Broadcasters' Desktop Resource

... edited by Barry Mishkind - the Eclectic Engineer    

This was written by Richard Rudman as a response to Dave Burns' comments.

Over sixty years of warning research has shown that a very likely 
place for warnings to fail is right at the origination point. A lot of 
warnings never go out.

This research resides at the Natural Hazards Center of the University of Colorado at Boulder. When the Partnership For Public Warning (PPW) was founded in 2001 we drew heavily on this repository for reports. Many of them were authored by someone I consider to be one of the foremost experts in the field, Dr. Denis Mileti, Professor Emeritus at the U of C, Boulder. Denis was also a key supporter and member of the PPW.

I would suggest that anyone interested in the priceless body of 
knowledge accumulated on warnings at the University of Colorado, Boulder and the work of Dr. Mileti check out these links:

What I think is needed here is to make it crystal clear to local 
government that they have a legal duty to warn. There are many highly trained and dedicated people in the warning business, but not enough. Making their duty more clear as a legal point will help.

But, the legal argument is not enough. I think the best way to get 
where we need to go is to build effective local, state and national 
partnerships. This partnership idea was behind the PPW, and has been suggested by me and others (including the SBE) to the FCC as the Commission looks at national EAS testing. SBE in fact suggested in its Comments that the EAS National Advisory Committee (NAC) be revived. The NAC charter as a Federal Advisory Committee was allowed to expire in 2002 by the Commission.

As I have said many times in the past, where you see EAS working well, you will see broadcasters and local emergency management literally and figuratively meeting each other half way.

If you look at where EAS is working, you will already see such 
partnerships. Washington State is a great example. Probably the 
greatest value of such working partnerships is how they operate when things go wrong, as well as when they go right. What happens after EAS events, including tests, is a post event analysis. Some in emergency management call them "hot washes". They look at what unfolded, take lessons learned, and strive to incorporate those lessons for future improvement.

Those of you involved with viable EAS partnerships know exactly what I am talking about. You will also "get" another of my favorite lines --  "The day of the emergency is a bad day to go and meet your local emergency manager."

Richard Rudman
Vice Chair, CA SECC

Standard disclaimer: I am speaking as an individual. My thoughts do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBE.


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