Emergency Alert System (EAS)

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Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) Logo[4]

The Emergency Alert System (EAS), which replaced the Emergency Broadcast System (EBS) in 1997, is a national warning system that sends emergency messages to radio and television stations, to include cable and satellite stations.

The EAS system enables Federal, state and local governments to notify the public of emergency and disaster information. The system is also used to notify the public of severe weather alerts issued by the National Weather Service. The system can be used to send alerts by county or statewide.[1]

EAS Process

With digital technology, the EAS can deliver more information in an emergency weather alert or other announcement, target a specific area, and send it out much faster. Emergency messages can be sent through TV stations, cable systems, satellite companies or other participating services. And these messages can be converted automatically into any language.

In addition to alerting the public of local weather emergencies such as tornadoes and flash floods, the EAS is designed to enable the President of the United States to speak to the United States within 10 minutes, but the nationwide federal EAS has never been activated.[2]

National Test Results

On April 12, 2013, the FCC released the results of the November 9, 2011 test. The first-ever Nationwide EAS Test was a success in that it demonstrated that the national EAS would generally perform as designed, if activated. At the same time, the test showed several areas that need improvement. The FCC says they will continue to work with FEMA, EAS Participants and other EAS stakeholders to address these problems.[3] [5]

 

References:

  1. FCC Emergency Alert System (EAS): http://transition.fcc.gov/pshs/services/eas/
  2. FCC Emergency Alert System (EAS): http://transition.fcc.gov/pshs/services/eas/
  3. FCC Emergency Alert System (EAS): http://transition.fcc.gov/pshs/services/eas/
  4. Image Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Eas_new.svg [Accessed May 13, 2013]
  5. FCC – Official Emergency Alert System (EAS) WebPage: http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/emergency-alert-system-eas

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