National EAS Test Worked…Um, SWELL!
The National EAS Test yesterday at 1pm on all of the nation’s radio and tv stations worked about as well as expected – not great but it did point out flaws in the system.
The national Emergency Alert System test that happened (in many places, anyway) at 1:00pm CT yesterday, showed where the holes are in the system. There were numerous places where the primary entry point stations did not receive the test and therefore whole regions did not air the test. But that’s what yesterday’s exercise was all about. A joint statement from the FCC and FEMA noted, “The Nationwide EAS Test served the purpose for which it was intended – to identify gaps and generate a comprehensive set of data to help strengthen our ability to communicate during real emergencies. Based on preliminary data, media outlets in large portions of the country successfully received the test message, but it wasn’t received by some viewers or listeners. We are currently in the process of collecting and analyzing data, and will reach a conclusion when that process is complete.” Stations have 45 days to report to Washington how the test went at their station or in their market. For those markets where the test did go off, there were complaints about poor audio quality that made it hard to understand what the message was. In other places the audio was missing completely.
For the record, the 7 stations of Townsquare Media/Evansville/Owensboro got about a 90% on the test – pretty darn good but with room for improvement. Note to the FCC: we’re working on it, SIR!