Weekly Tech Reminders: EAS Security

An excerpt from this week’s Monday Morning Coffee and Technical Notes
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The following is from the�Alabama Broadcasters Association�sweekly e-newsletter, Monday Morning Coffee and Technical Notes. Thanks to ABA�s Larry Wilkins. To subscribe to the newsletter, emaillwilkins@al-ba.com.


Most everyone is aware that the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency accidently disseminated a missile strike message through FEMA's Integrated Public Alert and Warning Systems which was relayed to TV and radio stations via the Emergency Alert System and relayed to mobile phones via Wireless Emergency Alerts.

The Alabama EAS origination and distribution system is closely monitored and managed by the State Emergency Communications Committee and the Alabama Emergency Management Agency.

The state EAS origination portal was designed, constructed and is maintained by Global Security Systems under the direction of the SECC. The agencies with the authority to issue an EAS alert and the codes that can be used are closely controlled by the SECC and AEMA.

The Alabama SECC along with Global Security Systems want to reassure our broadcast and cable operators that we have safeguards in place to prevent this type of mistake from occurring.�

1)���� Currently, the Alert Studio system does not allow for "canned" messages. Alerts have to be typed in and the proper fields completed each time a message is sent. Since time is of the essence in an emergency situation, we can create and save the text of predefined messages in Word or Notepad so they can copy and paste the text in the proper field if an event occurs.

2)���� Once you create your message and select the proper fields, you press REVIEW and SEND. This allows you to review your message prior to it being sent and confirm that you want it sent. This prevents the message from going out without confirmation.

Although no system is perfect-including Alert Studio-and updates to improve productivity are necessary, we believe that our current system provides the necessary safeguards to prevent false IPAWS messages from being disseminated.�