Category Archives: FEMA

Postponed: NATIONWIDE WEA AND EAS TEST

On Thursday, September 20 Wednesday, October 3, 2018, FEMA and the FCC have scheduled a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS). “The test will assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether technological improvements are needed.” The wireless (cellphone) WEA alert is scheduled for 11:18 AM and the EAS for 11:20 AM Pacific Time. If you are in a public area with large groups of people and everyone’s cellphone starts emitting an alarm tone, remember it is a scheduled test.

“The EAS test is scheduled to last approximately one minute and is made available to EAS participants including radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers, and wireline video providers.”

“The WEA system is used to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children, and other critical situations through alerts on cell phones. It allows customers whose wireless provider participates in WEA and who own a WEA compatible wireless phone to receive geo-targeted alerts of imminent threats to safety in their area through unique tones and vibration. The national WEA test will use the same special tone and vibration.”

Postponement: https://www.fema.gov/emergency-alert-test

https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-18-754A1.pdf

Full FEMA Article

Supporting Disaster Communications from Space

FEMA.gov
by Rafael Lemaitre

Hume Center Director of Research Robert McGwier (right) and research associate Zachary Lefke are building radio antennas that will be used in the Virginia Tech Ground Station. Photo Credit: Virginia Tech
Hume Center Director of Research Robert McGwier (right) and research associate Zachary Lefke are building radio antennas that will be used in the Virginia Tech Ground Station. Photo Credit: Virginia Tech

Conventional lines of communication can be impacted after a disaster. This we know. Phone lines can go down, cell service can be overrun with calls, texts, and emails and it can be difficult for survivors as well as first responders to get in touch. This isn’t a far-fetched scenario or intellectual exercise. It’s a reality we’ve seen happen over and over during disasters small and large.

Enter Amateur Radio—or what those involved in the hobby refer to as “ham radio.”

Continue reading Supporting Disaster Communications from Space