As most engineers are aware, the FCC has begun reviewing the required updated EAS State Plans from each state. These plans were required to be uploaded to a special EAS template on the Commission website. Engineers need to stay in close touch with the State Emergency Communication Committee (SECC) in your state about any changes in the required EAS monitoring assignments.
The Commission is requiring SECC’s to develop redundant sources for the reception and relay of National level alerts (EAN). These redundant sources will act as a backup to the Primary Entry Point (PEP) source in your state. The recommended sources are the National Public Radio squawk channel NPR-1 and the barker channel 1 on SiriusXM.
Several SECC’s are adding these two sources to any state relay networks used and other key local primaries around their states. Stations affiliated with National Public Radio are encouraged to add (if possible) NPR-1 as a source to their EAS decoders.
For added redundancy, stations can also add a SiriusXM radio monitoring the free barker channel to the EAS decoder. If you add either of these sources at your stations, make should to send information the SECC.
Another requirement is for stations to ensure the security of the EAS device. This includes installing the most recent software updates, password management, and maintaining the EAS devices behind a secure firewall.
Contact your State Emergency Communications Committee or State Broadcasters Association for additional information.