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Companies Release Draft EAS-CAP Profile

Many folks concerned with Emergency Alert System technology are waiting for FEMA to declare that Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) Version 1.1 will be the standard for EAS communications.

Last week, the EAS-CAP Industry Group released a draft profile of the protocol. The industry group says the profile will be an important step toward improving interoperability across agencies, jurisdictions, systems and vendors. The group will recommend the profile to FEMA, the FCC, National Weather Service and other government agencies involved with EAS.

The profile offers guidelines about which elements are required in an EAS message, how a mandatory governor-level alert would be identified, basic authentication and security measures and more.

It's all part of establishing a next-generation network of alerting networks to enable consistent and timely reporting of local, state and nationwide emergency information.

While not all broadcasters are convinced CAP is the way to go, the FCC said broadcasters would be required to implement CAP six months after FEMA formally adopts the standard. The EAS-CAP Industry Group says FEMA is expected to pull that trigger in the first quarter of 2009.

"The EAS-CAP profile addresses a core difficulty for next generation EAS system users and providers—moving and formatting different types of data across disparate systems," said Edward Czarnecki, senior vice president at SpectraRep, which is incorporating the new profile into its AlertManager emergency notification system.

In addition to SpectraRep, companies in the EAS-CAP Industry Group include Digital Alert Systems, Hormann America Inc., iBiquity Digital Corp., Monroe Electronics Inc., MyStateUSA, Sage Alerting Systems Inc., TFT Inc., Trilithic Inc. and Warning Systems Inc.