On July 13, 2018, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking adopting new Emergency Alert System (EAS) rules to help prevent false emergency alerts and improve alert testing.
The new rules permit local EAS tests to use actual EAS alert codes. The new rules require the entity conducting the test to conduct public outreach notifying the public that there will be a test that uses a live code, and, to the extent technically feasible, to inform the public in the test message that the event is only a test (that is, that there is no real emergency). In both instances, such notification must be accessible to individuals with disabilities, consistent with the FCC’s EAS rules. The new rules also permit public service announcements (PSAs) about EAS alerts to include the EAS attention signal and audible tones. The FCC expects these PSAs will be accessible to individuals with disabilities, consistent with the FCC’s accessibility rules.
In the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the FCC seeks comment on other specific measures to help prevent and correct false alerts, as well as comment on the performance of Wireless Emergency Alerts. Interested parties may file comments by accessing the Electronic Comment Filing System at https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings. All filings must reference PS Docket Nos. 15-91 and 15-94. People with disabilities who need assistance to file comments online at https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings may request assistance by email to FCC504@fcc.gov.
Links to News Release:
Links to Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking:
For general information on EAS, please visit https://www.fcc.gov/general/emergency-alert-system-eas-0. For specific inquiries about the Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, please contact Greg Cooke, Deputy Division Chief, at (202) 418-2351 or Gregory.Cooke@fcc.gov. Individuals who are fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) may call the ASL Consumer Support Line at (844) 432‐2275 (videophone). TTY users may call the FCC’s TTY number at (888) 835-5322.