Public radio and TV organizations are coordinating efforts to help stations serve their communities in times of disaster.
This week the National Federation of Community Broadcasters, National Public Radio and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting announced the SAFER project. The letters stand for Station Action for Emergency Readiness; the project also involves several public TV stations and the Integrated Media Association.
Organizers said SAFER will build on experiences and lessons learned in situations such as Hurricane Katrina, California wildfires and Midwest floods.
"SAFER will develop customizable plans to help stations stay on the air, online and in touch with their audiences through mobile devices during crises," the organizations announced.
"An online manual will guide stations in developing or improving their business continuity plans. A companion crisis communications plan will show stations how to reliably deliver critical life-saving information to listeners in emergency situations."
They said the project will also distribute online tools and widgets that stations can embed into their Web sites "so the public can get emergency information on their mobile devices as well as online and on-air." Webinars and workshops are part of the project as well.
NFCB official Ginny Berson noted, "Public and community radio stations are frequently the only local broadcasters serving their communities."