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FCC Announces New Version of Its Disaster Information Reporting System

Broadcasters take note. The agency will test the system in January

Radio stations in areas where natural disasters routinely occur need to make a note of this. The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau has launched a new version of its Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS).

The FCC says the legacy DIRS system was decommissioned on Dec. 4 in favor of the new platform, which will be accessible online. The new DIRS system has been modernized to enhance security and network features to better ensure the integrity of the system, according to the commission. It will also feature an Application Programming Interface.

The FCC typically activates DIRS to allow broadcasters to report communications infrastructure status and collect situational awareness information during emergencies.

Current DIRS users without an existing account in the FCC’s Commission Registration System (CORES) will need to create a CORES account prior to accessing DIRS. Users with an existing CORES account will not need to create a new DIRS account.

Detailed information on creating DIRS accounts, as well as using the system, can be found in the user’s guide.

The commission says, in order to facilitate a smooth transition for users ahead of the 2024 “disaster season,” the agency will conduct a DIRS exercise Jan. 16–18. The focus of the exercise will include the operation of DIRS and the mechanics of navigating the application.

DIRS has been voluntary since it was established in 2007. However, the FCC in 2021 considered a proposal that would have possibly mandated broadcasters to submit status reports following hurricanes and other natural disasters. DIRS is a web-based system for communications providers, including wireless, wireline, broadcast, cable, interconnected VoIP and broadband service providers.

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