FCC Activates Disaster Reporting in Advance of Dorian

WASHINGTON—The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau has announced the activation of the Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) in response to Tropical Storm Dorian, which is already affecting parts of Puerto Rico. DIRS is a voluntary, web-based system that communications providers, including wireless, wireline, broadcast, cable and VoIP providers, can use to report communications infrastructure status and situational awareness information during times of crisis.

The affected providers are are asked to submit and update information through DIRS regarding the status of their communications equipment, restoration efforts, and power (i.e., whether they are using commercial power or back-up power), by accessing DIRS at https://www.fcc.gov/nors/disaster/.

For providers that participate in DIRS, the separate Network Outage Reporting System (NORS) obligations are suspended for the duration of the DIRS activation with respect to outages in the counties/municipalities where DIRS has been activated. Reports are requested beginning at 10:00 a.m. ET on Aug. 29 and every day after that by 10:00 a.m. ET until DIRS is deactivated.

For now, the affected areas only include most of Puerto Rico, however it could be expanded as Dorian is anticipated to hit the east coast of the United States, possibly as a Category 2 hurricane, by this weekend. 

Tom Butts

Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched digitalbroadcasting.com for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (www.tvtech.com), the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.