By: Larry Wilkins, CPBE, CBNT, AMD
Chair, SBE EAS Advisory Group
As the 2019 National EAS Test, commonly called the National Periodic Test (NPT), approaches, there are several steps broadcasters should take to ensure they are prepared on August 7.
FEMA will transmit the test via the Primary Entry Point (PEP) system. It will not be available on the IPAWS CAP system. The NPT will be issued at 2:20 p.m. EDT Wednesday, August 7, 2019.
By now all EAS participants should have checked their EAS units to ensure that they are programmed and working properly. If you haven’t, now is the time to do so. Key items to check:
1. Verify your EAS equipment is running the required software version (contact your equipment vendor if you have questions).
2. Verify you are monitoring the correct legacy EAS monitor sources as outlined in your state EAS plan.
3. Verify the audio from both required sources is broadcast quality.
4. Verify the system clock is correct and synced to a national time server (check the time zone setting as well).
5. TV stations, verify that the video display (character generator) will output the EAS crawl, with appropriate visibility (e.g. color contrast) and display speed that a normal human can read.
6. Be prepared to file ETRS Form Two by midnight on August 7.
Contact your state emergency communications committee (SECC) or state broadcaster association with any questions about the NPT requirements.