The first test of the new EAS National Periodic Test (NPT) code will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016. The test is scheduled for 2:20 p.m. Eastern Standard Time/1:20 p.m. Central Standard Time. This test will contain audio, and it will sound very much like a Required Monthly Test. There is no Web portal verification required on this test. Stations are to relay this test just as they would a Required Monthly Test. FEMA is requesting that LP1 and LP2 stations relay the test immediately with no hold time.
The primary purpose of this test is to verify the NPT code is programmed correctly in station equipment. The test does not require the use of the all-zero FIPS code. EAS equipment that has not been upgraded to handle the all-zero FIPS code should have no immediate concern. Because specific states are receiving the test, those state FIPS codes will be transmitted. All stations should, however, verify that their equipment is ready for the all-zero FIPS code. Contact your EAS equipment manufacturer if you are not sure.
The Missouri Broadcasters Association has posted instructions on preparing EAS units for the NPT code.
FEMA presented several webinars on EAS programming and preparation for this test. A list of those presentations and links to some of the archives are at the end of this article.
Test participation is encouraged, but not required for stations in the targeted states and territories. FEMA, working with state broadcast associations, started with a single state, West Virginia, and progressed to a north-south string of states from Michigan to Tennessee. That test was followed by a six-state test in New England, and more recently a group composed of four southwestern states plus two north central states. The next proposed group consists of 22 states from Nebraska to New York to Florida to Texas including all states in between that have not participated in previous testing, plus two territories and the District of Columbia.
IPAWS/ EAS Test States/Territories
|District of Columbia||Mississippi||Puerto Rico|
|Illinois||New Jersey||US Virgin Islands|
FEMA does not propose that the NPT will replace any scheduled RMT or RWT messages. This eliminates FCC Enforcement Bureau action should a volunteer test participant experience a problem relaying the test message. This is an opportunity for EAS participants to observe exactly how their equipment performs prior to mandatory participation in the next national IPAWS/EAS test currently scheduled for early December 2016.
FEMA Webinar Audio Recordings
ISSRT Non-Technical Webinar
Jan. 20, 2016
Technical Webinar I
Jan. 28, 2016
Technical Webinar II
Feb. 3, 2016
Technical Webinar III
Feb. 9, 2016
The Recording of the technical webinar presented in Spanish in cooperation with the Puerto Rico Broadcasters Association on Feb. 10, 2016, is unfortunately not available.