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FEMA proposes February date for Texas IPAWS/EAS test

 - Chance to identify glitches before mandatory test in December

Texas is one of 22 states slated for FEMA’s next regional IPAWS/EAS test which will likely be conducted on Wednesday, Feb. 24, at 1:20 PM CT. The test message will use the National Periodic Test (NPT) event code with an audio message that sounds very much like a typical Required Monthly Test text.

The states included in this test stretch from Nebraska to New York to Florida to Texas. This includes all states in between that have not participated in previous tests, with the addition of two territories and the District of Columbia.

TAB is working with FEMA to promote a series of webinars beginning with station executives and state emergency management officials to briefly explain IPAWS and discuss the test plans. Further webinars will target engineers and provide more technical discussions of IPAWS, concluding with step-by-step EAS device configuration instructions for the various units in the field.

Participation in the test is completely voluntary and FEMA assures the test will be conducted in a no-risk environment. FEMA officials are not proposing the NPT replace any scheduled required monthly or weekly tests (RMT/RWTs), thereby eliminating the potential for FCC Enforcement Bureau action should a volunteer test participant experience a problem in relaying the test message.

The test will help participants confirm how their systems will respond to an NPT before the mandatory test scheduled for early December.  Previous tests have revealed that many television operations face significant challenges when it comes to audio insertion, program muting or ducking, as well as scroll generation and placement on main and digital sub-channels.

Questions? Contact TAB's Oscar Rodriguez or call (512) 322-9944.

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