This website is a service of the National Alliance of State Broadcasters Association
in coorperation with the National Association of Broadcasters to provide resources
to help broadcasters with the transition to a Common Alerting Protocol-enabled Emergency Alert System.

FEMA, State Broadcasters and Emergency Managers to Test the Emergency Alert System in Six New England States

from FEMA - September 14, 2015
WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with state, local, and tribal emergency managers and state broadcasters’ associations, will conduct a test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) on Wednesday, September 16, 2015, in six New England states. The test will begin at 2:20 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), and will last approximately one minute.

The voluntary EAS test will be seen and heard over many radio, television and cable stations in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. The EAS test might also be seen and heard in upper New York State if the public normally receives any broadcasts from nearby New England stations. The word “national” will be added to the test message: “This is a national test of the Emergency Alert System. This is only a test.” READ MORE


from Inside Radio - December 30, 2013
In recent decades more federal government work has shifted to outside contractors, and that’s what the Federal Emergency Management Agency is considering as a way to upgrade and fortify the emergency alert system. Regulators haven’t yet decided whether to use an outside vendor. The first step is a RFI — or Request for Information — seeking “suggestions from knowledgeable individuals” who can share the “best methods for providing a highly reliable and highly available application and data center services” for the alert system’s backbone. Known as the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, or IPAWS, federal agencies are looking for ways to ensure that it meets the 99.9% reliability threshold that’s been dictated. It must also be able to send a presidential message within 10 minutes of being received. A June 2006 presidential order to the Department of Homeland Security set the EAS review in motion and it’s picked up steam in recent years beyond the first-ever national EAS test. “Natural disasters, including the large number of destructive tornadoes in the spring of 2011, have highlighted the need to develop new ways to alert people beyond the traditional broadcast media of radio and television,” FEMA says. “Together with legacy systems, these technologies can create a multi-channel, multi-media approach to keeping the public informed of imminent threats and all hazards.” Focusing on the what-ifs in today’s modern world that not only includes the threat of natural disasters but cyber-terrorism, the agency says the “disastrous impact” of having a system knocked off line on both the federal and state level would be “incalculable” consequences. One such idea now on the table is using cloud-based technology that would be harder to take offline all at once.


Bob Houghton, Georgia Association of Broadcsaters - April 12, 2013
My own decades-long experience in Georgia broadcasting has shown me time and again that whether it’s one of Atlanta’s occasional “snow jams” or our state’s spring storms and tornadoes, Georgians tune in to their free, over-the-air, radio and television stations to assess the situation and take life-saving steps to protect themselves. READ MORE


January 8, 2013
The devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy and the shooting in Newtown, Conn., are renewing a push by emergency responders to expand a low-power AM radio service used to give travelers traffic information. Read more

FEMA Releases National Continuity Programs Directorate

Supplemental Guidance on Public Alert and Warning

FEMAThis document provides guidance on eligible public alert and warning activities and equipment standards for State, local, territory, and tribal prospective grantees. The intent of this document is to promote consistency in policy across Federal grant programs, and to ensure compatibility among Federally-funded projects. This document will continue to evolve as new technologies emerge, and will support increased knowledge on the use of these new technologies. Download the document.

Click here for more resources for broadcasters, cable, and other EAS participants.

Click here for resources for the public

IS-247.A: Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS)
This course provides basic information on the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS). 
IS-248: Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) for the American Public
The integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) Program Management Office designed this course to provide the American Public with an introduction to IPAWS.
IS-251: Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) for Alerting Authorities
The integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) Program Management Office designed this course to provide Alerting Authorities with an increased awareness about Collaborative Operating Groups (COGs)—how they are issued, their structure, their capabilities, and their responsibilities, and skills to draft more appropriate, effective, and accessible warning messages using best practices in alerting.
EAS Webinar PPT Slides | View webinar archive | Questions & Answers (PDF)   held on June 6, 2012

Analyzing the EAS NPRM: A Town Hall Discussion held on June 16, 2011
Implementing CAP: Case Studies from Three States held on March 10, 2011
Inaugural Townhall Meeting with NAB, FCC and FEMA held on February 3, 2011

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