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Emergency Alert System

The EAS is a national public warning system that requires broadcasters, cable television systems, wireless cable systems, satellite digital audio radio service (SDARS) providers, and direct broadcast satellite (DBS) providers to provide the communications capability to the President to address the American public during a national emergency. The system also may be used by state and local authorities to deliver important emergency information, such as AMBER alerts and weather information targeted to specific areas.

The first Nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System will be carried out on November 9, 2011. For more information about the test or access to the participant reporting system, please click here.

The FCC, in conjunction with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service (NWS), implements the EAS at the federal level. The President has sole responsibility for determining when the EAS will be activated at the national level, and has delegated this authority to the director of FEMA. FEMA is responsible for implementation of the national-level activation of the EAS, tests, and exercises. The NWS develops emergency weather information to alert the public about imminent dangerous weather conditions.

The FCC's role includes prescribing rules that establish technical standards for the EAS, procedures for EAS participants to follow in the event The EAS is activated, and EAS testing protocols. Additionally, the FCC ensures that the EAS state and local plans developed by industry conform to FCC EAS rules and regulations.


  • 7/14/10
    Amendment of Part 97 of the Commission's Rules Regarding Amateur Radio Service Communications During Government Disaster Drills.
    Report and Order: Word | Acrobat
  • 1/29/2010
    PSHSB Sets Deadlines for Public Comment on Proposed Rulemaking Related to Nation's EAS.
    Public Notice: Word | Acrobat
  • 1/14/2010
    Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.
    NPRM: Word | Acrobat
  • 12/7/2009
    FEMA and the FCC Announce Adoption of Standards for Wireless Carriers to Receive and Deliver Emergency Alerts Via Mobile Devices.
    Public Notice: Word | Acrobat
  • 3/27/2009
    Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Provides Guidance Regarding "Live Code" Testing of the Emergency Alert System.
    Public Notice: Word | Acrobat

EAS Handbooks

The handbooks listed below contain instructions for following Emergency Alert procedures in the following categories:

EAS Archives