On January 1st, 1997, KVSC installed the new Emergency Alert System. The “E.A.S.” has replaced the Emergency Broadcast System most of us have known for decades.
This new system is aimed to improve the distribution of emergency information by targeting a more specific area doing so in a more timely fashion then was possible with older technology.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
E.A.S. equipment located at broadcast stations, the National Weather Service, and emergency management centers “talks” using a digital coding structure that allows each individual outlet in the system to determine what the nature of the warning is, what areas will be effected, and how critical the alert is. With this information, broadcasters will be able to get you the information you need, where you need it and when you need it. The new system is also based on a “web” structure rather then the “daisy chain” setup of the traditional E.B.S. The “web” structure means each outlet has a far better chance of recieving the information rapidly and intact. With E.B.S. a break in the chain, a slow response, or improper operation of the system could delay or halt the distribution of alerts throughout the system.
HOW DO I TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE SYSTEM?
Most importantly, listeners must break the habit of “tuning out” when they hear the familiar alert tone. Most of us think that tone means another annyoing test of a system that has never helped us out. With E.A.S. on-air tests of the system that include that tone will only occur once a month, and the length of the tone will be shortened to only 8 seconds. This new testing procedure combined with a more effective system will mean that tone will far more likely be the REAL thing. Radio listeners must break the habit of “tuning out” when the alert tone is sounded. It is more likely then ever that the alert will contain emergency information that directly effects you!
WHAT WILL THE SYSTEM BE USED FOR?
The most common E.A.S. alerts will be weather related including tornadoes, severe winter storms, floods, and other weather events that threaten life and property. The National Weather Service has become far more accurate and timely in finding potential threats, however, until now it had been difficult to get the message to everyone in danger. With the new system, the public can be informed of an emergency almost instantly! Alerts will also be issued for things like evacuations, life threatening man made disasters, and alerts of a state wide or nationwide nature. Again, when you hear an E.A.S. alert, listen up!
WHAT DOES E.A.S. SOUND LIKE ON KVSC?
E.A.S. alerts recieved by KVSC will be aired the moment they are recieved. Listeners will hear an interuption in programming starting with the transmission of a brief digital code, an 8 second alert tone, the emergency message, and a second brief digital code. The monthly on-air tests are very similar but with a test message in place of emergency information.