Arizona EAS changes go live, now what?
A series of sweeping changes to advance Arizona’s Emergency Alert System (EAS) are now live and ready for use by Arizona broadcasters. In a partnership between the ABA and DPS, state-level EAS messages are now available via an internet-based delivery system called IPAWS. This new system dramatically improves message quality, reliability and speed. While each station will need to make their own determination about the potential role IPAWS can play in their dissemination of EAS messages, the Arizona Broadcasters Association strongly endorses its use (which should come with no added station cost) to improve the delivery of critical information.
The ABA co-hosted a meeting with Arizona broadcasters in late April to walk through these changes and provide an opportunity for Q&A. Here’s the summary slide deck for review, which includes information about how Amber Alerts are issued and explains a brief history of EAS for context. The deck also has key contact addresses on the last page. Additionally, you’ll find information from DPS in this second link that walks through the criteria for EAS-issued Silver Alerts and Blue Alerts.
As with many things related to EAS, it is the responsibility of each station to determine their own protocol for airing local EAS messages. FCC rules require all licensed radio and TV stations to air national EAS messages, but it is left up to the discretion of each station to determine how they handle local messages, subject only to the verbiage in each station’s license about serving in the public interest. Please continue to share feedback, questions or concerns with the ABA as they come up.