On Aug. 15 many broadcast stations received an e-mail from the FCC regarding a Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) exercise scheduled for later this week: Aug. 23-24. The DIRS keeps track of the status of both broadcast and non-broadcast communications facilities during natural disasters, including whether a facility is operating, the availability of electric power, and efforts to repair damaged equipment and restore service to the public. During last year’s violent hurricane season, the FCC kept DIRS active for extended periods to keep track of which communications facilities were and were not operational.

While participation is voluntary, we at FHH think that you may want to consider going through the DIRS exercise. The information compiled by DIRS may lead to timely availability of fuel, power, and other things you may need to keep generators running to stay on the air or to rebuild damaged facilities in the event of an actual disaster in the future.

Stations that have previously participated in DIRS should have received a test alert from the FCC. The FCC has also sent test alerts to stations in geographic areas prone to storm damage, including Puerto Rico and Hawaii.

If you want to participate, you should make sure that you have an active account in the DIRS system and that your account information is up to date. You can open or update an account now, or change or retrieve your password, at https://www.fcc.gov/nors/disaster/. If you use the name on your FCC license as the account name, you will be able to use one account to participate for more than one station. The DIRS Exercise will require online reports on both Aug. 23 and 24.

Those participating in this week’s DIRS 2018 Exercise will receive an activation letter at 10 a.m. on Aug. 23. The DIRS will require a company to report 1) whether their stations are transmitting, 2) the power status and locations of transmitters, 3) whether they are able to transmit from alternate locations, and 4) whether the stations have functioning generators. This exercise will help you to prepare your stations to report their status in the event of a real emergency when the FCC activates DIRS.

If you have any questions, please contact us.

Categories: FCC, Media
Tags: Broadcast, DIRS, Natural Disaster, Emergency, Disaster Information Reporting System.