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Emergency Alert System Event Codes
NOAA Weather Radio Specific Area Message Encoding (NWR-SAME) Codes


The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on February 26, 2002, issued a Report and Order (R&O) amending the Emergency Alert System (EAS) rules. The R&O became effective May 16, 2002. As part of the R& O, the FCC adopted numerous new civil emergency, weather and natural disaster event codes and National Weather Service's (NWS) marine area location codes. The complete list of EAS event codes (also known as NWR-SAME Codes) is shown below. The codes are distinguished between those in use today and those the NWS will implement on NOAA Weather Radio in the Fall of 2003. NWR and the EAS use identical digital protocols, and NWR is the primary means for NWS alerts to activate the Emergency Alert System.

The reason for the delay between the effective date of the R & O and the NWS implementation of the new codes is broadcasters needed time to upgrade their EAS encoder/decoder equipment to implement many of the changes in this R&O. If EAS equipment is not upgraded, the new event codes being implemented by NWS in Fall 2003 will cause unknown event code operator alarms. Most broadcasters have upgraded their equipment, so NWS is making final preparations to proceed.

This page will be updated when the exact NWS implementation date is announced.


EAS Event (NWR-SAME) Codes
 
Weather-Related Events
NWR-SAME Code
Status
  Blizzard Warning
BZW
Operational
  Coastal Flood Watch
CFA
NWS implementation Fall 2003
  Coastal Flood Warning
CFW
NWS implementation Fall 2003
  Dust Storm Warning
DSW
NWS implementation Fall 20003
  Flash Flood Watch
FFA
Operational
  Flash Flood Warning
FFW
Operational
  Flash Flood Statement
FFS
Operational
  Flood Watch
FLA
Operational
  Flood Warning
FLW
Operational
  Flood Statement
FLS
Operational
  High Wind Watch
HWA
Operational
  High Wind Warning
HWW
Operational
  Hurricane Watch
HUA
Operational
  Hurricane Warning
HUW
Operational
  Hurricane Statement
HLS
Operational
  Severe Thunderstorm Watch
SVA
Operational
  Severe Thunderstorm Warning
SVR
Operational
  Severe Weather Statement
SVS
Operational
  Special Marine Warning
SMW
NWS implementation Fall 2003
  Special Weather Statement
SPS
Operational
  Tornado Watch
TOA
Operational
  Tornado Warning
TOR
Operational
  Tropical Storm Watch
TRA
NWS implementation Fall 2003
  Tropical Storm Warning
TRW
NWS implementation Fall 2003
  Tsunami Watch
TSA
Operational
  Tsunami Warning
TSW
Operational
  Winter Storm Watch
WSA
Operational
  Winter Storm Warning
WSW
Operational
 
Non-Weather-Related Events
NWR-SAME Code
Status
National Codes-Required
  Emergency Action Notification
EAN
Operational
  Emergency Action Termination
EAT
Operational
  National Information Center
NIC
Operational
State and Local Codes-optional
  Avalanche Watch
AVA
NWS implementation Fall 2003
  Avalanche Warning
AVW
NWS implementation Fall 2003
  Child Abduction Emergency
CAE
NWS implementation Fall 2003
  Civil Danger Warning
CDW
NWS implementation Fall 2003
  Civil Emergency Message
CEM
Operational
  Earthquake Warning
EQW
NWS implementation Fall 2003
  Evacuation Immediate
EVI
Operational
  Fire Warning
FRW
NWS implementation Fall 2003
  Hazardous Materials Warning
HMW
NWS implementation Fall 2003
  Law Enforcement Warning
LEW
NWS implementation Fall 2003
  Local Area Emergency
LAE
NWS implementation Fall 2003
  911 Telephone Outage Emergency
TOE
NWS implementation Fall 2003
  Nuclear Power Plant Warning
NUW
NWS implementation Fall 2003
  Radiological Hazard Warning
RHW
NWS implementation Fall 2003
  Shelter in Place Warning
SPW
NWS implementation Fall 2003
  Volcano Warning
VOW
NWS implementation Fall 2003
Administrative Events
NWR-SAME Code
Status
  Administrative Message
ADR
Operational
  National Periodic Test
NPT
Operational
  Network Message Notification
NMN
NWS implementation Fall 2003
  Practice/Demo Warning
DMO
Operational
  Required Monthly Test
RMT
Operational
  Required Weekly Test
RWT
Operational


New Naming Convention for EAS Event Codes

The FCC Report and Order which became effective May 16, 2002 establishes naming conventions for the new and future EAS event codes. In most cases, and for all future codes to be approved, the third letter of all hazardous state and local event codes is will be limited to one of four letters:

  "W" for WARNINGS  
  "A" for WATCHES  
  "E" for EMERGENCIES  
  "S" for STATEMENTS  

The existing event codes for Tornado Warning (TOR), Severe Thunderstorm Warning (SVR) and Evacuation Immediate (EVI) will not be changed to conform to this naming convention.

A WARNING is an event that alone poses a significant threat to public safety and/or property, probability of occurrence and location is high, and the onset time is relatively short.

A WATCH meets the classification of a warning, but either the onset time, probability of occurrence, or location is uncertain.

An EMERGENCY is an event that, by itself, would not kill or injure or do property damage, but indirectly may cause other things to happen that result in a hazard. For example, a major power or telephone loss in a large city alone is not a direct hazard, but disruption to other critical services could create a variety of conditions that could directly threaten public safety.

A STATEMENT is a message contaning follow up information to a warning, watch, or emergency.



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Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Services
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Last Updated: January 19, 2011

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