FCC Approves New Emergency Alert System ‘Event Codes’ For 2017 Hurricane Season

The FCC is already preparing for the 2017 hurricane season by adding three new event codes to its Emergency Alert System.

According to a posting on the ARRL website, the codes cover a range of potentially hazardous weather situations, and are designed to provide the greatest information and awareness to the public. The codes are as follows:

  • Extreme wind warning (EWW): Already in use by the National Weather Service (NWS), the EWW code provides advance notice for conditions with a sustained surface wind speed of 115 MPH or more. The NWS Gulf and East Coast Weather Forecast Offices issue this code.
  • Storm surge watch (SSA): This code can be issued when rising water presents a possibly life-threatening situation to residents of an area. Most likely to be used during tropical, subtropical, or post-tropical cyclones, an SSA will generally be issued within 48 hours of the potential flooding surge. The watch can also be issued if a location is in danger of being cut off due to flooding of surrounding areas.
  • Storm surge warning (SSW): An SSW may be issued in the face of a fast-oncoming surge, usually within 36 hours or less. The code can also be used if uncertain conditions and tropical-storm winds could reduce the time available for a potential evacuation. This code can also be used to warn citizens of isolation due to flooding.

Read the complete text of the ARRL posting on the FCC’s new event codes.

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