Skip to main content

FEMA to Extend Daily CAP-EAS Test Messages Through Friday

WASHINGTON: In the aftermath of the June 30 CAP-EAS equipment deadline, FEMA IPAWS will continue to send required system tests every day this week through Friday. That’s instead of reverting to weekly transmission of the required tests this week as it had planned.

Neil Graves of the IPAWS Engineering Branch posted a message to the SBE-EAS Listserv in which he said “We have decided to extend the once-a-day RWT for the duration of this coming week.”

Effective July 9, FEMA IPAWS will go back to originating a test message from its web aggregator weekly. Test messages will originate each Monday through the end of July. Depending on internal FEMA and FCC conversations, the weekly test messages may continue further, Graves added.

With CAP, stations monitor FEMA’s web message aggregator to get their alerts. CAP stands for Common Alerting Protocol, an open-standard XML-based format for Internet-delivered EAS messages adopted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. To help stations prepare for CAP, FEMA stepped up the frequency of the required test messages from weekly to daily, Monday through Friday. Some broadcasters had asked FEMA for the tests to continue on a regular basis.

“Seeing that polling is working is nice, but there is no substitute for knowing that everything in the system is working correctly. That is more effective than actually receiving a test each week to confirm that all is well,” wrote one broadcaster to the Listserv.

A firewall error or an IP address change can cause a problem in a station’s ability for its EAS encoder/decoder to poll the FEMA web aggregator for the EAS-CAP alert, the same broadcaster wrote, noting that he likes the security of seeing the weekly test to know that his gear can receive the CAP-formatted EAS messages from FEMA IPAWS. ~ Radio World