Member Login

Forgot Password?
Need Login?

You are here: Home > News & Events > News > 2020 National EAS Test…
Welcome, guest: Login to your account

2020 National EAS Test Canceled

Broadcasters hoping to have one less thing to do in what has been a stressful year for station operations got a present last week from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) which announced there will not be a 2020 national Emergency Alert System (EAS) test. The move was made “out of consideration for the unusual circumstances and working conditions for those in the broadcast and cable industry.”

FEMA noted that while “systems remain in place for rapid automatic transmission of the test message by broadcast and cable operators, the follow-on reporting activities associated with a national test place additional burdens on technical staff that are already quite busy maintaining as close to normal operation as possible.”

FEMA said U.S. emergency officials have sent more than 360 COVID-19 safety messages via WEA and EAS in the past three months.

The agency said it would move forward with a national test of EAS in 2021.

Texas broadcasters should note that the scheduled Requirement Monthly Tests and Required Weekly Tests of EAS will continue as planned for the rest of 2020.

EAS is part of the IPAWS national system for local alerting that provides authenticated emergency alert and information messaging to the public through radio and television stations, cable systems, as well as by cell phones and internet applications using Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA).

FEMA is required by law to test IPAWS at least every three years.

The national WEA capability was most recently tested in conjunction with the EAS in 2018. 

FEMA first conducted a national test of EAS in 2011.

The 2019 national test of EAS was meant to audit the “daisy-chain” system of broadcast EAS delivery and was deemed “largely effective” in a federal report which showed the system reached 82.5% of EAS participants.

“A final analysis of the test finds that a large majority of the EAS participants successfully received the national periodic test code,” the May FCC report concluded.

“The nationwide broadcast-based EAS distribution system would largely perform as designed, if activated without the availability of the internet.”

Questions? Contact TAB’s Michael Schneider or call (512) 322-9944.

« Back to News Archive
« Back to Latest News