12.01.2005 02:28 PM
MSRC releases emergency preparation toolkit

The Media Security and Reliability Council (MSRC) Wednesday unveiled a sizeable toolkit for TV and radio broadcasters, cable operators and direct broadcast satellite operators, to help them prepare for emergencies.

The document, the product of the MSRC Toolkit Working Group co-chaired by Bob Ross of CBS and Andy Scott of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), consists of four 50-page toolkits, each specifically addressing the unique needs of television, radio, cable and direct broadcast satellite.

Ross, who said the NAB had accepted an abstract paper on the toolkit to be presented at the organization’s 2006 convention in Las Vegas, urged representatives from the various media groups present to get the toolkit into the hands of engineers and operations personnel at their facilities.

The toolkit is intended to help media professionals assess the vulnerability of their facilities in an emergency and to assist in developing recovery plans. Additionally, the toolkit is intended to help the media define roles for their staffs in an emergency, access internal and external communications, develop emergency procedures, and address recovery and periodic plan testing.

Ross prefaced his presentation by asking those in attendance what they would do if their facilities and all of the operational resources they use daily were no longer available. He graphically underscored his point by showing a picture of a 3m satellite antenna used at the CBS station in Chicago and an identical antenna that suffered through Hurricane Katrina. The feed horn of the New Orleans antenna was missing and the dish assembly was wrapped tightly around the mount like a wilted flower around its stem. All seven antennas at the facility look like that, he said.

The MSRC was formed after 9-11 to study and recommend best practices to keep the broadcast and multichannel video distribution industries operational in the event of an emergency.

The MSRC meeting is available as a streaming video file at www.fcc.gov/realaudio/publicforums.html.

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