In anticipation of Hurricane Earl, the FCC's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau on Friday briefly activated its Disaster Information Reporting System for 13 counties in North Carolina.
DIRS is a voluntary, web-based system that stations can use to report the status of their communications infrastructure during a crisis. It lets stations update the FCC on the status of equipment, restoration efforts and power (such as whether they are using commercial power, generator or battery), and whether they have access to fuel.
An FCC spokesman tells Radio World that DIRS was activated at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 3, and deactivated within eight hours.
No stations reported communications or power outages; for North Carolina, Earl proved to be a weaker storm than originally anticipated.
DIRS was first activated for Hurricane Ike in 2007 and again last year for the Kentucky ice storms. Some 3,000 stations have registered, according to the FCC.
The commission also encourages stations that choose to participate in DIRS to provide contact info for individuals who might provide status reports in the event of a disaster. Contact information includes contact name, company name, phone number, cell phone number, BlackBerry/pager number and e-mail address; the FCC says this info will be protected from public release.
"FCC Pushes DIRS Effort" (Dec. 2009)