Information for Emergency Management
Tthe Emergency alert System’s purpose is to provide emergency management a means to get ACTIONABLE information to the general public QUICKLY about public safety issues. With a single phone call (typically to the State Communications Center), an alert can be distributed within minutes to all members of the public residing in the affecting area who are watching TV or listening to radio, as well as many cell phone users..
It is important to realize that EAS is NOT a substitute for other means of communicating to the public. EAS is meant to provide a QUICK initial warning to the public. The technology limits the voice message to approximately 90 seconds, so clearly EAS can’t be used for providing in depth coverage. For that, your Media Relations departments can contact the news media via traditional means for expanded coverage.
As you probably know, studies have indicated that human nature is such that people often do not ACT based upon a single warning. EAS plays a valuable role in getting people’s attention so that they may seek out further information… such as tuning into broadcast stations known to provide news coverage. As a person gets additional confirmation that there is an emergency, he/she is more likely to act in a fashion may be life saving.
EAS is administered by the State Emergency Communications Committee (SECC) and by four Local area Emergency Communications Committees (LECC), in consultation with the SECC Advisory Council. These committees and council are staffed by not only broadcast and cable industry representatives but also by public safety professionals you are familiar with. This includes the Idaho Office of Emergency Management, Idaho State Police, NOAA Weather, and others. See the link at the left for more detailed information about the SECC and LECCs. For local jurisdictions, your primary point of contact would be the chairman of your region’s LECC.
Emergency management personnel should have access to a current copy of the Idaho EAS State Plan and associated Local Plan. You should have received a copy from your LECC chair or Idaho OEM Area Field Officer. These plans provide detailed information about EAS as implemented in Idaho. You are encouraged to incorporate the relevant portions into your SOPs.
For security and privacy reasons, the Local Operational Area EAS Plans and State EAS Plan is not posted here. Emergency management may contact their local LECC chairman to acquire a copy. You are strongly encouraged to keep your LECC chairman apprised of your contact information, especially email address, so that he may keep you up to date on EAS matters.