Statewide Tornado Warning EAS Test April 13, 2016

Michigan Statewide Tornado DrillAt the request of and in cooperation with Michigan State Police Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division, the National Weather Service will conduct a test with the Tornado Warning EAS Code at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, April 13, 2016 as part of Michigan’s Severe Weather Awareness Week. The Michigan Association of Broadcasters has received a waiver from the FCC to use the actual EAS Tornado Warning Code (“TOR”) for this statewide test.

The MAB Board of Directors endorsed the test and encourage all member stations to participate. Other states, including Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois have conducted similar tests in the past few years. However, participation in this test by broadcast stations and cable systems is voluntary.

If there is a threat of actual severe weather on April 13, the test will be postponed until April 14, 2016. If there is a threat of severe weather on April 14, the test will be cancelled. The go/no-go decision will be made by 4pm the day prior by the National Weather Service as well as the Statewide Tornado Drill Working group. MAB will post a go or no-go status on its homepage.

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

The test will be originated on NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) and will be relayed via the State Relay (SR) and Local Primary (LP) stations.

Promotion and Publicity:  The Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division, along with other stakeholders including the MAB, the National Weather Service, American Red Cross, Local Area Emergency Managers, and others have prepared a Statewide Tornado Drill Media Toolkit, including talking points, produced radio PSAs, sample social media posts, and more.

This kit and PSAs will be made available online shortly. The MAB will be sending out an additional memo once these materials are available, as well as a suggested on-air promotion timetable (starting roughly the week of April 4, 2016.

Questions? Contact Dan Kelley at the MAB: (517) 484-7444 or dkelley@michmab.com.

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