Multilingual EAS On The Horizon?

Posted on March 31st, 2014 by

The FCC has requested comments to refresh the record in a 2004 Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau docket on the issue of the EAS and emergency information by non-English speakers.  The effort originated from the filing of a petition just after Hurricane Katrina by minority and Spanish speaking broadcasters seeking to ensure access to emergency information for individuals who do not speak English as a primary language.

The FCC has twice before requested comment on the now 10-year old petition, and does so again in this most recent notice in response to more recent refinements of the broadcast organizations seeking the change.  At the heart of the proposal would be a requirement for a station serving populations whose primary language is not English to step in as the substitute EAS station if the primary EAS station were not broadcasting during a disaster.  Comments are due April 28, 2014, with reply comments due May 12, 2014.