As we had anticipated, the Commission has officially activated its Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) in connection with the arrival of Hurricane Matthew. Because of the urgency of the situation, the FCC has asked the NAB to get the word out to broadcast stations, and we here in the CommLawBlog bunker are more than happy to help out in that effort.
If you have communications equipment in any of the areas listed below, the FCC wants you to use DIRS to report in daily on the status of your equipment if it is less than fully operational. (No need to report on stations, facilities, or switches that are fully operational.) You can access DIRS at fcc.gov/nors/disaster. You’ll need to login with your DIRS User ID and password to get started. (If you don’t have a User ID already, there’s a link on the login page that will allow you to get a user ID and password. If you do have a user ID, but can’t remember your password, use the forgotten password link on the login page.) After you login, complete the reports for the types of equipment that you’re using in the areas subject to the DIRS activation.
Important: This DIRS activation – and the consequent reporting request – are directed only to folks who have communications equipment in the areas hardest hit by the storm already and those in its projected path. They include in particular the following counties in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina:
Florida: Brevard, Broward, Clay, Collier, Duval, Flagler, Glades, Hendry, Highlands, Indian River, Lake, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Polk, Putnam, Saint Johns, Saint Lucie, Seminole, Volusia
Georgia: Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Glynn, Liberty, McIntosh
South Carolina: Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Georgetown, Jasper
The FCC will monitor the storm’s progress closely and may extend the DIRS activation to additional counties as needed in the coming days. If you’re in an area likely to be affected by the storm but not listed above, check the FCC’s website (www.fcc.gov) for additions to the affected areas subject to this DIRS activation.
The first set of reports should be submitted by 10 a.m. (ET) on Saturday, October 8. Subsequent reports should be made by 10 a.m. (Eastern Time) every day while DIRS is activated. Also, note that the Commission is looking for as close to “real time” information as possible – so if you’ve got something noteworthy to report, let the Commission know sooner rather than later.
Please feel free to contact any of the following if you have any questions:
John Healy, FCC, (202) 418-2448 or (215) 847-8094 (cell)
Julia Tu, FCC, (202) (418) 0731 or (202) 321-4399 (cell)
Michael Caiafa, FCC, (202) 418-1311 or (202) 277-5690 (cell)
Jeff Goldthorp, FCC, (202) 418-1096 or (202) 253-1595 (cell)
In addition, communications providers – broadcasters, wireless companies, MVPDs, etc. – should also be aware of the FCC’s public notice providing guidance and procedures for initiating, resuming and maintaining operations in the areas affected by Hurricane Matthew. That notice includes useful information regarding requests for Special Temporary Authority (STA); it also provides additional contact information. Broadcasters needing to consult FCC bureaus and offices about their recovery efforts during the weekend or after hours can call the FCC’s 24/7 Operations Center at (202) 418-1122.
For assistance with obtaining Special Temporary Authority (STA) during regular business hours, please contact the Media Bureau at:
(202) 418-2700 for radio
(202) 418-1600 for television
The folks at the NAB are also strongly encouraging broadcasters to reach out to their state associations to let them know about your operational status. (And we here in the bunker second that emotion.) Those associations can be an invaluable resource when it comes to coordinating recovery efforts. And, of course, you can also reach out to the NAB for information and/or help. (The guy to call: Larry Walke at firstname.lastname@example.org, (202) 429-5313 (office) or (202) 607-7611 (cell).)