The BDR

The
Broadcasters' Desktop Resource

... edited by Barry Mishkind - the Eclectic Engineer    

Dave Burns shares this comment on the current EAS landscape.

Federal regulators and broadcast management and engineers, who are talking right now about a new national alerting infrastructure, must incorporate rules which require all licensed broadcasters to serve their listeners and advertisers in real emergencies.

We must do better than happens in many places. Like this:
---quote ---

Sept, 2008.

It's a beautiful Saturday morning after the tail end of Hurricane Ike blew through the night before.

All electricity is out in my end of town.  Comcast supplies our telephone, TV, and Internet. Out! No cell, either!  ...For two whole days!!

One of the two real radio stations in town was off air due to no standby power and the other was all Nascar and other sports, most of that weekend. In other words, automated most of that weekend.

We here in the cornfield have no difficulties. Water, and food in cans and bags, and a thawing refrigerator.

But, Ike tore stuff up and large trees and limbs were everywhere. We have no idea where/if we could go in case of a personal situation. Fortunately, we have no emergencies. 

We are equipped with 3 battery-operated radios in working condition. We tune around and we are entertained, but uninformed.

--- end quote ---

If the coming countdown clock leads to not more than new, mandated, and expensive equipment to achieve inadequate goals now in place, some of us will be dead meat.

If there is no new requirement to alert listeners to pending local disasters, this will become a miscarriage of mission -- Not BS or wolf-crying, but real emergencies!!!
 
Will I not be able to depend on the most dependable link I have? If the steel is still vertical, radio could be the only thing left to inform of critical services and deadly warnings... the only thing we have between us and the possibility of our entering past tense.
 
This should include cable, cable access, et al.
 
No, 24 hour staff should not be mandated.  But, If staff is on duty, or if they can be found in bed or mowing the lawn (and they can with a telephone tree list), why wouldn't state and feds and local broadcasters and EMAs want and demand that this warning system is up and flying in the face of local disaster? 

I'd not want to be off the air or unavailable when my listeners and my advertisers need me most. Surely none wants to be party to disaster. (ala Minot)

Can you say public interest, convenience, necessity and safety? Can we get serious?

If the status stays quo, broadcast continues to become of less use all the time. This missing mandate will maim and kill people.
 
It's imperative that the new national alerting infrastructure incorporates rules which require all licensed broadcasters to serve their listeners and advertisers in their service areas with local information, too, in real emergencies.


3/23/10

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