Disaster Questions Loom as Hurricane Season Begins

FCC urges participation in disaster information reporting system
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Hurricane season is approaching, and with federal officials forecasting above average hurricane activity along the southeast coast this year, the Federal Communications Commission is reminding broadcasters of FCC emergency contact information and the need for participation in the Disaster Information Reporting System.

Hurricane season begins on June 1 and runs through Nov. 30 (though Mother Nature tends not to pay attention to official start and end dates).

Broadcasters needing emergency special temporary authorizations or who want to speak with bureau employees about communications recovery efforts after-hours or on weekends may contact the FCC's 24/7 Operations Center at (202) 418-1122 or fccopcenter@fcc.gov.

FCC contact information during regular business hours and more comprehensive details about the process for receiving STAs are available.

DIRS is a voluntary, web-based system that allows wireless, wireline, broadcast, and cable providers to report communications infrastructure status and to the FCC during a crisis. By participating in DIRS, the FCC can help assist you to restore essential services affected by a disaster.

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What participants believe is the first local cooperative emergency broadcasting venture in this market among commercial radio broadcasters and public broadcasting could become a model for others in the industry hoping to combine resources to ensure that public information links remain stable after natural disasters, attacks or pandemics.