Notification and Warning
Gaston County
Emergency Operations Plan

Coordinating Agencies: Communications Division
  Gaston County Police Department
  Board of Commissioners
Cooperating Agencies: Emergency Management
  Fire Departments
  Rescue Squads
  Others as required or requested
Attachment 1 EAS Broadcast
Also see
Annex Communications
Plan Catawba and McGuire Nuclear Plan

This annex describes the process for staffing, operating and maintaining a warning system in the event of an emergency.  It also provides instructions for dissemination of warning information to response agencies and the general public throughout the county.

  A. Situation
    1. The County Warning Point will normally initiate notification and warning.
    2. Broadcast media will be relied upon to assist in the dissemination of warning and public information to the general public.
    3. Operational telephone, digital pagers and/or radio communications may be utilized to notify public officials, Emergency Operations Center staff, emergency personnel and others as required.
    4. Emergency service vehicles are available for warning the general public.
    5. Special Needs groups or persons in congregate quarters may have to be provided special warning and notification.
  B. Assumptions
    1. Current forms of warning may necessitate augmentation in order to provide sufficient warning to the general public and special needs populations.
    2. Use of mobile public address systems and/or house-to-house alert warning may be necessary when the urgency of the particular hazard requires immediate evacuation actions or when there is a failure of other fixed warning systems.
  A. Emergency warning may originate at the national, state or local level of government.  Timely warning requires dissemination to the public by all available means.
    1. National Attack Warning Alert System (NAWAS)
    2. National Weather Service (NWS) National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration Weather Radio Service
    3. Emergency Alerting System (EAS)
    4. State Operated Two Way Radio Systems
    5. N.C. Division of Criminal Information (DCI)
    6. Local Government Radios
    7. Sirens, horns, or mobile public address systems
    8. Telephone
    9. Door to door
  B. Receipt and Dissemination of Warning
    1. The N.C. Highway Patrol serves as the State Warning Point in the Raleigh Communications Center. NAWAS and NWS alerts are received there from federal agencies, and on occasion from the public.
    2. Warning received from the site of an emergency or from the State Warning Point is normally reported to the County Warning Point in the Gaston County Communications Center (704-866-3300).
    3. Notification of governmental officials and emergency response personnel from the County Warning Point will follow established procedures.
    4. Jurisdictions adjoining Gaston County will be notified through the Communications Center, or by the quickest possible method, in the event an incident occurs within Gaston County that may cause adverse effects across jurisdictional lines.
  C. Through public education and family preparedness programs the public is encouraged to obtain systems for use in emergency notification. The following emergency alert systems are available in Gaston County for notification and warning of the general public:
    1. Emergency Alert System (EAS)
    2. Weather alert radios
    3. Mobile public address systems, as appropriate
    4. House to house alert by emergency personnel
    5. Duke Power Fixed Siren System (within 10 miles of Nuclear Power Plants)
    6. Fire Department sirens
  D. Dissemination of Warning to Special Populations
    1. Hearing impaired, special needs groups, persons in group quarters and non‑English speaking groups are notified by the most expedient means possible.  Emergency Messages will ask citizens to assist in the notifications and evacuations of these special groups.
    2. Public schools, hospitals, large industry, and other special warning locations will be educated in the most expedient means to receive notification and warning information. Each affected organization should determine the best means of notifying their populations.
  A. The Chairman of the County Commission or their designee has the authority to direct and control the County Warning System.
  B. The Communications Director is designated as the County Warning Coordinator and will follow established County warning procedures.

The line of succession is:
  A. Board of Commissioners
  B. Communications Director
  C. Emergency Management Administrator
  D. Lines of succession for agencies that support the warning operation are in accordance with their agencies established policies.

Attachment 1
Emergency Alert System (EAS)


This attachment provides specific instructions and procedures for Gaston County Government and suggested procedures for the Designated Administrative Officials to follow in the dissemination of emergency alerting and warning information and protective action instructions to the citizens of Gaston County over the Emergency Alerting System (EAS).

  A. Emergency Alerting System (EAS): The EAS is composed of AM, FM and TV broadcast stations and non-governmental industry entities operating on a voluntary, organized basis during emergencies at Federal, State or operational (local) area levels.
  B. Local Primary One (LP–1): The LP–1 is a radio station that acts as a key EAS monitoring source. Each LP–1 station must monitor its regional Primary Entry Point (PEP) station and a back-up source for Presidential messages.
  C. Participating National (PN):  PN stations are broadcast stations that transmit EAS National, state, or local EAS messages to the public.
  D. Additional definitions may be found in the Code of Federal Regulations 47 CFR 11.2.

This plan calls for:

  A. The prompt reporting of emergency information and recommended protective actions by Federal, State, business, industry and utility officials to the County Warning Point. These reports include severe weather watches and warnings as well as other hazards such as dam failures, hazardous materials and other threats to the citizens of Gaston County as shown in the Basic Plan.
  B. The prompt reporting of emergency information and recommended protective action to the County Warning Point by emergency service personnel or others at the scene of the emergency.
  C. A decision by local government to disseminate the emergency alerting, warning and protective actions instructions over the LP-1 (or over the primary stations within Gaston County).
  D. Prepare the information in written form.
  E. Activation procedure for the EAS is:
  • Prepare a written statement that can be read into the system inside of two (2) minutes).
  • Contact the NC Emergency Management Division (800-858-0368).
  • Tell the operator of the need to activate the EAS system and be prepared to authenticate the message with the current authentication code.
  • Read the prepared message into the system.
  • Activation of EAS will initiate from the State EOC.
  F. The termination of the procedure when it is no longer required.