The FCC has created an automated disaster information reporting system.
The commission’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau launched the re-designed version of the voluntary, Web-based system this week. All communications companies, including broadcasting, wireline, wireless and cable can use the system to report communications infrastructure status and other critical information during a crisis.
The commission said the new system would help streamline the reporting process and enable communications providers to share network status information with the FCC quickly and efficiently.
When this disaster data collection system is activated in response to a crisis, all contacts in the system will be sent an e-mail letting them know the disaster area and the communications providers that are requested to provide data on the status of their communications equipment.
Establishment of the database addresses many of the recommendations submitted by an independent panel reviewing the impact of Hurricane Katrina on communications, according to the agency.
The disaster reporting system includes data templates for different communications sectors such as wireless, wireline, broadcast, and cable. Companies would initially log onto the system to input the emergency contact information for all those in each firm who would be providing updates on the status of communications equipment in the event of a disaster.
Communications providers can accomplish this by accessing the system at https://www.fcc.gov/nors/disaster/index.cfm and obtaining a User ID.
Once this is done, the companies that serve areas affected by disasters will be able to voluntarily submit information regarding the status of their communications equipment, restoration efforts, power—such as whether they are using commercial power, generator or battery—and their access to fuel.
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