What the Public Should Know
The Emergency Alert System is a public warning system jointly administered by the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It leverages the communications assets of radio and television stations, cable television systems, wireless cable systems, satellite digital audio radio service providers, direct broadcast satellite services and wireline video service providers to allow the President of the United States to address the American public during a national emergency.
While the system was conceived as a national warning system in the 1950s, it has evolved to include statewide or local activations. Three government agencies are authorized to activate the Emergency Alert System in New Hampshire:
- State Police
- Homeland Security & Emergency Management
- National Weather Service
What Broadcasters Should Know
To insure that EAS is working properly, the FCC and FEMA require frequent tests. Every radio, TV and cable system must issue a Required Weekly Test and rebroadcast a Required Monthly Test. In New Hampshire, broadcasters should expect the following additional tests:
- Daily tests from NH State Police (random times)
- CAP tests Monday @11:00 a.m.
- FEMA tests via National Public Radio every Tuesday @1:15 p.m.
- NOAA tests every Wednesday @11:25 a.m.
The Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) is America’s alert and warning infrastructure. It relies on a technology known as Common Alerting Protocol standards. IPAWS issues alerts over the Emergency Alert System, Wireless Emergency Alerts, NOAA Weather Radio, and other public alerting systems from a single interface. Read more about IPAWS here.
NOAA Weather Radio
The vast majority of EAS traffic in New Hampshire originates at the National Weather Service, which broadcasts warnings on NOAA Weather Radio that are repeated on commercial radio and TV stations. The NOAA Weather Radio transmitters in New Hampshire are:
- Concord (WXJ40, 162.400, 330 watts)
- Saddleback Mountain, Deerfield (KZZ40, 162.450, 300 watts)
- Mt. Washington (KZZ41, 162.50, 300 watts)
- Pack Monadnock (WNG575, 162.525, 300 watts)
- Holderness (WNG545, 162.55, 300 watts)
- Hanover (WNG546, 162.525, 300 watts)
- Clarksville (WNG544, 162.400, 300 watts)
For a chart showing other NOAA frequencies in Vermont, Maine and Massachusetts, click here. Weather warnings comprise about 95% of EAS traffic. Radio, TV and cable stations that monitor these frequencies can elevate themselves on the EAS daisy chain by monitoring a primary source directly instead of relying on another AM/FM/TV station to relay the information.