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‘Summit’ to Reconvene to Talk About EAS

'Summit' to Reconvene to Talk About EAS

With the experience of Hurricane Katrina in their recent memories, government and broadcast officials will meet for a national “summit” to talk about EAS and emergency communications near the nation’s capital next week.
The National Alliance of State Broadcasters Associations expects 250 to 300 people when it hosts its second National Summit on EAS and Emergency Communications on Saturday, Feb. 25, in Arlington, Virginia. NAB is helping with underwriting funds.
Local, state and federal government officials and the heads of of state broadcast associations will take part. The goal is to come up with plans to use broadcasters’ mass audience capabilities to communicate with the public in a crisis.
Organizers said the first meeting a year ago was the first time strategic decision makers from every state had gathered to discuss EAS. They said one outcome of that meeting was the expansion of the national Primary Entry Point network by FEMA to include areas of the country that had been underserved.
“Hurricane Katrina presented a microcosm and a preeminent case study of emergency communications,” the organization said in its summary. “The current push toward expansion of the alert-and-warning dissemination network to include wireless communication, the Internet and other technologies, is long overdue; yet, in the final analysis, with electricity, telephone, and cellular communications all knocked out, it was only through a concerted multi-agency effort to keep a single broadcast radio station on the air that the people in southern Louisiana were able to receive pertinent information and instructions in the aftermath of Katrina.”