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Chriss Scherer Scherer has been the editor of Radio magazine since 1997. His experience in radio includes work as chief engineer at stations in Cleveland (WMMS-FM, WHK-AM, WZJM-FM, WJMO-AM...more

Activate EAS: I have a hangnail!

I don’t really have a hangnail, but read on and you’ll see that something that silly could be in an upcoming EAS message.

We posted a news item in the Radio Currents today. The following message was sent on Dec. 4, 2008, in the Lubbock, TX, area:

Civil Emergency Message
Texas Emergency Management Agency Lubbock Texas
Relayed By National Weather Service Lubbock TX
531 PM CST Thu Dec 4 2008
The following message is transmitted at the request of the Childress Office of Emergency Management.
At 530 PM this evening officials with the Childress Office of Emergency Management and the Childress Banking Center are advising bank customers to be aware of a telephone scam being conducted in the Childress area. The scam involves either a recorded telephone message or a live person calling who represents them self as an employee of either the Childress Banking Center or Wellington State Bank. The scam requests specific information about your personal accounts. You are advised to be very wary of any calls requesting information about your personal accounts. The banks do not make calls such as these. If you have given out any information that may have compromised your accounts you should contact your bank immediately.

Civil emergency? Really? When life is at risk — even a single life — it makes sense to use EAS. When property is involved, it becomes a problem to decide if an activiation is warranted. To me, this was an inapprorpiate use of EAS. This should have been run on the local news stations, not as an EAS mesasge.

What’s next? Attention citizens: there are bad people in the world! Don’t talk to strangers. Lock your doors when you leave the house. Brush and floss twice daily.

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