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A Citizen’s Eye View of Public Preparedness

Public Radio, TV Developing SAFER Project To Help Local Stations Inform Public During Disasters

September 15th, 2009 · No Comments

The National Federation of Community Broadcasters (NFCB), National Public Radio (NPR), and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) in collaboration with three public television stations, and the Integrated Media Association are developing the Station Action for Emergency Readiness (SAFER) project, a plan to help public broadcasters serve their communities when disaster strikes.

SAFER will develop customizable plans to help stations stay on-the-air, online and in touch with their audiences through mobile devices during crises. An online manual will guide stations in developing or improving their business continuity plans. A companion crisis communications plan will show stations how to reliably deliver critical life-saving information to listeners in emergency situations.

The project will also distribute online tools and widgets that stations can embed into their own websites so the public can get emergency information on their mobile devices as well as online and on-air. Webinars and workshops will be offered featuring experts who can assist stations with implementation of a response program.

“Our member stations are a vital source of information in their communities and we’re eager to work with NFCB and CPB on equipping them with tools they need to best serve their audience, especially in times of disaster,” said NPR’s Joyce MacDonald.

“Public and community radio stations are frequently the only local broadcasters serving their communities,” said NFCB’s Ginny Z. Berson, adding, “When a local emergency arises or disaster strikes, these stations are critical to getting life-saving information to listeners.”

SAFER will build on the experiences and lessons learned by public broadcasters in emergency situations such as Hurricane Katrina, floods in the Midwest, and wildfires in California. The three public television stations involved in the project are KQED in San Francisco, Public Broadcasting Atlanta, and Mississippi Public Broadcasting.

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Tags: Media · Preparedness 2.0

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