Wisconsin Broadcasters Association

STARTING THURSDAY – APRIL 5, please air PSA’s (:15 & :30 scripts) for the Live-Code Tests (scheduled to take place on April 12).

In cooperation with Wisconsin Emergency Management, the National Weather Service will conduct two tests of the real Tornado Warning EAS Code, one in the afternoon and a second one in the evening, on April 12, 2018 as part of Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week. The State of Wisconsin has received a waiver from the FCC to use the actual EAS Tornado Warning Code for these statewide tests. If there is a threat of severe weather at the time of the afternoon test, then both the afternoon and evening tests will be postponed until April 13, 2018. If there is severe weather on April 13, the tests will be cancelled. If the afternoon test runs on April 12, but the evening test is cancelled due to the threat of severe weather, the evening test will not be rescheduled to the next day. It will just be cancelled.

Both tests are scheduled at 45-minutes-past-the-hour, to provide adequate time to relay the test before the top of the hour. Stations are encouraged to carry both the afternoon and evening test, and forward any comments to WBA following the tests.

The audio of these tests will repeat several times in the script “This is a Test”, but because the real EAS Tornado Warning Code is being sent, the crawl on TV stations and cable systems will read “A Tornado Warning has been issued for…”.  Thus we ask that TV broadcasters and cable operators making the decision to air these tests should display a “This is a Test” graphic behind the crawl.

The tests will be originated on NOAA Weather Radio (NWR), and will be relayed via the State Relay (SR) and Local Primary (LP) stations. The EAS “TOR” Code will be sent independently by all five NWS offices serving Wisconsin, following the schedule below. Broadcasters and cable operators that monitor SR or LP stations from multiple EAS Operational Areas or directly monitor NWR from another EAS Operational Area may receive more than one Tornado Warning alert for each test; since these alerts are sent independently from each NWS office they will not be recognized by EAS units as duplicates if alerts are received from two different EAS Operational Areas. It is also possible that some NWR stations may broadcast more than one TOR Code for each test as some NWR stations serve counties from more than one NWS office.

This will be the schedule for the two tests run on April 12, 2018:

(If there is severe weather on April 12, both tests will be conducted on April 13, 2018.)

(If the afternoon test runs on April 12, but the evening test is cancelled due to the threat of severe weather, the evening test will not be rescheduled to the next day. It will just be cancelled.)

AFTERNOON TEST:

1 p.m. – Tornado Watch “TOA” EAS Code issued

1:45 p.m. – Tornado Warning “TOR” EAS Code issued by all NWS offices serving Wisconsin counties*

EVENING TEST: (The TOA EAS Code will not be sent for the evening test.)

6:45 p.m. – Tornado Warning “TOR” EAS Code issued by all NWS offices serving Wisconsin counties*

EAS Header Code parameters to be used in both tests:

Originator Code: WXR

EAS Code: TOR

EAS Duration: 15 minutes

*These tests are being coordinated with the State of Minnesota. Stations in the border area will receive both Wisconsin and Minnesota counties in the same coordinated TOR Tornado Warning EAS message at both 1:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m..

Stations are asked to contact WBA Vice President Linda Baun at lbaun@wi-broadcasters.org to indicate you have received this message, have passed this information along to all relevant staff (including station meteorologists), and will participate in the tests and the public notice prior to the tests.

NOTE:  Public Notice on the station’s end will begin one week prior to the tests (PSA’s, mention in your news stories, weather reports, etc). Scripts available here.

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