The FCC has activated its Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) to enable it to monitor damage to broadcast and telecommunications facilities during Hurricane Isaac.  DIRS is a voluntary web-based system that communications providers can use to report communications infrastructure status and situational awareness information during times of crisis. (“Communications providers” include the full range of wireless, wireline, broadcast, and cable providers.)

The Commission is requesting communications providers in the following counties and parishes to log into to report and update information through DIRS regarding, inter alia, the status of their communications equipment, restoration efforts, power (i.e., whether they are using commercial power, generator or battery), and access to fuel:

Alabama counties: Baldwin and Mobile;

Florida counties: Escambia and Santa Rosa;

Louisiana parishes: Ascension, Assumption, Avoyelles, Catahoula, Concordia, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, Saint Bernard, Saint Charles, Saint Helena, Saint James, St John the Baptist, Saint Landry, Saint Martin, Saint Mary, Saint Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Washington, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana; and

Mississippi counties: Adams, Amite, Franklin, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Lincoln, Pearl River, Pike, Walthall and Wilkinson.

(The FCC’s public notice also suggests that reports/updates can be submitted through the e-filing function on either the Commission’s main webpage or the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau’s webpage. From a quick glance at both those pages, however, it’s not clear that the “e-filing function” is immediately obvious – so you will probably find it quicker to log directly into the DIRS site.)

If you lose Internet access, several FCC staff members involved in disaster preparedness have published their office and cellphone numbers:

Jeffery Goldthorp (202) 418-1096 (office), (202) 253-1595 (cell),

Julia Tu (202) 321-4399 (cell),

John Healy (215) 847-8094 (cell),

Michael Caiafa (202) 418-1311 (office), (202) 277-5690 (cell),

David Ahn (202) 418-0853 (office), (571) 232-8487 (cell),

Jane Kelly (202) 418-2832 (office), (202) 503-0398 (cell),

If you’re in the path of the hurricane but are not in any of the counties/parishes listed above, check the FCC’s home page for further additions to the list of reporting areas. 

Satellite earth station operators needing to operate emergency facilities may apply electronically at; or if they cannot access that system, they may apply by letter, e-mail, and even by telephone.  All requests should provide the technical parameters of the proposed operation and a contact point.  Requests not made through myibfs should be re-filed through that system as soon as circumstances permit.