The FCC created DIRS – the Disaster Information Reporting System – back in 2007. It is an internet system where broadcasters can report their operational status and obtain resources to stay on the air when getting info to the public is of extreme importance. NAB is hosting a 30-minute webcast on DIRS, featuring key FCC staffers and encouraging participation. It is open to all broadcasters, whether members of NAB or not.
The event is scheduled for Tuesday, 7/14/09, commencing at 3:30 PM Eastern (no excuses about getting up too early, West Coasters). Information is available from NAB’s Larry Walker at (202) 429-4313.
The session will feature directions on signing up in the first place along with a how-to segment on how to use it when under the gun.
“In times of crises, Americans rely on local broadcasters to deliver critical information that can help save lives,” said NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton. “We encourage all broadcasters to participate in this voluntary DIRS program to help ensure that radio and television stations across the country will be able to provide continuous service to communities when disaster strikes.”
RBR/TVBR observation: The key argument underpinning many of the regulatory privileges sought by broadcasters is that they alone are on scene providing critical and local information during a disaster. It is therefore critical that as many broadcasters as humanly possible make that claim stand up. Sign up for this if you aren’t signed up already.