(August 31, 2018) – Broadcasters need to be concerned with three items in September – and they all relate to the Emergency Alert System (EAS).
1. Sage Endec certificates (expire Sept. 24)
Stations that use Sage Endecs (Model #3644) have received this message from the company. “Sage has released a firmware update (si-rev5) that you must install to permit your ENDEC to continue to receive EAS CAP alerts from FEMA. A FEMA signing certificate will expire at 11:55pm EDT on September 24, 2018; if you do not install this update, you will not receive CAP messages from the IPAWS system after that date. This update will install the new certificate. Although this is similar to the update we issued in May, this August update is for a different certificate, you must also install this update.” For further details contact Sage at this link.
Of course, not all stations utilize Sage EAS equipment. It would be wise to check with other manufacturers for their latest firmware updates.
2. DIRS Exercise (Sept. 13-14)
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has created a new Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) and it plans to run a national drill on Thursday and Friday, Sept. 13-14 This drill was originally scheduled for August but had to be postponed when the system was activated because of Hurricane Lane in Hawaii. Participation in this drill is voluntary. Stations that are interested can register for the DIRS drill here.
3. National EAS Test (Sept. 20)
The FCC and Federal Emergency Management Agency will conduct the fourth national EAS activation on Thursday, Sept. 20 at 2:20 p.m. EDT. All stations are required to interrupt their programming to carry the audio test message. There are additional requirements for entering your station’s response in the FCC’s Emergency Test Reporting System. For complete details on the national EAS text click here. If you have questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Ed Brouder, Chairman (e-mail)
NH State Emergency Communications Committee