top of page

FCC Opens Proceeding to Promote Multilingual EAS Alerts

At the FCC’s open meeting, it commenced a proceeding to address language problems with emergency alerts. Nearly 26 million people in the U.S. do not speak English. Issuing emergency alerts in other languages faces a number of obstacles. The Commission proposed to create a number of pre-scripted emergency messages in a number of languages. According to the FCC:

“While the Emergency Alert System currently allows authorities to issue their alerts in languages other than English, the vast majority of these alerts are issued only in English.  One of the key multilingual alerting challenges faced by authorities is translating time-sensitive alerts into additional languages during crises.  The Commission’s proposal would address this challenge by presenting emergency managers with pre-scripted, template alert messages and prerecorded audio files in non-English languages as an option for initiating alerts over the Emergency Alert System."

The FCC is proposing to create template alert scripts in the 13 most commonly spoken non-English languages in the U.S. These template scripts and audio files would be produced by the Commission and installed in the Emergency Alert System equipment operated by Emergency Alert System participants, such as broadcasters and cable providers. 


This is an interesting proposal. IPAWS has greatly expanded the number of government entities that can issue alerts. This includes numerous counties in New York. Many of these entities may not be sufficiently trained in constructing an emergency alert. Creating templates not only in other languages but also in English will help the alerting system.


You can see more information about the FCC’s proposal here



bottom of page