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Oct. 4 Nationwide EAS Test is a Week Away; FCC Reminds TV Broadcasters of Visually Accessible EAS Alerts

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) a week from today on Oct. 4 at 1:20 pm CDT.

The backup date is Oct. 11.

EAS participants must file two reports afterwards using the FCC’s EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS) at:  

The so-called “day-of-test” ETRS Form 2, must be filed before Oct. 5, and another filing, ETRS Form 3, must be filed by Nov. 20.

The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (Bureau) issued a Sept. 8 Public Notice to remind Emergency Alert System (EAS) TV station participants of their obligation to ensure that EAS alerts are accessible to persons with disabilities, specifically, those individuals who are “deaf or hard of hearing and individuals who are blind or visually impaired.”

The EAS text must be displayed as follows: 

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

The test message audio and text elements will be designed to be identical and will state: “This is a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System, issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, covering the United States from 14:20 to 14:50 hours ET. This is only a test. No action is required by the public.”

Questions? Email TAB or call (512) 322-9944.

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