FCC Helps Outlets Prep for Hurricane Lane

The FCC has activated its disaster information reporting system (DIRS) as Hurricane Lane bears down on the Hawaiian islands. At the same time, it has suspended its separate Network Outage Reporting System for the duration of the DIRS activation and it outlining procedures for restoring service in the case of outages or damage.

According to Weather Channel, the storm is currently a category 4 storm a little over 200 miles Southwest of the islands. "Hurricane Lane continues to pose a rare and historic threat to all of the Hawaiian Islands," said Weather Channel hurricane expert Rick Knabb. "While no one knows for sure whether the center of the hurricane will come ashore on any of the islands, that remains a possibility, and residents and visitors in the hurricane warning areas are urged to follow instructions from local officials as weather deteriorates."

DIRS is a voluntary web-based system that broadcast and cable operators, telcos and ISPs use to report the status of infrastructure.

The FCC wants info from all five counties, Hawaii, Honolulu, Kalawao, Kauai, and Maui.

Any communications providers who need to contact the FCC about their emergency communications needs can call the FCC operations center at 202-418-1122 or email at FCCOPCenter@fcc.gov.

The commission's relevant bureaus also outlined procedures for restoring service in affected areas. That includes getting special temporary authority to get back on the air on alternative channels or power levels.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.