National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Each SAME message is composed of a digital protocol containing a 6-digit location code. Many broadcasters program their EAS encoder/decoder equipment to monitor one or more NWR transmitters. NWR and EAS are intimately connected: NWR’s digital protocol, SAME, is identical to the EAS digital protocol. The 6-digit SAME location code is identical to the EAS location code for a given county or county partition. When broadcasters monitor NWR for SAME messages, their equipment (if correctly programmed) will recognize, process and convey weather messages to EAS. If a SAME message invokes a given county partition, the EAS message invokes the identical county partition, using the 6-digit location code where the leading digit is not zero.

SAME-equipped NWR receivers

NWS highly encourages NWR users to look for receivers with the Public Alert™ logo or identified as a SAME-capable receiver. Receivers meeting the criteria for the Public Alert (trademark) logo will have the ability to properly receive and convey county-partitioned warnings. NWR receivers without the SAME capability will not be able to use this improved warning service.

FCC Part 11 Rules

The Part 11 Rules (47 CFR Part 11, 11.56, 3c for location code with PSSCCC format) states, “The use of county subdivisions will probably be rare and generally for oddly shaped or unusually large counties.  Any subdivisions must be defined and agreed to by the local officials prior to use.” P defines county subdivisions from 0 through 9. The Part 11 rules refer to county “subdivisions,” but because the word subdivision may have a different meaning to the public, the NWS prefers to refer to county subdivisions as county partitions, with the overall process referred to as partial county alerting for NWR and EAS. Broadcasters’ EAS encoder/decoder equpment must meet the requirements specified in Part 11. The NWS Office of Dissemination has conducted technical conversations with the major EAS encoder/decoder manufacturers for confirmation.

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