White House Cites Weather Channel Help With Emergency Info

The Weather Channel got some ammunition for its argument that it is providing an important public service, a point it has been making in its carriage impasse with DirecTV.

As part of a Safety Data Initiative launched by the Obama Administration, The White House Tuesday convened what it billed as a second annual Safety Datapalooza Tuesday.

That included the rollout of standardized hash tags (#PowerLineDown #NoFuel and #GotFuel ) to report emergency information -- downed power lines, where fuel is available -- across social media during disasters.

One of the private sector partners the White House saluted for agreeing to get the message about the hashtags out.

"The Weather Channel will publicize to its 100 million+ web visitors and TV viewers [the] new standardized hash tags developed by the White House," the Executive Office of the President said.

According to the White House, The Weather Channel is also developing an app to help families prepare for natural disasters and extreme weather, targeted to "hyper-local" weather events and employing various data including "Weather Service alerts, precipitation proximity alerts, and lightning data." 

John Eggerton

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.