The year of the pandemic claimed another victim – this one being what has become a regular event – the nationwide test of the EAS system (see our articles here and here about the last two tests – tests which are required to assess the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System – IPAWS – at least once every 3 years). In an announcement yesterday, FEMA decided that, with all that is going on in the world at the current time, and with many stations operating with limited employees in their buildings now, this was not the best time to be conducting a test of a system meant to alert listeners to emergencies and requiring the attendant paperwork reporting on the results of the tests. It seems a wise choice not to send any unnecessary emergency attention signals over broadcast stations and the facilities of other EAS participants to a public already tired of emergency messages. In its notice, FEMA states that over 360 emergency messages have been sent related to COVID-19 matters from emergency officials across the country. So this test is one more thing that broadcasters can cross off their list of things to worry about in the last half of 2020.
Courtesy Broadcast Law Blog