Everything to Know about EAS & WA-PAWS!


The May SBE Chapter 16 Meeting will be a “real luncheon” at the Old Spaghetti Factory in South Center, Wednesday the 11th at noon, Information on the meeting location is available on the “Meetings” tab above.  Food will be provided by the Chapter, so RSVPs are important for lunch planning: RSVP@sbe16.org . Please include your NAME and affiliation in your response.

Our guest presenter will be Ted Buehner, Washington SECC Chair, talking about the changes that have taken us from EAS to the new and more comprehensive Washington Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (WA-PAWS).

There will also be a discussion regarding the posting of the “State EAS Handbook” at the broadcast station control point.

Soon after the Washington State SECC (now the Washington Integrated Public Alert & Warning System or WA-PAWS) was organized, the committee published the Washington State EAS Handbook.  While not an FCC requirement, the original committee suggested that a copy of the plan be posted at the station control point.

WSAB President & CEO Keith Shipman recently made the following statement:

“The WSAB has consulted with its FCC counsel regarding requirements for posting of the FCC EAS Handbook and the Washington State EAS Plan (even though our SECC refers to it as WA-PAWS, it remains a state EAS Plan in the eyes of the FCC).

Section 11.15 of the FCC rules expressly states that “A copy of the FCC EAS Handbook must be located at normal duty positions or EAS equipment locations when an operator is required to be on duty and be immediately available to staff responsible for authenticating messages and initiating actions.”

No similar rule exists for State EAS Plans, either in terms of a hard copy or access to a website.  The FCC afforded confidentiality protection to State EAS plans in 2018 given that “some of the information in State EAS Plans, such as the call signs and locations of key EAS sources, is sensitive.”

Even though the State EAS Plan is not required to be posted at station control points, the WSAB encourages that it be available for reference by operators on duty in conjunction with the FCC EAS Handbook.  It is the option of the station to have a printed copy or instructions to access the State EAS Plan website (which can be accessed at www.wsab.org/eas or https://mil.wa.gov/wa-paws ) available at control points.”

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