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Breaking News: National EAS and WEA Tests Postponed Until October 3

Scott Flick, CommLawCenter

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the FCC, announced this morning that the National Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) tests scheduled for this Thursday, September 20, have been postponed due to “ongoing response efforts to Hurricane Florence.”

Instead, the tests will be conducted on the previously announced backup date of October 3.  The Wireless Emergency Alerts test will commence at 2:18 p.m. EDT and the EAS test will commence at 2:20 p.m. EDT on that date.  FEMA has indicated that the purpose of the tests is to “assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether improvements are needed.”

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Viral Videos Are Replacing Pricey Political Ads. They’re Cheaper, and They Work.

Jeremy W. Peters and Sapna Maheshwari, NYT

These are not the stories that candidates usually turn to the camera and open up about in ads.

One talked about her father’s violent temper and how she once watched him throw her mother through a plate glass door. Another recalled watching his brothers struggle to find steady work because of their criminal records. A third spoke of suffering a decade of sexual abuse as a child.

The wave of female, minority and outsider candidates that is breaking cultural barriers and toppling incumbents in the Democratic Party is also sweeping aside a longstanding norm in campaigns: That the public image of politicians — especially women — should be upbeat, uncontroversial and utterly conventional.

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As Florence Approaches, Fugate Says Put Radios In Emergency Kits.

Inside Radio

With Hurricane Florence upgraded to a potentially catastrophic Category 4 storm, radio stations in the Carolinas and Virginia are busy following disaster preparation protocols to ensure they can provide essential information for listeners. As broadcasters line up resources, equipment and engineers, the former head of FEMA is urging local residents to make sure they have a working AM/FM radio in their disaster kit.

“Tracking #Florence? Keep a radio in your Disaster Kit,” Former FEMA administrator Craig Fugate wrote on Twitter Monday morning as the storm churned in the Atlantic Ocean on a northwesterly track. “Why, you have cell phone right? Until cellular services goes out, happen to me during Hurricane #Irma. No power, no Wifi, no cellular data. Radio was my only source for news and updates.”

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Here's what you need to help you cover hurricanes

KRISTEN HARE & DAVID BEARD, POYNTER INSTITUTE

With three hurricanes currently swirling in the Atlantic and one of them headed for the east coast, it's time again to prepare for how to cover deadly and dangerous weather.

Last hurricane season, we pulled together a page of resources on covering hurricanes. Now we've got lessons from covering Maria in Puerto Rico and Harvey in Houston, as well as valuable (and occasionally humorous) contributions from colleagues. Here's a roundup:

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Google releases political ad directory

David McCabe, Axios

Google is rolling out the online library of U.S. political ads it promised lawmakers last year, along with a report detailing political ad-spending trends across its platforms.

Why it matters: With the midterms approaching, large tech platforms are taking steps to satisfy lawmakers and users who are demanding more transparency after the Russian campaign to disrupt the 2016 election.

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