|NATIONWIDE EAS TEST RESULTS
|On November 9, 2011, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST), the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) conducted the first-ever nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (“EAS”). Thousands of broadcasters, cable operators, and other EAS Participants took part in the test, which involved the simultaneous receipt and broadcast of a live national EAS alert to all EAS Participants across the United States and its territories. The purpose of the test was to allow the FCC and FEMA to assess how the national EAS architecture would perform in practice, and to develop and implement any necessary improvements to ensure that the EAS, if activated in a real emergency, would perform as designed. The test was the result of approximately two years of planning and preparation, involving the FCC, FEMA and other Federal agencies, EAS Participants and their organizations, state and local governments, consumer groups and organizations representing people with disabilities. Click here for the Report.
| Emergency Alert System
| The EAS is designed to provide the federal government with a means to address the American people in the event of a national emergency, and in 1963, the President permitted state and local emergency information to be transmitted using the system. Since then, local emergency management personnel have used the EAS to relay local emergency messages via broadcast stations, cable, and wireless cable systems. While participation in national EAS alerts is mandatory in most cases, state and local EAS participation is completely voluntary.
In New Mexico, when a national alert requires the EAS system to be activated, the signal is initiated on 770AM KKOB. Through a system of relays, the information is disseminated throughout the state. In order to maintain the EAS system, monthly tests are required. For the most up-to-date information on the EAS, please visit the New Mexico State Broadcasting Engineers website. Click here for the state's EAS Plan.
|EAS AND BROADCASTERS
Mike Langner is the NMBA contract engineer. As a vital member of the NMBA team, Mike conducts ABIP inspections for our member stations.
He also serves as the EAS Co-Chair and in that role, Mike has discovered some very interesting things. If you have EAS questions or engineering
questions in general, you can contact Mike anytime. Log into the member section for more information.
|Why You May Not Be Getting All The EAS Tests And Alerts You Should Get||Aug 21, 2012
from NMBA Engineer, Mike Langner
EAS/CAP equipment contains a setting that will allow the equipment to respond to tests and alerts for “All Of New Mexico.” In the event of a monthly or weekly test, or of an Amber or other alert that should be carried statewide, this setting eliminates stations’ need to program all 33 counties into EAS equipment. Very convenient.
But there’s a hitch.
To at least one manufacturer, “All Of New Mexico” means anywhere in New Mexico. From my perspective, that’s a good thing.
In other words, if an Amber Alert is issued for any specific county or for any specific group of counties, with “All Of New Mexico,” programmed in your machine, you’ll get the “All Of New Mexico” Amber Alert, and you’ll forward it.
But -- here’s the surprise.
To at least two manufacturers, “All Of New Mexico” means that an incoming alert must contain the specific destination “All Of New Mexico” or your EAS equipment will ignore it. Just because an incoming test or alert is valid for one or more New Mexico counties does not trigger one of these manufacturers’ machines “All Of New Mexico” settings. Which means you’ll miss the test or alert.
This is not good. And it’s made New Mexico broadcasters in some markets not get the tests and alerts they should get.
Should all EAS equipment work the same way? Yep! Does all EAS equipment work the same way? Nope!
So if you want to reliably get tests and alerts that are being sent to “All Of New Mexico,” you’re well advised to set your EAS equipment to accept and to forward, if applicable “All Of New Mexico.”
Otherwise, if you have part of your EAS equipment set up just to respond to counties in your coverage area, your equipment may ignore some tests and alerts that you really want to get – and that the FCC says you should be getting!
Bottom line: unless you have a good reason not to put “All Of New Mexico” as a source and destination for which your EAS equipment should operate on tests and alerts, you’re well advised to check that “All Of New Mexico” is programmed into your stations’ EAS equipment!
|OTHER USES OF THE EAS SYSTEM
| Missing Persons Advisory
|The Missing Persons Advisory law was signed in 2007 to provide a mechanism for the Department of Public Safety to notify the public of missing persons who are in danger. Officials from the Department of Public Safety/Missing Persons Clearinghouse, and the NM State Police are the only authorized entities that can initiate a Missing Persons Advisory. A person is considered missing if their absence is reported by a reliable immediate family member and is imminent danger to themselves or others.
There is no age consideration or time frame restriction. Click here for the Missing Persons Reference Manual.
Like the EAS system, when a Advisory is warranted, the Missing Persons Clearinghouse contacts the initiating broadcast station - 770AM KKOB - and the relay begins. For more information on the Missing Persons Clearinghouse, visit the New Mexico Department of Public Safety.
| AMBER Alert
The AMBER Alert System began in 1996 when Dallas-Fort Worth broadcasters teamed with local police to develop an early warning system to help find abducted children. AMBER stands for America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response and was created as a legacy to 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was kidnapped while riding her bicycle in Arlington, Texas, and then brutally murdered. New Mexico soon set up an AMBER plan that works within the same framework as the advisory systems outlined above.
The New Mexico State Police and the Department of Public Safety/Missing Persons Clearinghouse authories can issue an AMBER Alert when a child under the age of 18 has been abducted by an unrelated person and is imminent dangerof serious bodily harm or death and there is specific information available about the child or the child's abductor that may assist in an expedient and successful end to the abduction. For more information on New Mexico's AMBER Alert system, visit the New Mexico AMBER Alert website for more information