Broadcaster disaster prep sometimes is a disaster in itself. Despite the lessons of many a hurricane or flood, some stations don’t create plans or give much thought to how to react to the next crisis.
Many radio leaders including engineers have tried to fight this trend over the years with informative panels, articles and sample materials. A recent further effort, as RW has reported, is the Disaster Information Reporting Service (DIRS).
The FCC and a recent NAB Radio TechCheck newsletter both have reminded readers of the DIRS effort; we will too. Is your station/broadcast entity participating?
DIRS is designed to aid local broadcasters in surviving a disaster and returning to air as soon as possible or, preferably, remain on the air during a crisis. It tries to allow stations to work with authorities such as FEMA and Homeland Security during crises, whether natural or man-made. During the crisis a station might be a conduit for alerts and news or it might notify authorities that it is in need of aid or fuel to power an emergency generator.
However, DIRS is voluntary. To encourage participation, the NAB has produced a video featuring Jamie Barnett, chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, FCC. Check it out.
“FCC Pushes DIRS Effort” (Dec. 2009)