elko WFO.
State and local emergency officials who also serve on the EAS Committee include Kelli Baratti, Nevada Division of Emergency Management; Aaron Kenneston, Washoe County Emergency Manager; Arlene Chapman, Clark County Emergency Management; and Carolyn Levering, Las Vegas Emergency Management.
Broadcasters and cable service representatives include Heng Choong, Cox Cable: Tracy Teagarden, CBS Radio; Phil Burger, KNPB; Ray Fodge, Beasley Broadcast Group; Danna O’Connor, KUNR; and Lori Gilbert, Elko Radio.
HOW DO I GET A COPY OF THE EAS PLAN?
A copy of the Nevada EAS Plan is available on this website. However, we urge broadcasters to contact SECC Chair Adrienne Abbott for a hard copy of the EAS plan and more information on EAS in Nevada. In addition, Adrienne routinely emails an EAS report including news, regulation changes and a list of recent tests and activations to EAS participants, emergency managers and others who have EAS obligations.
WHO AM I SUPPOSED TO MONITOR FOR EAS COMPLIANCE?
The Nevada EAS Mapbook provides a complete list of all EAS Participants and the specific stations which they are supposed to monitor. This Mapbook is an FCC-mandated document, per Part 11. It is available on this website.
WHERE DO I GET MORE INFORMATION ON EAS?
For more information about EAS in the Nevada Operational Area, including training for EAS Participants and emergency officials, contact State Chair Adrienne Abbott at firstname.lastname@example.org
NV EAS Plan Base
NV EAS Plan Executive Summary
NV EAS Plan Annex B
NV EAS Plan Attch #1 Glossary
NV EAS Plan Attch #2 Operational Area
NV EAS Plan Attch #3 EAS Codes
NV EAS Plan Attch #4 Monitoring Assignments
NV EAS Plan Attch #6 Multilingual Broadcasting & Reporting
2015 December MapBook