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Emergency Alert System (EAS) Event Codes/
NWR Specific Area Message Encoding
(NWR-SAME) Codes


The Federal Communications Commission issued a Report and Order (R&O), effective May 16, 2002, amending the EAS rules. The change included adding numerous new civil emergency, weather and natural disaster event codes and NWS marine area location codes.

The complete list of EAS event codes (also known as NWR-SAME Codes) is shown below. The chart below is divided into two groups: Codes in use before and after June 30, 2004. NWR and the EAS use identical digital protocols. NWS used Weather Radio as its primary means to activate EAS.

Codes shown below as Operational were implemented on June 30, 2004. Older SAME-enabled receivers may display them as unknown codes, although they should still play the audio. Check your receiver's manual or the manufacturer's website for more information. If you do not receive the new codes, you may want to consider buying a newer model. You will continue to receive the event codes in effect before June 30, 2004.

EAS Event (NWR-SAME) Codes

Weather-Related Events
NWR-SAME Code
Status
Blizzard Warning
BZW
Operational
Coastal Flood Watch
CFA
Operational
Coastal Flood Warning
CFW
Operational
Dust Storm Warning
DSW
Operational
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
Operational
Special Weather Statement
SPS
Operational
Tornado Watch
TOA
Operational
Tornado Warning
TOR
Operational
Tropical Storm Watch
TRA
Operational
Tropical Storm Warning
TRW
Operational
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
Operational
Avalanche Warning
AVW
Operational
Child Abduction Emergency
CAE
Operational
Civil Danger Warning
CDW
Operational
Civil Emergency Message
CEM
Operational
Earthquake Warning
EQW
Operational
Evacuation Immediate
EVI
Operational
Fire Warning
FRW
Operational
Hazardous Materials Warning
HMW
Operational
Law Enforcement Warning
LEW
Operational
Local Area Emergency
LAE
Operational
911 Telephone Outage Emergency
TOE
Operational
Nuclear Power Plant Warning
NUW
Operational
Radiological Hazard Warning
RHW
Operational
Shelter in Place Warning
SPW
Operational
Volcano Warning
VOW
Operational
Administrative Events
NWR-SAME Code
Status
Administrative Message
ADR
Operational
National Periodic Test
NPT
Operational*
Network Message Notification
NMN
Operational*
Practice/Demo Warning
DMO
Operational
Required Monthly Test
RMT
Operational
Required Weekly Test
RWT
Operational

* For devices meeting the Consumer Electronic Association (CEA) 2009 Receiver Performance Specification for Public Alert Receivers

Naming Convention for EAS Event Codes

The FCC Report and Order which became effective May 16, 2002, established naming conventions for 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 limited to one of four letters:

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

Note: 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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Last Updated: April 1, 2014