FEMA has announced the dates for this year’s EAS National Periodic Test (NPT). The primary date is August 11, 2021 with the backup on August 25, 2021. The test will take place at 2:20 p.m. EDT.
State SECC Chairman Gary Blievernicht said due to the NPT, all Required Monthly Tests (RMT) for August are cancelled. The test schedules on the MAB website have been updated and may be viewed here.
Please assure that your EAS is operational, updated with the most current software and security certificates and you are receiving the correct stations. This year’s test will be by radio only… no internet.
In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission announcing the plan, FEMA’s Al Kenyon said they plan to originate the EAS portion of the test via the National Public Warning System using FEMA’s network of Primary Entry Point (PEP) stations. That will be similar to the 2019 test and will allow the agencies to gauge whether federal efforts to beef up PEP stations – the network of 77 mostly AM stations that have a direct connection to FEMA and act as a primary broadcast source for national EAS messages – have improved the reliability of the system. Unlike the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), the PEP system does not rely on internet delivery.
“The intent of conducting the test in this fashion is to determine the capability of the EAS to deliver messages to the public in event that dissemination via the internet is not available,” said Kenyon. “As in past years the national EAS test message will look and sound very much like the regular Required Monthly Test (RMT) messages broadcast every month by all EAS participants, broadcast radio and television, cable, wireline service providers, and direct broadcast satellite service providers,” he wrote in the letter. Kenyon also noted that because the test will rely on the daisy-chain infrastructure, the full message text and multilingual messaging will not be available.
FEMA’s test message will use the National Periodic Test (NPT) event code and be geo-targeted using the All-US (000000) geocode. Expect the FCC to release information on required reporting of test results in the not too distant future.