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CHANG E is COMING In 2009, FEMA is will overhaul the EAS system… How will it affect your station?!?! Kirk Chestnut, Entercom Kansas City Aaron Read, WEOS.

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Presentation on theme: "CHANG E is COMING In 2009, FEMA is will overhaul the EAS system… How will it affect your station?!?! Kirk Chestnut, Entercom Kansas City Aaron Read, WEOS."— Presentation transcript:

1 CHANG E is COMING In 2009, FEMA is will overhaul the EAS system… How will it affect your station?!?! Kirk Chestnut, Entercom Kansas City Aaron Read, WEOS – Public Radio for the Finger Lakes A n d w e ’ r e n o t t a l k i n g a b o u t v o t i n g !

2 See also : What is EAS? EAS = Emergency Alert System Nationwide system to distribute emergency information across radio & TV stations and cable TV  Presidential activations Also used for state & local alerts  AMBER, civil emergencies, weather alerts, etc Replaced the old EBS network in 1997.

3 See also : What is EAS? Required Weekly / Monthly Tests  “This is a test of the emergency alert system”  “Duck farts” / “Data burps” modem sounds Most states have a relay system  White House > State LP’s > Local Stations.  Gov/State Police > State LP’s > Local Stations. All local stations “monitor” at least two sources:  Everyone has two Local Primary stations (for KC radio: KCSP 610AM and KCMO 94.9FM)  Optional: NOAA WeatherRadio, NPR Squawk Channel, State systems (satellite, internet, etc).

4 See also : Do I have EAS? It’s required by law, so I sure hope so! (47 CFR 11.xxx) All stations must have an EAS encoder/decoder wired into their airchain.  LPFM stations can be decode-only. The point is: in a nationwide emergency, the President can broadcast a message on every single radio/TV station in the country.  This has never been done.

5 See also : EAS Requirements All stations must receive a RWT from their two monitored stations each week.  Must also separately, SEND a RWT of their own. All stations must receive & forward (send) a RMT each month.  No RWT needed on a RMT week. All stations must LOG every EAS action – received or sent – in the official Station Log (47 CFR & Must have copy of your State’s EAS Plan

6 See also : Station Log Station Log must be reviewed each week by the official Chief Operator ( )  If no errors are found, CO must sign & date it.  If errors, detail the error and what the fix is (or why it’s not fixed yet) First thing an FCC inspector asks to see is your Station Log!

7 See also : EAS - limitations EAS has limited data capacity (the modem “data burps”) that have not been utilized. Only NATIONAL EAS events (and RWT/RMT’s) are required.  State, local, weather, etc are all optional “Relay” nature of alerts is very inefficient, prone to error, and slow.

8 See also : EAS and CAP 1.1 CAP = Common Alerting Protocol  Standard of IPAWS = Integrated Public Alert and Warning System. Grew out of 2000 NSTC report: “Effective Disaster Warnings”  XML-based, very flexible. Part of a general overhaul to the EAS system to force greater efficiency & grant greater access at the state level.

9 See also : FEMA deadline – EEK!! FEMA has announced they plan to make adoption of CAP 1.1 official in Q1 of Means all stations must have CAP- compliant EAS gear installed and working within 180 days  Hideously unrealistic (2-3 years is more likely) but FEMA has repeatedly said they will enforce that 180 day timeframe.

10 See also : Unfunded Mandate Like the EBS > EAS upgrade in 1997, this is an unfunded Federal mandate. Cost is likely to be somewhere between $2500 and $5000 just for equipment.  Budget high – you may have to pay to have someone to install the new gear, and train your show. These people will be in high demand throughout START PLANNING NOW!!!

11 See also : Equipment? Standard not adopted, so no gear yet. Sage DigitalENDEC “closest to ready” but only available for pre-order. Only 4 or 5 OEM’s that make this stuff.  Capacity to make new En/Dec’s for all 11,000+ radio stations within 180 days does not exist – hence the deadline questions.

12 See also : Participation – BIG CHANGE!!! New standard gives states the power to mandate participation state/local alerts. HUGE change from status quo – you will have to pay a LOT more attention to your State Plan! Get friendly with your local SBE Chapter to stay informed! (www.sbe.org)www.sbe.org Be ready for politics / frivolous alerts!

13 See also : Plea for action! Whether it’s fair or not, this is going to happen and very likely happen in You can’t ignore it – the Dep’t Homeland Security is pushing this, so the FCC is likely to enforce it. Likelihood of inspections is creeping up! Must start planning now – avoid rush later!

14 See also : Questions Tell us your situation, we’ll advise as best we can! Aaron Read can both be reached via the CBI listserv.  Sign up at Aaron’s blog : These slides available at :


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