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National EAS Tested in Alaska

Broadcasting remains the best way to disseminate emergency information to the population. This was illustrated in the National Emergency Alert system test over EAS in Alaska Wednesday [PDF]. had details on the test from the SBE EAS Exchange remailer in the article Alaska EAS EAN Test: Success. Gary Timm, broadcast chairman of the Wisconsin SECC posted a message on the EAS Exchange remailer based on his monitoring of the Internet stream from NPR station KSKA. He said that the test started at 10 seconds after 10 a.m. with the EAS code. (The 10-second delay may have been due to the streaming encoder.) It consisted of a test message repeated several times until the EAS EOM was sent three minutes and 20 seconds later. The test was repeated 15 seconds later with much worse audio, obviously from an off-air receiver.

The Anchorage Daily News had more details on the test in the article Alaska to host test of emergency alert system. The article said Alaska was selected for the test because of its isolation and Alaskans' familiarity with tsunami tests. The test was coordinated by the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the Alaska Broadcasters Association, the State Emergency Communications Committee, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Communications Commission. The Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management has a Web page for the EAS Live Test but as of Wednesday evening no information had been posted on it.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.