Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai and Commissioner Mignon Clyburn visited Miami, Fla., this week. They scheduled the trip to inspect damage inflicted by Hurricane Irma as well as meet with public safety officials, according to a release.
As of late Monday morning, according to the DIRS data, 27 radio stations were out of service in Florida and the U.S. Virgin Islands after Irma, based on voluntary reporting. The commission now has deactivated that Disaster Information Reporting System for Irma but added that it anticipates that FEMA will likely ask it to activate DIRS for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
First up, Pai and Clyburn toured the David Paulison Fire Rescue Headquarters Building in Doral, where they met with Florida Public Safety Commission officials and broadcasters. The Miami-Dade Emergency Operations Center staff informed the commissioners about their response to Irma, and Florida broadcasters also shared their experiences.
Pai and Clyburn also hosted a joint press event, during which Pai said of broadcasters, “Sometimes quite literally, they’re the lifeline to people in those communities.”
They later visited iHeartMedia station WIOD(AM), where the commissioners were interviewed by Jimmy Cefalo and Enrique Santos. The conversation aired Tuesday morning.
Pai then continued his trip with a visit to the Midwest, where he will discuss “importance of connectivity for public safety services in rural America and ways to bridge the digital divide,” according to a statement from his office.