ONE-WEEK COUNTDOWN: Nationwide EAS Test Form One Due July 3, 2019
** All Broadcast Stations Must File **
All broadcasters have one more week until July 3, 2019, to file Form One, the first of three reports that must be completed in connection with the next nationwide EAS test, which is scheduled for August 7, 2019, at 2:20 p.m. ET. (The backup date, if needed, is August 21.)
All broadcasters are required to participate in the August 7 nationwide test, which means stations should mark their calendars, ensure that EAS gear is functioning, assign responsibility for the filing of the three nationwide EAS test reports, and review the FCC’s EAS Operating Handbook.
Filing Form One. Form One (and Forms Two and Three) must be filed using the FCC’s ETRS (EAS Test Reporting System). As noted, Form One is due by July 3 (and any updates or corrections must be made by 11:59 p.m. on August 5).
Form One contains basic information about each station, including its transmitter location, EAS monitoring assignments, and make and model of EAS gear. Stations that still have a copy of last year’s Form One report may wish to refer to it while reviewing the auto-populated data in this year’s Form One report. Of course, be sure to update any information that has changed in the interim. The second report called Form Two will be due by 11:59 p.m. on the day of the nationwide test, August 7, 2019. Form Three will be due by September 23, 2019. We will be sure to remind you later about the second and third reports.
Other Preparations for the August 7 Nationwide EAS Test. In addition to completing and filing Form One by July 3, stations are encouraged to take the following steps now in preparation for the August 7 test:
– Ensure that the station’s EAS equipment operates in compliance with the FCC’s EAS rules, such as being capable of receiving and processing the NPT (national periodic test) code and the “six zeroes” national location code;
– Upgrade, as needed, EAS equipment software and firmware to the most recent version;
– Review the station’s state EAS plan;
– Ensure that a copy of the July 2017 version of the EAS Operating Handbook is located at normal duty positions or EAS equipment locations and is immediately available to operators;
– Review the EAS Operating Handbook to become familiar with and prepare for the actions that will need to be taken upon receipt of the test alert; and
– Manually synchronize EAS equipment clocks to the official time provided by NIST (the National Institute of Standards and Technology), if the station’s equipment does not automatically synchronize to an Internet time source.
Remember that all broadcast stations are required to participate in the EAS (the FCC no longer recognizes “non-participating” status for stations in the EAS rules). Accordingly, all stations must be prepared to participate in the nationwide test on August 7 (or, if necessary, on August 21, which is the back-up date).
As you complete Form One by July 3 and otherwise prepare for the August 7 nationwide EAS test, please consult with your EAS equipment manufacturer and the station’s legal counsel for assistance with any questions.
July 11 Webinar for Low Power Broadcasters on EAS and ETRS
On Thursday, July 11, 2019, from 1:00 PM to 1:45 PM EDT, the FCC will host a free webinar to provide low power broadcasters with an overview of the Emergency Alerting System (“EAS”) and the steps necessary for such broadcasters to register and file in the EAS Test Reporting System (“ETRS”). With the next nationwide EAS test scheduled to take place just over a month from now (on August 7, 2019), this free webinar will likely provide timely EAS and ETRS guidance to low power broadcasters.
The webinar will be hosted through an online platform called “WebEx.” Broadcasters do not need to pre-register for the webinar. On the day of the webinar, broadcasters can click here to be taken to the WebEx page where the webinar will be streamed or copy and paste https://www.fcc.gov/EAS-test-requirements-and-reporting into a web browser to navigate to the event page. Once on the event page, simply click the WebEx link labeled “Join” to join the webinar.
If you have any questions about the webinar, you may email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, the webinar will be archived at www.fcc.gov/live for broadcasters who are unable to attend at the scheduled time on July 11, 2019.
This Communication should in no way be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion on any specific set of facts or circumstances. Therefore, you should consult with legal counsel concerning any specific set of facts or circumstances.