WASHINGTON DC NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION

 EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM (EAS) PLAN

Revised August, 2003

Updated December, 2008

Prepared By:

THE WASHINGTON DC NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION

EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE

In Coordination With:

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments

  1. Intent and Purpose of this Plan
  2. The National, State and Local EAS: Participation and Priorities
    1. National EAS Participation
    2. State / Local Participation
    3. Conditions of EAS Participation
    4. EAS Priorities
  3. The Washington DC National Capital Region Emergency Communications Committee (WDCNCR ECC)
  4. Organization and Concepts of the WDCNCR EAS
    1. Broadcast and Cable EAS Designations
    2. Other Definitions
    3. Primary and Secondary Delivery Plan
    4. Your Part in Completing the System
  5. EAS Header Code Information
    1. EAS Header Code Analysis
    2. WDCNCR Originator Codes
    3. WDCNCR Event Codes
    4. WDCNCR Jurisdiction-Location Codes
    5. WDCNCR “L-Code” Formats
  6. EAS Tests
    1. Required Weekly Test (RWT)
      1. Transmission
      2. Reception
    2. Required Monthly Test (RMT)
      1. Transmission
      2. Scheduling of RMT’s: Week and Time of Day
      3. Scheduling of RMT’s: Recommended Time Constraints
      4. Reception / Re-transmission
    3. Time-Duration and Jurisdiction-Location Codes to be Used
  7. WDCNCR EAS Scripts and Formats
    1. Test Scripts and Formats
    2. Real Alert Activation Scripts and Formats
  8. Guidance for Originators of EAS Alerts
    1. Guidance for National Weather Service Personnel
    2. Guidance for Emergency Services Personnel
    3. Guidance for Regional Emergency Messages
  9. Guidance for All Users in Programming their EAS Decoders
    1. Modes of Operation
    2. Jurisdiction-Location Codes to Use
    3. Event Codes You MUST Program into your EAS Decoder
    4. Suggested Programming Sequence for Setting Up your EAS Decoder
  1. Appendix A: Monitoring Assignments
  2. Appendix B: Local Operating Procedures
  3. Appendix C: Authorized Sources for Activating the WDCNCR EAS
  4. Appendix D: Signatures of Officials
  5. Appendix E: Example Message – AMBER Alert
  6. Appendix F: March 7, 2003, Memorandum of Understanding between DCEMA, MEMA and VDEM

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: In 2002, the FCC updated the EAS regulations to permit an upgrade of EAS equipment. The upgrade is optional. Those broadcasters and cable operators who install the upgrade will have additional capabilities with respect to their EAS equipment. Example, upgraded EAS equipment will allow for 60 minutes of time before a broadcaster or cable operator must re-broadcast the Required Monthly Test (RMT). Equipment not upgraded will be limited to 15 minutes. The upgrade also allows for the use many new Event Codes such as CAE for AMBER alerts. Equipment not upgraded will probably receive CAE messages as un-recognized messages rather than as Child Abduction Emergency (AMBER) messages.


I. Intent and Purpose of this Plan

This plan is the FCC-Mandated document outlining the organization and implementation of the Washington DC National Capital Region (WDCNCR) Emergency Alert System (EAS). It is the guideline for broadcasters and cable operators to determine: (1) their mandated and optional monitoring assignments, (2) codes to be used in the EAS Header sequence, (3) schedule of Required Monthly Tests which must be relayed by all broadcasters and cable operators within 15/60* minutes of reception, and (4) any other elements of the EAS which are unique to this metropolitan area. This plan is an adjunct to the FCC EAS Rules, and is not meant to be a summary, in whole or in part, of those rules. Consult FCC Rules Part 11 for general rules regarding the Emergency Alert System. *Upgraded EAS equipment only.

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II. The National, State, and Local EAS: Participation and Priorities

A. National EAS Participation

All broadcasters and cable operators are required to take certain actions when the National level EAS is activated. "PN" (Participating National) broadcast stations and all cable operators would carry the Presidential message. "NN" (Non-Participating National) broadcast stations would make an announcement and sign off. In addition, all broadcasters and cable operators must transmit a Required Weekly Test (RWT), and once a month, must re-transmit the Required Monthly Test (RMT) within 15/60* minutes of receiving it on their EAS Decoder. These actions are required of all broadcasters and cable operators, regardless to their "PN" or "NN" EAS status. *Upgraded EAS equipment only.

B. State / Local EAS Participation

Participation in the State and/or Local Area EAS is voluntary for all broadcasters and cable operators. However, any broadcasters / cable operators electing to participate in the State and /or Local Area EAS must then follow the procedures found in this Plan. Note: Even though they elect not to carry National EAS Alerts, stations designated "NN" (Non-Participating National) may participate in the State and/or Local Area EAS without any prior FCC approval.

C. Conditions of EAS Participation

Acceptance of/or participation in this Plan shall not be deemed as a relinquishment of program control, and shall not be deemed to prohibit a broadcast licensee from exercising his independent discretion and responsibility in any given situation. Broadcast stations and cable systems originating EAS emergency communications shall be deemed to have conferred rebroadcast authority. The concept of management of each broadcast station and cable system to exercise discretion regarding the broadcast of emergency information and instructions to the general public is provided by the FCC Rules and Regulations.

D. EAS Priorities

Broadcasters and cable operators are reminded that the EAS Priorities as set forth in the FCC Rules are as follows:

  1. National EAS Messages
  2. Local Area EAS Messages
  3. State EAS Messages

Messages from the National Information Center (NIC) [These are follow-up messages after a National EAS Activation.]

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III. The Washington DC National Capital Region Emergency Communications Committee (WDCNCR ECC)

The WDCNCR ECC is the planning group that developed this plan. The plan is the guideline for broadcasters and cable operators to determine: (1) their mandated and optional monitoring assignments, (2) codes to be used in the EAS Header sequence, (3) schedule of Required Monthly Tests which must be relayed by all broadcasters and cable operators, (4) guidance for message originators, etc. ECC members include the Chair, Vice-Chair, the representatives of the National Weather Service and the jurisdictions covered by the plan, and Metropolitan Washington Council Of Governments (COG) as a facilitating member.

Chair WDCNCR ECC

 

 

 

Vice Chair WDCNCR ECC

 

 

 

 

 

National Weather Service

Warning Coordination Meteorologist

44087 Weather Service Rd.

Sterling, VA 20166

(703) 260-0107 x223

 

Cable Television

To Be Determined

 

 

 

 

 

Government

District of Columbia EMA

Communications Officer

Washington, DC 20002

(202) 673-7353

 

Government

Maryland SECC

State of Maryland EMA

Chair

Communications Officer

 

Reisterstown, MD

 

(410) 517-3637

 

 

Government

Virginia SECC

State of Virginia DEM

Chair

Operations Officer

 

Richmond, VA

 

(804) 674-2407

 

 

Government

METRO WASHINGTON COG

Public Safety Program Manager

777 North Capitol Street, NE

Suite 300

Washington, DC 20002

(202) 962-3369

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IV. Organization and Concepts of the WDCNCR EAS

A. Broadcast and Cable EAS Designations

These are the FCC's EAS Station Designations, reflecting the EAS status of every broadcaster and cable operator. Consult Appendix A of this plan to determine your EAS Designation.

NP (National Primary)

Sole source of all National EAS Alerts. These stations will be monitored by Washington DC National Capital Region Local Primary (LP) stations.

SR (State Relay)

Stations that relay the State Emergency Network to the PN and NN stations.

LP-1 (Local Primary)

The local EAS LP-1 source (usually a broadcast station in your area) which was previously the EBS CPCS-1 station. In some large areas where the LP-1 does not have complete coverage, an LP-2 station has been designated to cover the far reaches of the area. Information in this plan relating to LP-1's also applies to LP-2's in those areas. LP-1 and LP-2 stations are primarily sources of Local Area Emergency EAS Messages. They will also be relaying National, State, and Weather Alerts.

PN (Participating National)

Almost all broadcasters and cable operators are designated as "PN". These sources are for delivering all levels of EAS to the general public.

NN (Non-Participating National)

These are broadcasters who hold an "NN Authorization" from the FCC to sign off the air during a National level EAS activation.

B. Other Definitions

The following are other terms used in the organization of the Washington DC National Capital Region Plan.

NOAA WEATHER RADIO - Under EAS, NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) stations are encoding all of their warnings using the same coding as is used for EAS Alerts. Broadcasters and cable operators can feed their EAS Decoders with the audio from any normal NOAA Weather Radio receiver, and their EAS Decoder will react just as it does with broadcaster and cable operator EAS codes.

NUCLEAR PLANT / INDUSTRIAL PLANT - As part of the EAS, nuclear plants, and industrial plants with a potential for dangerous conditions, will most likely have their own EAS Encoder broadcasting on a two-way radio channel. In this way they can warn area emergency managers directly of any potentially hazardous conditions. Emergency Services agencies which monitor this channel with an EAS Decoder can be warned immediately and relay the message to every area broadcaster and cable operator. Further, if the Emergency Services EAS Decoder monitors area broadcasters and cable operators, it will confirm when those sources pass on the emergency message.

C. Primary and Secondary Delivery Plan

The task of this Plan was to determine a primary and secondary delivery method for each level of EAS alert. For broadcasters and cable operators electing to monitor only the two assigned sources, two paths for each alert are provided. Broadcasters and cable operators adding the four optional sources will have three paths on some alerts. Using the Designations and Definitions just outlined, the redundancy of the WDCNCR EAS Plan is diagrammed on the following pages. For clarity, the first page shows the distribution paths for each level of the EAS drawn out separately. Thus, some communications paths are delivering more than one level of EAS alert. The second page maps out all of the State EAS paths on one diagram. Consult Appendix A, "Monitoring Assignments", to determine the specific two mandated and four optional sources that each broadcaster and cable operator should monitor.

D. Your Part in Completing the System

The WDCNCR ECC sees the EAS as growing and evolving once the system is in place, especially at the local level. The basic entry to the EAS are the LP-1 and LP-2 stations. Additional entry points will be available to those Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs) that have an EAS Encoder.

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V. EAS Header Code Information

A. EAS Header Code Analysis

An EAS message contains the following elements, sent in the following sequence:

  1. Digital Header Code - [Preamble] ZCZC-ORG-EEE-PSSCCC+TTTT-JJJHHMM-LLLLLLLL- (sent three times)
  2. Attention Signal
  3. Aural, Visual, or Text Message
  4. End Of Message digital Code - [Preamble] NNNN (sent three times)

1. Digital Header Code

[Preamble] = (Clears the System) - Sent automatically by your encoder.

ZCZC = (Start of ASCII Code) - Sent automatically by your encoder.

ORG = (Originator Code) - Preset once by user, then sent automatically by your encoder. See the following section for the code you must use.

EEE = (Event Code) - Determined by the user, each time an alert is sent. See the following section for the only codes to be used in the WDCNCR area.

PSSCCC = (County-Location Code) - Determined by the user, each time an alert is sent. See the following section for the assigned codes of all WDCNCR area jurisdictions.

TTTT = (Duration of Alert) - Determined by the user, each time an alert is sent.

JJJHHMM = (Date/Time-of-Day) - Sent automatically by your encoder.

LLLLLLLL = (8-Character ID, Identifying the Broadcaster, Cable Operator, National Weather Service Office, Nuclear/Industrial Plant, or Civil Authority operating that encoder.) Preset Once by user, then sent automatically by your encoder. See the following section for the format to be followed by all users in constructing their "L-Code".

2. Attention Signal - Must be sent if aural, visual, or text message is sent.

3. Aural, Visual, or Text Message – Limited to two minutes.

4. End Of Message digital Code

NNNN (End-of-Message Code) - Must be initiated manually at the end of every EAS message originated by all sources. System failure will occur if this code is not sent to reset the decoders of all broadcast stations and cable systems that carried that alert.

Appendix E contains an example of an EAS message for an AMBER alert.

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B. WDCNCR Originator Codes

Following are the only Originator Codes (ORG) to be used by sources in the Washington DC National Capital Region.

WXR to be used by the National Weather Service Offices

CIV to be used by Emergency Government, Sheriffs, and all other Civil Authorities.

EAS to be used by all Broadcasters and Cable Operators.

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C. WDCNCR Event Codes

Whether used under the authority of the State EAS Plans, or any of the County/Local Area EAS Plans, the following are the only Event Codes (EEE) to be used in the Washington DC National Capital Region by anyone for any purpose. No codes can be added by anyone without FCC approval. County/Local area EAS plans which desire to use a code not on this list, should submit that code request to the WDCNCR ECC for FCC approval and subsequent addition to this list. This list will be maintained as a "Master List" for all Event Codes used in the Washington DC National Capital Region.

Mandated and Optional FCC Event Codes (EAN, EAT, RMT, RWT)

Except for the messages containing the above mandated codes, all other messages containing the codes listed below are optional both for receiving and transmitting. Note: The optional receiving capability is only available with upgraded EAS equipment. Broadcasters and cable operators should check their EAS equipment to determine if it is the upgraded version. Also, with respect to the WDCNCR, it is likely that only certain of the optional codes in the table immediately below will actually be used. These are indicated with an asterisk.

Emergency Action Notification 

EAN 

 

Emergency Action Termination 

EAT 

National Information Center 

NIC 

 

National Periodic Test 

NPT 

Required Monthly Test 

RMT 

 

Required Weekly Test 

RWT 

Tornado Watch 

TOA*   

 

Tornado Warning 

TOR*

Severe Thunderstorm Watch 

SVA*

 

Severe Thunderstorm Warning 

SVR*

Severe Weather Statement 

SVS 

 

Special Weather Statement 

SPS 

Flash Flood Watch 

FFA 

 

Flash Flood Warning 

FFW*

Flash Flood Statement 

FFS 

 

Flood Watch 

FLA 

Flood Warning 

FLW*

 

Flood Statement 

FLS 

Winter Storm Watch 

WSA 

 

Winter Storm Warning 

WSW 

Blizzard Warning 

BZW**

 

High Wind Watch 

HWA 

High Wind Warning 

HWW*

 

Evacuation Immediate 

EVI*

Civil Emergency Message 

CEM*

 

Practice/Demo Warning 

DMO 

Hurricane Statement 

HLS 

 

Hurricane Watch 

HUA 

Administrative Message 

ADR 

 

Hurricane Warning 

HUW 

** Used only in extreme conditions.

The following Event codes are only usable with upgraded EAS Equipment. Messages containing these codes that are received with old equipment may show up as unrecognized messages. The CAE code will be used for AMBER messages.

Child Abduction Emergency 

CAE

 

Earthquake Warning 

EQW 

Coastal Flood Warning 

CFW 

 

Hazardous Materials Warning 

HMW 

Fire Warning 

FRW 

 

Local Area Emergency 

LAE

Law Enforcement Warning 

LEW 

 

Radiological Hazard Warning 

RHW 

Network Message Notification 

NMN 

 

Tropical Storm Warning 

TRW 

Nuclear Power Plant Warning 

NUW 

 

911 Telephone Outage Emergency

TOE

Shelter in Place Warning 

SPW 

 

Special Marine Warning 

SMW

Civil Danger Warning 

CDW 

 

 

 

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D. WDCNCR Jurisdiction-Location Codes

The first digit (P) of the Location Code (PSSCCC) can be used to indicate one-ninth of the location code it precedes, in the following pattern:

P Digit

Location

0

Entire Area

1

Northwest

2

North

3

Northeast

4

West

5

Central

6

East

7

Southwest

8

South

9

Southeast

The remaining 5 digits (SSCCC) indicate the jurisdiction’s State and County, as listed below.

Jurisdiction

SSCCC Digits

Washington, DC

11001

Montgomery, MD

24031

Prince George's, MD

24033

Frederick, MD

24019

Arlington, VA

51013

Fairfax, VA

51059

Loudoun, VA

51107

Prince William, VA

51153

Alexandria, VA

51510

Fairfax (City), VA

51600

Falls Church, VA

51610

Manassas, VA

51683

Manassas Park, VA

51685

Potomac River

073535*

Therefore, a message targeted to the entire District of Columbia would have a location code of 011001. A message targeted to the northwest corner of Montgomery County. Maryland would have a location code of 124031. * New off shore FIPS code for the tidal Potomac from Key Bridge to Indian Head. NWS will start to use this code sometime after October 15, 2003.

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E. WDCNCR “L-Code” Formats

This 8-character code (LLLLLLLL) is affixed to every EAS message originated or re-transmitted by every EAS Encoder. The code identifies the particular broadcaster, cable operator, National Weather Service Office, nuclear/industrial plant, or civil authority operating that encoder. "L-Code" Ids must adhere to the following formats. No deviation from these formats is allowed, since using certain other characters would cause an error in the system.

Broadcasters:

Single Station: "WXXX(FM)

Two Stations: "WXXXWYYY

Three or more Stations: The call letters of one of the stations is sufficient. All other stations sending the alert should keep a log of alerts sent, as should the ID's station. (Per FCC)

Cable Operators:

Use the FCC Cable ID Number

Weather Service Offices:

Use the Letters "NWS", followed by the call sign of the NOAA Weather Radio Station sending the alert.

Examples: "NWSKHB36" or "NWSKIG65"

Civil Authorities:

This code uses three components in constructing its 8-character code:

Portion of "L_Code"

Source of Characters

First four characters

First four letters of name of jurisdiction (see section 1, below. ) 

Next two characters

Abbreviation for type of jurisdiction (see section 2, below.) 

Last two characters

Abbreviation for type of agency (see section 3, below.)

1.) Example of jurisdiction names: Arlington = ARLI ; Washington = DIST

2.) Jurisdiction Type abbreviations:

TYPE

USE

City

CY

Town

TN

Village

VL

County

CO

Township

TP

Municipality

MY

3.) Agency Type Abbreviations:

 TYPE

USE

Fire Dept.

FD

Police Dept.

PD

Traffic Authority

TA

Emergency Services

ES

Emergency Management

EM

Examples: Montgomery County Sheriff = MONTCOSH

Washington, DC Police = WASHCYPD

Note, Military groups use eight characters as follows:

TYPE

U.S.ARMY

U.S.NAVY

AIRFORCE

U.S.M.C.

U.S.C.G.

Private Industry:

Nuclear and Industrial Plants: Submit a logical code to the WDCNCR ECC for approval and inclusion in this Plan.

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VI. EAS Tests

The following requirements regarding both RWT's and RMT's apply to all broadcast stations and cable systems, "PN" as well as "NN" stations. Even broadcast stations and cable systems that have elected not to participate in local EAS alerts are required to rebroadcast their local RMT every month. There are exceptions to these rules. LPTV stations that operate as TV broadcast translator stations are not required to have EAS equipment. LPFM stations will eventually have to install only an EAS decoder. Class "D" FM and LPTV stations need not have an EAS Encoder but they must have an EAS Decoder. Cable systems and wireless cable systems serving less than 5,000 subscribers are required to install only an EAS decoder. Thus, these stations and cable systems are exempt from running the weekly digital code RWT test. However, they must retransmit the monthly RMT tests as outlined below, minus the EAS Header Codes and Attention Signal. In addition, LPTV stations must present all EAS information visually, just as all other TV stations must do. FM broadcast booster stations and FM translator stations, which entirely rebroadcast the programming of other local FM broadcast stations, are not required to have EAS equipment. Broadcast stations that operate as satellites or repeaters of a hub station (or common studio or control point) may satisfy their EAS equipment requirement through the use of a single set of EAS equipment at the hub station.

A. Required Weekly Test (RWT)

1. Transmission:

All broadcasters and cable operators (unless exempt by FCC rules) must transmit an RWT once each week at random days and times except for the week of the RMT test. There are no time of day restrictions. This is a 10.5 second test, consisting only of the EAS digital Header and End of Message digital Codes. The National Weather Service originates an RWT every Wednesday between 11 am and 12 pm local time.

2. Reception

All broadcasters and cable operators receiving a RWT from one of their monitored sources must log receipt of this test. No further action is required.

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B. Required Monthly Test (RMT)

1. Transmission

RMT's are to be initiated by the LP-1 or LP-2 stations. During some months, the test may actually be initiated by an EOC (Emergency Operations Center) that is equipped with an EAS encoder. During the designated week for this test, all other broadcasters and cable operators are to wait for this test and then react as described in “Reception/Re-transmission of RMTs,” below. These tests will always use the RMT event code.

 2. Scheduling of RMTs: Week and Time of Day:

Washington DC National Capital Region EAS RMT Schedule 2014

Date

Time

Originator

18-Dec-2013

3:47 AM

WETA(FM) 90.9 MHz

22-Jan-2014

10:47 AM

WTOP(FM) 103.5 MHz

19-Feb-2014

2:47 AM

WTOP(FM) 103.5 MHz

19-Mar-2014

11:47 AM

WTOP(FM) 103.5 MHz

23-Apr-2014

3:47 AM

WTOP(FM) 103.5 MHz

21-May-2014

10:47 AM

WTOP(FM) 103.5 MHz

18-Jun-2014

2:47 AM

WTOP(FM) 103.5 MHz

23-Jul-2014

11:47 AM

WTOP(FM) 103.5 MHz

20-Aug-2014

3:47 AM

WTOP(FM) 103.5 MHz

24-Sep-2014

10:47 AM

WTOP(FM) 103.5 MHz

22-Oct-2014

2:47 AM

WTOP(FM) 103.5 MHz

19-Nov-2014

11:47 AM

WTOP(FM) 103.5 MHz

24-Dec-2014

3:47 AM

WTOP(FM) 103.5 MHz

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3. Scheduling of RMT's: Recommended Time Constraints:

LP stations as well as EOC’s are requested to use judgment in the scheduling of times for RMT's. Since all broadcasters and cable operators are required to rebroadcast this test within 15/60* minutes of receiving it, care should be taken to not put undue hardship on TV broadcasters and cable operators in particular, when they are carrying their highest revenue programming. On a daily basis, these periods would include all major newscasts: early morning, noontime, evening and late evening. In addition, the times of major events are recommended to be avoided, such as: pre-planned Presidential speeches, hours of a major national or local news story carried outside of normal newscast hours, local and national election coverage, and major sporting events like World Series games and the Superbowl. *Upgraded EAS equipment only.

Broadcasters and cable operators that have a complaint regarding the scheduling of RMT's in the area should make their concerns known to the WDCNCR ECC.

4. Reception / Re-transmission

All broadcasters and cable operators receiving an RMT must re-transmit this test within 15/60* minutes of receiving the test. For Daytime only stations receiving a night time RMT, this test must be re-transmitted within 15/60* minutes of the Daytime only stations' sign on. Transmission of this RMT takes the place of the Required Weekly Test (RWT). Times should be logged for both the receipt and re-transmission of the RMT test. Broadcast and cable management should impress on their staff that re-transmission of this test is not an option. It is an FCC violation to fail to re-transmit this test within 15/60* minutes of receiving it. The best policy may be to set your EAS unit for a 15/60* minute automatic countdown upon receiving an RMT. If the operator on duty does not send the test manually within that window, the box will do it for the operator when time runs out. *Upgraded EAS equipment only.

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C. Time-Duration and Jurisdiction-Location Codes to be used

Time Duration used in the EAS Header Code for all EAS tests shall be "70 Minutes". Jurisdiction Codes to be used in the EAS Header Code for all EAS tests shall conform to these guidelines:

LP Stations: All tests, RWT and RMT, shall include the Location Code for all the jurisdictions in the Washington DC National Capital Region as follows:

Jurisdiction

Code

Washington, DC

011001

Montgomery, MD

024031

Prince George's, MD

024033

Frederick, MD

024019

Arlington, VA

051013

Fairfax, VA

051059

Loudoun, VA

051107

Prince William, VA

051153

Alexandria, VA

051510

Fairfax (City), VA

051600

Falls Church, VA

051610

Manassas, VA

051683

Manassas Park, VA

051685

PN and NN broadcast stations and cable operators: RMT tests shall be re-transmitted unchanged except for the "L-Code". Thus, RMTs will include all jurisdictions present in the original message. For the RWT originated each week by each PN and NN broadcast station and each cable operator, the jurisdiction code used shall be the jurisdiction of the broadcasters' City of License, or cable operators' Community of License. Other jurisdictions in the stations'/systems' service area may be added at management discretion.

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VII. WDCNCR EAS Scripts and Formats

A. Test Scripts and Formats

The following test scripts and formats shall be used by all Washington DC National Capital Region broadcasters, cable operators and emergency agencies when originating EAS tests.

RWT

No script is used for the RWT. Entire test takes about 10.5 seconds. Format is as follows.

  1. Stop regular programming
  2. (Optional Announcement to audience identifying EAS digital tones as part of EAS test – broadcast station / cable operator discretion)
  3. One second pause
  4. Send EAS Header digital Code 3 times (Use RWT Event Code for this test)
  5. One second pause
  6. Send EAS End of Message digital Code 3 times
  7. One second pause
  8. Resume normal programming

RMT

LP stations originating this test should use the following format. All other broadcasters and cable operators will receive the test in this format, and must re-transmit it within 15/60* minutes in the same format. Format is as follows. *Upgraded EAS equipment only.

  1. Stop regular programming
  2. Intro: "This is a test of the Washington DC National Capital Region Emergency Alert System."
  3. One second pause
  4. Send EAS Header digital Code 3 times (Use RMT Event Code for this test)
  5. One second pause
  6. Send EAS Attention Signal (8 to 25 seconds)
  7. Read Test script: "This is a test of the Washington DC National Capital Region Emergency Alert System. In the event of an emergency, this system would bring you important information. This test is now concluded."
  8. One second pause 
  9. Send EAS End of Message digital Code 3 times
  10. One second pause
  11. Resume normal programming

Timing Note: The script above can be read in 9-10 seconds. All other elements of the RMT (the Header Codes and an 8 second Attention Signal) take about 25 seconds. The goal of writing this short script was to fit the entire test into 40 seconds. This will allow television stations to air the RMT followed by a 20 second promotional announcement in a 60 second availability. The promotional announcement should allow the EAS crawl to complete before normal programming resumes.

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B. Real Alert Activation Script and Format

METRO AREA ACTIVATION

LP Stations

  1. Stop Regular Programming
  2. Intro "We interrupt our regular programming to activate the Washington DC National Capital Region Emergency Alert System. Important information will follow."
  3. One second pause
  4. Send EAS Header digital Code 3 times (Use appropriate Event Code from list provided in “Washington DC National Capital Region Event Codes" section of this plan.)
  5. One second pause
  6. Send EAS Attention Signal (8 to 25 seconds)
  7. Activation Announcement: "We interrupt our regular programming to activate the Washington DC National Capital Region Emergency Alert System. At the request of (Emergency Agency), all EAS broadcast stations and cable systems are requested to rebroadcast the following (Type of Alert / Matches Event Code) announcement. This is the Washington DC National Capital Region Emergency Alert System. Important information will follow."
  8. Broadcast Emergency Message. Do not exceed 1 ½ minutes!
  9. Termination Announcement: "This is the Washington DC National Capital Region Emergency Alert System. All Washington DC National Capital Region broadcast stations and cable systems are requested to rebroadcast the preceding announcement, which was issued by (Emergency Agency). We now resume normal programming.
  10. One second pause
  11. Send EAS End of Message digital Code 3 times
  12. One second pause

Resume normal programming

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VIII. Guidance for Originators of EAS Alerts

A. Guidance for National Weather Service Personnel

NWS personnel should issue EAS Weather Alerts via the Weather Teletype, NOAA Weather Radio and satellite using the NOAA SAME Codes. NWS procedures should be followed relating to the transmission of the SAME Codes, the 1050 Hz Alert Tone, the reading of the audio weather bulletin script, and the EOM Code. Considering that NOAA Weather Radio is being envisioned in the future as an "All Hazards" radio network, alerts for other than weather emergencies may soon be originated by NWS personnel. In the event that NWS personnel originate non-weather EAS Alerts, procedures found in this plan regarding those alerts should be followed. NWS in Sterling, Virginia, is scheduled at the end of September, 2003, to begin using the new EAS Event and Location Codes adopted by the FCC in February, 2002.

B. Guidance for Emergency Services Personnel

EAS is designed so that agencies with an emergency message need transmit that message only once and the message will be received by all area broadcasters and cable operators simultaneously. The most accessible method to do this is via your satellite feed, Emergency Government VHF two-way radio channel or telephone. In order to generate this EAS message for transmission to broadcasters and cable operators, a device called an EAS Encoder is needed. This unit is connected to your satellite feed, two-way radio or telephone line. Your message will be received by local broadcasters and cable operators. It will then automatically trigger their EAS decoders to deliver your message. At the present time, most jurisdictions have not purchased their own EAS encoder. A jurisdiction without an EAS encoder can utilize the EAS by contacting WTOP(FM) or WETA(FM) or NWS.

A WORD OF CAUTION: Emergency Services agencies have acquired a valuable new tool in gaining direct access to all area broadcasters and cable operators via the EAS. However, if not used prudently, you put yourself in danger of losing this tool. Broadcasters and cable operators are expecting the EAS to be used only in life-threatening emergencies. Keep in mind two things. First, some broadcasters and cable operators have their EAS Decoders set on Automatic Mode. There is no one to screen your message and decide if it should be aired. They are depending on you to only send an EAS Alert for a very serious emergency. The first time you trigger the system for a frivolous event, you will lose the confidence of your area broadcasters and cable system operators. The second thing to remember is that broadcasters and cable operators participate in the local level EAS on a voluntary basis. No one can force them to carry your EAS alerts. Maintain a good relationship with your local broadcasters and cable operators, and they will come through for you in a crisis.

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C. Guidance for Regional Emergency Messages

See Appendix F for the March 7, 2003, Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).


IX. Guidance for All Users in Programming their EAS Decoders

This plan is designed to serve as a learning tool for broadcasters, cable operators and emergency managers to effectively use the EAS for providing warning messages to the citizens of the Washington DC National Capital Region.

It covers only the parts of the plan that are needed to comply with FCC regulations taking effect on January 1, 1997, through February, 2002. Specifically, a list of monitoring assignments is provided so all broadcast stations and cable systems will have two monitoring assignments. National level EAS participation and RWT/RMT tests are the only REQUIRED functions being dealt with in this draft. More development and testing of the plan is required to integrate local and state agencies into the EAS.

Contacts and meetings with local and state emergency preparedness officials should be held to bring them into the plan. For now, the prevailing State and local EAS plans will function to bring information from the government officials to the key EAS stations (sources) - SP (State Primary), SR (State Relay) and LP (Local Primary). The message will then travel over the EAS system according to the monitoring plan. Agreements with local and state agencies should strive to get EAS encoders present at the Emergency Operations Centers, so that alerts can be originated at the EOC's.

This plan specifies only the required two EAS sources (in our case broadcast stations) that each broadcaster and cable operator are required to monitor. Most EAS decoders have more than two inputs. It is encouraged that broadcasters and cable operators add as many receivers and inputs beyond the two required to serve the needs of their audience.

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It is strongly recommended that all broadcast stations and cable systems add a NOAA weather radio receiver as one of the inputs to their EAS decoder.

Additionally, because the Washington DC National Capital Region includes three jurisdictions, (District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia), monitoring assignments were chosen to cover the two state EAS networks plus the District. Stations may choose to add EAS decoder inputs to monitor adjacent areas to which they are not assigned.

Monitoring assignments were chosen based on a broadcast station's City of License and cable system’s Community of Service.

Jurisdictions covered:

District of Columbia

Washington

State of Maryland

Frederick County

Montgomery County

Prince George's County

Commonwealth of Virginia

City of Alexandria

Arlington County

Fairfax County

City of Fairfax

City of Falls Church

City of Manassas

Loudoun County

City of Manassas Park

Prince William County

Broadcast stations outside these areas with a significant Washington DC National Capital Region audience may monitor the Washington DC National Capital Region area at their option but must use the EAS assignments given to them in their respective state plans.

Key EAS sources (LPs) for the District will be WTOP(FM) and WETA(FM). In Maryland, WBAL/WIYY serves as the State LP-1 station. WBAL is also a Primary Entry Point (PEP) station in the national level EAS. WPGC-FM will serve as the LP-2 station. WMAL-FM will relay the Virginia state EAS network to WTOP(FM) and WETA.

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The "Local EAS Area" for broadcast stations and cable systems decoders is as follows:

Jurisdiction

FIPS Code

Washington, DC

011001

Frederick

024019

Montgomery, MD

024031

Prince George's, MD

024033

Arlington, VA

051013

Fairfax, VA

051059

Loudoun, VA

051107

Prince William, VA

051153

Alexandria, VA

051510

Fairfax (City), VA

051600

Falls Church, VA

051610

Manassas, VA

051683

Manassas Park, VA

051685

Potomac River

073535

This section is provided to aid users of EAS, primarily broadcasters and cable operators, in programming their Event codes, Jurisdiction Codes, and Modes of Operation into their EAS Decoder. This information can also be of value to Emergency Services personnel who are making use of the Decoder section in their EAS gear.

Each EAS alert that you want to program your EAS gear to respond to will require that you tell it these three elements: (1) which Event Code* you want it to respond to, (2) which Jurisdiction* (including the Potomac River) that event should apply to, and (3) what Mode of Operation you want it to respond in. *Upgraded EAS equipment can respond to more Event and Location codes than equipment that has not been upgraded.

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A. Modes of Operation

All EAS Decoders must be capable of at least Manual and Automatic Operation. Some manufacturers also offer a Semi-Automatic Mode.

Manual Operation: Your EAS gear will only notify you of any incoming EAS alerts that you have programmed it to respond to. Your operator must push a button to cause the alert to be transmitted on your station/cable system.

Automatic Operation: This type of operation would normally be used with a Program Interrupt connection to the EAS Unit. Your on-air audio and/or video is "looped through" the EAS Unit so that the unit can interrupt the audio/video programming when necessary. In automatic operation, when the EAS Decoder receives an EAS alert that you have programmed it to respond to, it immediately interrupts your programming to transmit the alert.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you operate your broadcast station or cable system as an unattended facility for any period of time, during that period of time you must operate your EAS equipment in the automatic mode.  

Semi-Automatic Operation: Under this mode of operation, when the EAS Decoder receives an EAS alert that you have programmed it to respond to, it will begin a preset countdown to automatic interrupt. The idea is for your operator to run the EAS alert on the air manually at his earliest convenience. If the alert is not run by the time the countdown expires, the EAS gear will take over and do it for your operator. The same could apply to a broadcast automation system, where the automation system should insert the received alert in the next commercial break. If it fails to do that, the EAS gear will interrupt to transmit the alert at the end of the time out.

You can program your EAS gear to respond to different alerts in different modes, such as responding to all weather watches in Manual Mode, and all weather warnings in Automatic Mode. The Required Monthly Test (RMT), which must be re-transmitted within 15/60* minutes of receipt, could be programmed for Semi-Automatic Mode with a 15/60* minute countdown. This would give your operator the opportunity to run the RMT at a break in their show. However, if forgotten, the EAS gear would then do it to prevent you from committing an FCC violation. *Upgraded EAS equipment only.

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B. Jurisdiction-Location Codes to Use

There are certain Event codes in EAS messages that you will receive for your City or Community of License that you must program your EAS gear to respond to. A list of those required Events Codes is shown below. When programming your EAS gear for other optional EAS alerts, you will want to include any other communities in your "service area" that you wish to provide alerts to your listeners/viewers for. Again, each type of alert can include whatever jurisdictions you wish to be alerted for. You can also tell your EAS gear to notify you in Manual Mode of any EAS alert received for you City or Community of License. In this way you do not have to program all the events separately. You can then program separately the events you actually want it to take over your broadcast station/cable system for in the Automatic Mode.

C. Event Codes You MUST Program into your EAS Decoder

The FCC requires that broadcasters and cable operators program their EAS Decoders for the following events:

EAN (National EAS Activation) = Must be re-transmitted immediately.

EAT (National EAS Termination) = Must be re-transmitted immediately.

RMT (Required Monthly Test) containing your Jurisdiction of License code = Must be re-transmitted within 15/60* minutes of receipt. *Upgraded EAS equipment only.

RWT (Required Weekly Test) containing your Jurisdiction of License code =This received test need only be logged. Not re-broadcast.

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D. Suggested Programming Sequence for Setting Up Your EAS Decoder

The following is an example of the list of events that you MIGHT enter into your EAS Decoder:

 EVENT 

DESCRIPTION 

JURISDICTION CODE 

OPERATION MODE 

EAN 

National EAS Activation 

Not Applicable 

Automatic 

EAT 

National EAS Termination 

Not Applicable 

Automatic 

NIC 

National Info Center 

Not Applicable 

Manual 

RMT 

Required Monthly Test 

Your Jurisdiction of License/Service

Semi-Automatic-15/60* min 

RWT 

Required Weekly Test 

Your Jurisdiction of License/Service

Manual (for logging) 

TOR 

Tornado Warning 

All Jurisdictions in your Area

Semi-Automatic-5 min 

FFW 

Flash Flood Warning 

All Jurisdictions in your Area

Semi-Automatic-5 min 

CEM 

Civil Emergency Message 

All Jurisdictions in your Area

Semi-Automatic-5 min 

CAE *

Child Abduction Emergency 

Entire WDCNCR 

Automatic

EVI 

Evacuation Immediate 

All Jurisdictions in your Area

Automatic

LAE *

Local Area Emergency

All Jurisdictions in your Area 

Automatic 

TOE * 

911 Telephone Outage Emergency 

All Jurisdictions in your Area 

Manual 

*Upgraded EAS equipment only.

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Appendix A

MONITORING ASSIGNMENTS

This plan specifies only the required two EAS sources (in our case, broadcast stations) that each broadcaster and cable operator is to monitor. Most EAS decoders have more than two inputs. It is encouraged that broadcasters add as many receivers and inputs beyond the two required to serve the needs of their audience. It is strongly recommended that all broadcast stations and cable systems add a NOAA weather radio receiver as one of the inputs to their EAS decoder.

Additionally, because the Washington DC National Capital Region includes three jurisdictions, (District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia) monitoring assignments were chosen to cover the Maryland and Virginia state networks plus the District. Broadcast stations and cable systems may choose to add EAS decoder inputs to monitor adjacent areas to which they are not assigned. Monitoring assignments were chosen based on a broadcast station's City of License and a cable operator’s Community of Service.

  1. Broadcast stations and cable systems licensed to the District of Columbia were assigned two DC LP stations.
  2. Broadcast stations and cable systems licensed to Maryland were assigned one Maryland SP or LP station, and one DC LP station.
  3. Broadcast stations and cable systems licensed to Virginia were assigned one Virginia SR or LP station and one DC LP station.
  4. EAS designated LP-1, LP-2, LP-3 and SR were assigned additional sources to monitor in order to accomplish their relay assignments.

Jurisdictions covered:

District of Columbia

Washington

State of Maryland

Frederick County

Montgomery County

Prince George's County

Commonwealth of Virginia

City of Alexandria

Arlington County

Fairfax County

City of Fairfax

City of Falls Church

City of Manassas

Loudoun County

City of Manassas Park

Prince William County

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Broadcast stations outside these areas with a significant Washington DC National Capital Region audience may monitor the Washington DC NCR EAS Area at their option but must use the EAS assignments given to them in their respective state plans. EAS primary sources for the Washington DC National Capital Region are WTOP(FM) and WETA. In Maryland, WBAL/WIYY serve as the State sources. WBAL is also a Primary Entry Point (PEP) source in the EAS national level (Presidential). WPGC-FM serves as an LP-2 station. In Virginia, WMAL-FM will relay the Virginia state EAS network to WTOP(FM) and WETA.

 The "Local EAS Area" for broadcast station and cable system decoders is as follows:

Jurisdiction

FIPS Code

Washington, DC

011001

Frederick

024019

Montgomery, MD

024031

Prince George's, MD

024033

Arlington, VA

051013

Fairfax, VA

051059

Loudoun, VA

051107

Prince William, VA

051153

Alexandria, VA

051510

Fairfax (City), VA

051600

Falls Church, VA

051610

Manassas, VA

051683

Manassas Park, VA

051685

Potomac River

073535

This section is provided to aid users of EAS, primarily broadcasters and cable operators, in programming their event codes, Jurisdiction Codes, and Modes of Operation into their EAS Decoder. This information can also be of value to Emergency Services personnel who are making use of the Decoder section in their EAS gear. Each EAS Alert that you want to program your EAS gear to respond to will require that you tell it these three elements: which Event Code you want it to respond to, which Jurisdiction that event should apply to, and what Mode of Operation you want it to respond in. The Washington DC National Capital Region EAS Area covers three major jurisdictions, Maryland, The District of Columbia, and Virginia. Your broadcast station's monitoring assignment is determined by your city of license, or in the case of cable, your community of service.

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IF YOU ARE LICENSED OR SERVE WASHINGTON DC:

Monitoring Assignment 1: WTOP(FM) (103.5 MHz) (LP-1)

Monitoring Assignment 2: WETA(FM) (90.9 MHz) (LP-2)

IF YOU ARE LICENSED OR SERVE MARYLAND:

(MONTGOMERY, PRINCE GEORGE'S OR FREDERICK COUNTIES):

Monitoring Assignment 1: WTOP(FM) (103.5 MHz) (LP-1) or WETA(FM) (90.9 MHz) (LP-2)

Monitoring Assignment 2: WPGC-FM (95.5 MHz) or WFMD(AM) (930 kHz)/WFRE-FM (99.9 MHz)

IF YOU ARE LICENSED OR SERVE VIRGINIA:

Monitoring Assignment 1: WTOP(FM) (103.5 MHz) (LP-1) or WETA(FM) (90.9 MHz) (LP-2)

Monitoring Assignment 2 WMAL-FM (105.9 FM)

Call Sign 

Frequency 

Designation 

Monitoring Asgn 1 

Monitoring Asgn 2 

Monitoring Asgn 3 

WRC-TV

CH 4 

PN 

WTOP(FM) 

WETA(FM) 

 

WTTG 

CH 5 

PN 

WTOP(FM) 

WETA(FM) 

 

WJLA-TV 

CH 7 

PN 

WTOP(FM) 

WETA(FM) 

 

WUSA 

CH 9 

PN 

WTOP(FM) 

WETA(FM) 

 

WTMW 

CH 14 

PN 

WTOP(FM) 

WMAL-FM 

 

WDCA 

CH 20 

PN 

WTOP(FM) 

WETA(FM) 

 

WETA-TV 

CH 26 

PN 

WTOP(FM) 

WETA(FM) 

 

WHMM 

CH 32 

PN 

WTOP(FM) 

WETA(FM) 

 

WDCW-TV 

CH 50 

PN 

WTOP(FM) 

WETA(FM) 

 

WNVC 

CH 56 

PN 

WTOP(FM) 

WMAL-FM 

 

WFPT

CH 62

PN

WTOP(FM)

WFMD / WFRE-FM

 

WPXW 

CH 66 

PN 

WTOP(FM) 

WMAL-FM 

 

WMUC 

88.1 

PN 

WTOP(FM)

WPGC-FM 

 

WAMU 

88.5 

PN 

WTOP(FM) 

WETA(FM) 

 

WPFW 

89.3 

PN 

WTOP(FM) 

WETA(FM) 

 

WMTB-FM

89.9

PN

WTOP(FM)

WFMD / WFRE-FM

 

WCSP

90.1 

PN 

WTOP(FM) 

WETA(FM) 

 

WETA 

90.9 

PN 

WTOP(FM) 

WETA(FM) 

 

WGTS-FM

91.9 

PN 

WTOP(FM) 

WPGC-FM 

 

WKYS 

93.9 

PN 

WTOP(FM) 

WETA(FM) 

 

WIAD 

94.7 

PN 

WTOP(FM) 

WPGC-FM 

 

WPGC-FM

95.5 

SR (MD) 

WTOP(FM) 

WBAL / WIYY- FM

 

WHUR-FM 

96.3 

PN 

WTOP(FM) 

WETA(FM) 

 

WASH 

97.1 

SR (DC) 

WTOP(FM) 

WETA(FM) 

 

WMZQ-FM 

98.7 

PN 

WTOP(FM) 

WETA(FM) 

 

WIHT

99.5 

PN 

WTOP(FM) 

WETA(FM) 

 

WFRE-FM

99.9

LP-1

WTOP(FM)

WBAL / WIYY-FM

 

WBIG-FM

100.3 

PN 

WTOP(FM) 

WETA(FM) 

 

WWDC-FM 

101.1 

PN 

WTOP(FM) 

WETA(FM) 

 

WMMJ 

102.3 

PN 

WTOP(FM) 

WPGC-FM 

 

WAFY

103.1

LP-2

WTOP(FM)

WFMD / WFRE-FM

 

WTOP(FM) 

103.5 

LP-1 

WETA(FM) 

WBAL / WIYY-FM

WMAL-FM

WWVZ

103.9

PN

WTOP(FM)

WFMD / WFRE-FM

 

WAVA 

105.1 

PN 

WTOP(FM) 

WMAL-FM 

 

WMAL-FM 

105.9 

SR (VA) 

WTOP(FM) 

WFLS 

 

WJFK-FM 

106.7 

PN 

WTOP(FM)

WMAL-FM 

 

WRQX

107.3 

SR (DC) 

WTOP(FM)

WMAL-FM 

WBAL / WIYY-FM 

WWWT-FM

107.7 

PN 

WETA(FM)

WMAL-FM 

 

WTNT 

570 

PN 

WTOP(FM)

WPGC-FM 

 

WMAL 

630 

LP-2 

WTOP(FM)

WMAL-FM 

WBAL / WIYY-FM 

WWTL

700

PN

WTOP(FM)

WFMD / WFRE-FM

 

WKDL

730 

PN 

WTOP(FM)

WMAL-FM 

 

WABS 

780 

PN 

WTOP(FM)

WMAL-FM 

 

WXTR

820

PN

WETA(FM)

WFMD / WFRE-FM

 

WILC 

900 

PN 

WTOP(FM)

WPGC-FM 

 

WFMD

930

LP-1

WTOP(FM)

WBAL / WIYY-FM

 

WCTN 

950 

PN 

WTOP(FM)

WPGC-FM 

 

WTEM

980 

PN 

WTOP(FM) 

WETA(FM) 

 

WBQH 

1030 

PN 

WTOP(FM)

WPGC-FM 

 

WPLC

1050 

PN 

WTOP(FM)

WPGC-FM 

 

WUST 

1120 

PN 

WTOP(FM) 

WETA(FM) 

 

WMET 

1150 

PN 

WTOP(FM)

WPGC-FM 

 

WCRW 

1190 

PN 

WTOP(FM)

WMAL-FM 

 

WFAX 

1220 

PN 

WTOP(FM)

WMAL-FM 

 

WWRC

1260 

PN 

WTOP(FM) 

WETA(FM) 

 

WDCT 

1310 

PN 

WTOP(FM)

WMAL-FM 

 

WYCB 

1340 

PN 

WTOP(FM) 

WETA(FM) 

 

WZHF 

1390 

PN 

WTOP(FM)

WMAL-FM 

 

WOL 

1450 

PN 

WTOP(FM) 

WETA(FM) 

 

WTHU

1450

PN

WTOP(FM)

WFMD / WFRE-FM

 

WKDV 

1460 

PN 

WTOP(FM) 

WMAL-FM 

 

WPWC 

1480 

PN 

WTOP(FM)

WMAL-FM 

 

WFED 

1500 

PN

WETA(FM) 

WBAL / WIYY-FM 

WMAL-FM 

WTRI

1520

PN

WTOP(FM)

WFMD / WFRE-FM

 

WMDO 

1540 

PN 

WTOP(FM) 

WPGC-FM 

 

WNEW 

1580 

PN 

WTOP(FM)

WBAL / WIYY-FM 

 

WINX 

1600 

PN 

WTOP(FM)

WPGC-FM 

 

Washington, DC 

CABLE

 PN

WTOP(FM)

WETA(FM) 

 

Montgomery

and Prince George’s Counties, MD

CABLE

 PN

WTOP(FM)

WPGC-FM

 

Frederick County, MD

CABLE

PN

WTOP(FM)

WFMD / WFRE-FM

 

Virginia

CABLE

PN

WTOP(FM)

WMAL-FM

 

All broadcast stations and cable systems are recommended to monitor NOAA Weather Radio at 162.550 MHz in Manassas, VA and 162.400 MHz in Pikesville, MD as an additional source.

LP Stations should monitor the designated VHF communications channel. 

 

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Appendix B

LOCAL OPERATING PROCEDURES

(published separately)

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Appendix C

AUTHORIZED SOURCES FOR ACTIVATING THE WDCNCR EAS

1. National Weather Service, Sterling, Virginia (Secondary locations NWS, Mount Holly, New Jersey and NWS State College, Pennsylvania).

2. Emergency Management officials authorized by their local jurisdictions within the WDCNCR have authority to activate.

3. The District of Columbia Emergency Management Agency, the Maryland Emergency Management Agency and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.

4. Officials responsible for AMBER alerts shall refer to their respective AMBER plans.

NOTE: See Appendix F for events of an emergency occurring in the WDCNCR EAS area.

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Appendix D

SIGNATURES OF OFFICIALS

Chair, Washington DC National Capital Region Emergency Communications Committee

Chair    _________________________________________________ Date __________ 

National Weather Service, Sterling, Virginia

Warning Coordination Meteorologist   ________________________ Date __________

District of Columbia Emergency Management Agency

Director            ___________________________________________ Date __________

Maryland Emergency Management Agency

Director            ___________________________________________ Date __________

Virginia Department of Emergency Management

Director            ___________________________________________ Date __________

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Appendix E

EXAMPLE MESSAGE – AMBER ALERT

SAME/EAS message for a Child Abduction Emergency (AMBER) message originated by Civil Authorities using the new EAS codes

DIGITAL HEADER  ALERT TONES        AUDIO MESSAGE  END OF MESSAGE

//////// //////// ////////          SAME 1050 Hz or/     less to 2 minutes          ///////// ///////// /////////

   EAS 853 Hz and 960 Hz

                                   

DIGITAL HEADER FORMAT - [Preamble] ZCZC-ORG-EEE-PSSCCC+TTTT-JJJHHMM-LLLLLLLL- (transmitted 3 times)

DIGITAL HEADER - [Preamble] ZCZC-CIV-CAE-011001-024031-024033+0600-1241938-DISTCYPD- (transmitted 3 times)

Digital header will provide a visual message (bold) for TV, highway signs, etc.

The Civil Authorities (CIV) have issued a Child Abduction Emergency (CAE) for District of Columbia (011001) Montgomery, MD (024031) Prince Georges, MD (024033) beginning at 3:38 PM (1938) and ending at 9:38 PM (+0600) (DISTCYPD)

ALERT TONES - SAME 1050 Hz (from NWS) or EAS 853 HZ and 960 Hz (from Civil Authority and WTOP(FM) and WETA(FM))

AUDIO MESSAGE - less than 2 minutes

END OF MESSAGE - (EOM) digital signal NNNN (transmitted 3 times)

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Appendix F

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING

March 7, 2003

This Memorandum of Understanding is being executed among the following agencies:

District of Columbia Emergency Management Agency

Maryland Emergency Management Agency

Virginia Department of Emergency Management

Nothing in this Memorandum of Understanding should be construed as limiting or impeding the individual authority or the basic spirit of cooperation that exists among the participating agencies.

I. PURPOSE

The purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding is to express formal agreement between the District of Columbia Emergency Management Agency ("DCEMA"), the Maryland Emergency Management Agency ("MEMA") and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management ("VDEM"), that, in the event of an emergency occurring in the metropolitan Washington area, a regional Emergency Alert System (EAS) announcement regarding the nature of the emergency and related protective action instructions can be released quickly to the public with the consensus and coordination of DCEMA, MEMA and VDEM.

II. MISSION

The mission of this regional EAS agreement is to achieve maximum coordination and cooperation among public media communication capabilities under authorities granted by the Federal Communications Commission to use EAS broadcasts to provide the emergency alert and protective action announcements by anyone or more of the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia state level governments in the Metropolitan Washington D.C. area.

III. PROCEDURE

a.   In the event of a quickly escalating emergency with inter-jurisdictional impact on the populations living or working in the impacted areas, the Regional Emergency Coordination Plan may be activated. Communication between the state authorities and their respective local jurisdictions will be initiated. This commur1ication will be facilitated through the Regional Incident Communications and Coordination System or the RICCS, if available, as implemented by the three state jurisdictions and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments ("COG").

b.   If emergency information needs to be released to protect life and/or property, a common message will be composed and verbally agreed to by the respective state emergency authorities for immediate release through the media sources that have agreed to participate in the Regional Emergency Alert System protocol. Each state EAS plan lists the respective governmental officials authorized to activate their respective systems.

c.   EAS messages will be announced as a District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia Regional Emergency Alert Message, by the EAS message originator.

d.   All subsequent EAS messages will be approved jointly by representatives of the emergency authorities of DCEMA, MEMA and VDEM.

Authorizing Signatures:

DCEMA – March 7, 2003

MEMA – March 7, 2003

VDEM – May 1, 2003

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