The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC or Commission) Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau announced, in a Public Notice, that both the false alert reporting and “Live Code” testing requirements for the emergency alert system (EAS) became effective on July 23, 2019. These rules will promote reliability in the nation’s EASs and foster greater community preparedness.

The false alert reporting rule will require EAS participants to inform the Commission, within 24 hours, of their discovery of a transmitted false alert to the public. The “Live Code” test rule provides that EAS participants may conduct “Live Code” tests no more than twice a year in helping to educate the public on how to respond to actual alerts. Additionally, the entity conducting the test must follow these guidelines:

  • Notify the public before the tests that live event codes will be used.
  • State in the test alert that the event is a test.
  • Coordinate among relevant organizations.
  • Provide, in widely accessible formats, notification that it is indeed a test and not an actual emergency.