The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau has announced the activation of the Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) in response to Hurricane Harvey, which is bearing down on the Texas Gulf Coast — with the greatest potential impact initially thought to be in the Corpus Christi area. As of Monday morning, untold devastation is being seen across Houston — with an end not expected for another 48-72 hours.
DIRS is a voluntary, web-based system that communications providers, including wireless, wireline, broadcast, cable and VOIP providers, can use to report communications infrastructure status and situational awareness information during times of crisis.
COUNTIES OF INTEREST FOR THIS ACTIVATION INCLUDE:
Louisiana: Acadia, Assumption, Calcasieu, Cameron, Iberia, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis,
Lafayette, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Martin, St. Mary, Terrebonne, Vermilion
Texas: Aransas, Atascosa, Bee, Brazoria, Brooks, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Colorado,
DeWitt, Duval, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzales, Harris, Hidalgo, Jackson, Jefferson, Jim Wells, Karnes, Kenedy, Kleberg, Lavaca, Liberty, Live Oak, Matagorda, McMullen, Nueces, Orange, Refugio, San Patricio, Victoria, Wharton, Willacy, Wilson
The Commission requests that communications providers that provide service to any
areas listed above expeditiously submit and update information through DIRS regarding, inter alia, the status of their communications equipment, restoration efforts, and power (i.e., whether they are using commercial power or back-up power).
Communications providers can accomplish this by accessing DIRS at https://www.fcc.gov/nors/disaster/.
Providers that have not previously done so will be asked to first provide contact information and obtain a User ID when they access DIRS.
Communications providers are reminded that for providers that participate in DIRS, the separate Network Outage Reporting System (NORS) obligations are suspended for the duration of the DIRS activation with respect to outages in the counties where
DIRS has been activated.
Reports are requested beginning 10am Saturday and every day after that by 10am, until DIRS is deactivated.
Communications providers that serve an area listed below and that have already provided
contact information in DIRS will be sent an e-mail requesting that they provide the above-referenced status information through DIRS. The Commission encourages all communications providers that have not already logged onto DIRS to input their contact information, to do so as soon as possible.
“As the eye of Hurricane Harvey bears down on the Texas coastline, the FCC is taking action to protect the American public and our nation’s communications networks,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement released after the 2pm Central advisory that upgraded Hurricane Harvey to Category 3 status. “We are working in close coordination with the Department of Homeland Security and state and local partners to prepare for the impacts of the storm. We have activated our Disaster Information Reporting System, deployed personnel to Texas, and provided emergency response officials and licensees with emergency contact information. These actions will enable us to monitor the extent of communications outages and, working with industry and government partners, support restoration efforts. And, as always, the FCC’s Operations Center will be open on a 24/7 basis. Our thoughts and prayers are with those on the Gulf Coast, and we urge residents of the affected areas to take shelter and other necessary precautions.”
As of 2pm Central on Friday (8/25), Hurricane Harvey was some 75 miles east-southeast from Corpus Christi, Tex., with winds of 120 MPH.