Dave Burns shares this comment on the current EAS
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.
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
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
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.
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