FCC, FEMA Schedule Next Emergency Warning Test

Agencies release new edition of EAS Operating Handbook

Broadcasters and MVPDs need to mark their calendars for Sept. 27.

That is when the FCC and FEMA have scheduled the next test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS).

They will focus on testing FEMA's Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) common alerting gateway.

All EAS participants, which include TV and radio stations and cable and satellite operators, are required to participate in the nationwide test.

If something happens to make Sept. 27 unworkable, the back-up test date is Oct. 4.

The FCC's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau have also released the latest edition of the EAS Operating Handbook and recommended participants bone up before the test.

The bureau also said it would welcome the public to monitor the test and provide feedback on any issues.

The FCC pronounced its most recent (Sept. 28, 2016) test a success, per the standard that the vast majority of participants successfully received (94%) and transmitted (82%) the warning code and, in comparison to the 2011 test, there was "significant improvement."

In the room-for-improvement department, there were problems with poor audio and with disability access.