The following is excerpted from the Alabama Broadcasters Association’s weekly e-newsletter, Monday Morning Coffee and Technical Notes. Thanks to Larry Wilkins, who puts together the content and has shared it with Radio magazine readers. To subscribe to the newsletter, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and he will add you to the database.
EAS MONITOR ASSIGNMENTS
The FCC has encouraged all State Emergency Communication Committees to review the monitoring assignments for all stations in the respective states. Each state has published a “Required EAS Monitoring Assignment” and stations are required to monitor two of the sources for your area. If due to technical reasons a station cannot receive the listed monitor sources, they should contact the SECC for help in “monitor reassignment.”
The most recent monitor assignment for Alabama is available by clicking here. It is also available on the ABA website under the EAS tab.
While on the subject of EAS, we encourage all stations to verify that their EAS unit has the correct time. There continues to be stations that the time is not set correctly, which could create a situation where an alert or test is not received and relayed properly. This needs to be addressed as we move closer to the next national EAS test Sept. 27.
AS TEST REPORTING SYSTEM, RELATED DEADLINES AND NEW EAS OPERATING HANDBOOK
The ETRS is now open for 2017 filings. EAS Participants are required to update their identifying information on the EAS Test Reporting System Form One on an annual basis.
All EAS Participants must complete the 2017 ETRS Form One on or before Aug. 28. Stations must file a separate copy of Form One for each of its EAS decoders, EAS encoders, and units combining such decoder and encoder functions.
FEMA, in collaboration with the FCC, will conduct a nationwide test of the EAS on Sept. 27 at 1:20 p.m. (CDT). If conditions on the day of the test require the rescheduling of the test, a secondary test date is scheduled for Oct. 4.
Before midnight Sept. 27, EAS Participants must submit any updates or corrections to their 2017 Form One filings and must file "day of test" information required on ETRS Form Two.
On or before Nov. 13, EAS Participants must file detailed post-test data on ETRS Form Three. ETRS Forms Two and Three will become available in the ETRS at the time of initiation of the 2017 nationwide test.
To access the ETRS, filers must first create an FCC Username within the User Registration System at https://apps2.fcc.gov/fccUserReg/pages/createAccount.htm, then associate their FCC Registration Numbers to that Username.
Filers that have already created a Username for use with another FCC system can use that same Username to access ETRS.
Filers can access ETRS by visiting the ETRS page of the Commission's website at https://www.fcc.gov/general/eas-test-reporting-system. Additional instructions regarding FCC Username creation and ETRS access can be found in the Bureau's June 26 Public Notice.
2017 EAS OPERATING HANDBOOK
The Bureau also announces the release of a revised EAS Operating Handbook. A copy of the Handbook must be located at normal duty positions or EAS equipment locations when an operator is required to be on duty and be immediately available to staff responsible for administering EAS tests.
The Handbook will supersede all other EAS Handbooks, and must be in place in time for the 2017 nationwide EAS test. The Handbook's format allows each EAS Participant to enter data specific to their own configuration, tailoring the operational steps outlined in the manual for local relevance. A writable PDF version of the Handbook can be found on the Bureau's website at https://www.fcc.gov/general/eas-test-reporting-system.