FCC State Emergency Alert System Reporting Plan Takes Effect

Publication in the Federal Register of OMB approval makes FCC rules on EAS reporting and false alerts effective for three years.
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WASHINGTON—The Office of Management and Budget has approved the Federal Communication Commission’s State Emergency Alert System reporting plan.

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The action, published today (July 23) in the Federal Register, approves the agency’s State EAS Plan Order and Alerting Reliability Order for three years, until June 2022. The move gives the nod to the commission’s plan requiring State Emergency Communications Committees (SECCs) to file State EAS Plans electronically online.

The plan also sets up an online Alert Reporting System (ARS) to be used for the electronic filing. Complying with the State EAS Plan, online reporting requirements will become mandatory within one year of publication in the Federal Register of a Public Notice announcing ARS availability.

Today’s publication also makes effective the agency’s false alert notification requirements and rules regarding Live Code Tests of the EAS laid out in the FCC’s Alerting Reliability Order, adopted July 12. The rules covering false alerts require EAS participants to notify the agency via email (fccops@fcc.gov) within 24 hours of the participant discovering it transmitted or sent such an alert to the public.

The rules also codify the requirements for conducting Live Code Tests of EAS, which are done locally or regionally and use the same codes and function identically to an actual emergency alert. They remove the burden of filing waiver requests to hold these tests but maintain safeguards to protect the public against confusion over whether or not an actual alert was issued.

More information is available on the Federal Register website.