Senators told how broadcasters serve in emergencies


In the aftermath of recent severe floods in Tennessee, Whit Adamson, President of the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters, was on Capitol Hill Thursday to testify before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development. He told how broadcasters dealt with the flooding emergency and how they serve as the backbone for keeping the public informed in emergencies.

“We are proud of the actions of our broadcasters before and after the flooding in Tennessee. One of the most critical reporting jobs that weekend came from a small radio station, WUCZ-FM in Carthage. Dennis Banka’s station is located at the mouth of the Caney Fork River, 28 miles below the Center Hill Dam on the Cumberland River and 153 miles below the Wolf Creek Dam. Due to the known instability of both these dams, a local state representative could get critical information by cell phone, relayed directly from Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Mitchell, to the station and then out to the public. Emergency exercises of this type had never been tested before in this area,” Adamson told the Senate panel.

He also described the success of the AMBER Alert system and how Tennessee is continually modernizing its emergency notification system. Adamson also noted that Mobile DTV, now being deployed by broadcasters, will give TV stations a new tool to deliver “live, local emergency information.