Just a week after Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc in Texas and Louisiana, Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm, has already hit parts of the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. This is a major storm, with wind gusts measured at 155 mph in Barbuda. This weekend Irma is set to make its way into Florida and parts of the American Southeast.

Photo courtesy of the Creative Commons License via CIRA from Flickr.

In order to ensure effective communications, the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau has activated the Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS). The Commission has asked all communications providers to report the status of their communications equipment, restoration efforts, and power through the DIRS. This applies to wireless, wireline, broadcast, cable, and other wireline telecommunications (such as VoIP) services.

During this time, the Network Outage Reporting System obligations have been suspended until the DIRS is deactivated.

DIRS reports are requested to begin at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 7 and made every day thereafter by 10:00 a.m. until the DIRS is deactivated.

Additional information on DIRS reporting can be found here.

The Commission has also publicized procedures for broadcasters and wireless/wireline telecommunications operators to resume and maintain operations impacted by Hurricane Irma. Special procedures for quickly obtaining Special Temporary Authority (STA) can be found here.  Reach out to us if you have any questions on submitting reports to the DIRS or other disaster related issues. Keep an eye on our blog and our Twitter page to stay up to date on all DIRS items.

Above all: please stay safe as you continue to provide much-needed public safety updates to your communities!