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National Test of EAS Slated for Wednesday Afternoon

- Don’t Forget to File ETRS Form Two!

The next national test of the U.S. Emergency Alert System is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 11, at approximately 1:20PM CDT.

The message will be sent in English only and will be disseminated via the broadcast “daisy chain” system of relay, not IPAWS.

The backup test date is Aug. 25.

FCC attorney Gregg Skall with Telecommunications Law Professionals notes that pursuant to section 11.51 of the FCC’s rules, stations must ensure that the test is accessible to individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, or visually impaired. 

The audio portion of the EAS message must be played in full at least once and television stations must display the EAS text as follows:

  • At the top of the television screen or where it will not interfere with other visual messaging (e.g., closed captioning)
  • In a manner that is readily readable and understandable (i.e., appropriate font size, color, contrast, location, and speed)
  • Without overlapping lines or extending beyond the viewable display (except for video crawls that intentionally scroll on and off the screen), and
  • In full at least once during any EAS message.

Required ETRS report filings
Stations should have already filed ETRS Form One using the FCC’s online EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS).

Stations are required to file ETRS Form Two, the so-called “day of test report,” after Wednesday’s test but before 10:59PM CDT on Thursday, Aug. 12.

ETRS Forms Two and Three will become available in the ETRS after the conclusion of the national test.

Stations must file the detailed post-test data sought by ETRS Form Three on or before Sept. 27.

Stations that failed to file ETRS Form One will not be able to file ETRS Form Two nor ETRS Form Three.

Test Message
The test message will be transmitted as follows:

“THIS IS A TEST of the National Emergency Alert System. This system was developed by broadcast and cable operators in voluntary cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Communications Commission, and local authorities to keep you informed in the event of an emergency.

If this had been an actual emergency an official message would have followed the tone alert you heard at the start of this message. No action is required.”

The commission has posted EAS and ETRS resources to help stations with the Aug. 11 national EAS test:

Additionally, stations may direct questions to the following FCC staff:

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

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