Radio Preparedness Information

I found an abundance of information that is recently of interest to Louisiana concerning the preparedness of local radio stations in Emergency situations. The Louisiana Association of Broadcasters, The Media Security Reliability Council, The National Association of Broadcasters, and recent FCC reviews of the Emergency Alert System. Everyone knows WWL went off of the air for a short time, but WWL is largely local to New Orleans. Local radio stations are vital in an Emergency Situation such as a hurricane and are even more vital in the aftermath of disasters such as Katrina.

Documents of Interest

Louisiana Association of Broadcasters

From the FYI page: Radio Checklist Manual

National Association of Broadcasters

Review of the Emergency Alert System by the FCC with Comments of the National Broadcasters Association – EASComms12406.pdf – January 24, 2006.

The January 24, 2006 review includes articles concerning radio stations in Louisiana who were able to get back on the air, however, this information does not include the small stations that had difficulty during Katrina.

Also of interest from the NAB were the articles from February 2007 indicating that Max Mayfield, formerly of the National Hurricane Center, was to report on the aftermath of the disaster at the NAB.

NAB Partners to Host Summit on EAS & Emergency Communications on Friday (March 2, 2007)
Former director of the National Hurricane Center to speak to broadcasters, emergency managers about the aftermath of natural disasters

With 34 years of experience in hurricane forecasting, Max Mayfield will recommend a new approach to dealing with the aftermath of natural disasters. Mayfield will address the need to develop an organization, similar to the National Transportation Safety Board that will be available to mobilize after a disaster and provide specific recommendations to mitigate future disasters.

The Summit on EAS & Emergency Communications will focus on widely disseminated public alerts and warnings; strive to ensure that every state has a robust, operable Emergency Alert System; and examine the security and reliability of broadcasting infrastructure for emergency communications and information dissemination to the American public in times of crisis.

Local broadcasters, state broadcaster association presidents, state emergency management agency officials, representatives of several federal agencies involved in protecting the nation with public alerts and warnings and the Emergency Alert System are expected to attend. The Congressional Hazards Caucus Alliance Co-Chairs Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) will also speak to summit attendees. Senator Landrieu has been a leader in sponsoring legislation that assists residents of communities ravaged by Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters. Senator DeMint is the author of the WARN (Warning, Alerts and Response Network) Act signed into Public Law in the 109th Congress.

The summit will also feature Joshua Dozor, director of Preparedness Policy, Executive Office of the President and a member of the Homeland Security Council, and panelists from DHS/FEMA, FCC, NOAA and from non-governmental organizations.

For more information on the summit, please email Tom Fahy or call him at (202) 337-6954.

And the current legislation to keep broadcasters on the air in the event of a disaster from a June 4, 2007 NAB Radioweek article.

The First Response Broadcasters Act of 2007 seeks to protect broadcaster responders’ fuel supply, clarify jurisdiction for allowing journalists access to disaster zones, including occasions when broadcasters need access to restore transmitters, and establish a limited federal matching grant program for specific upgrades to new emergency alert technologies.

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