Emergency Preparedness [ was Globe editorial calls FM radio "outdated technology" ]

Dave Doherty dave@skywaves.net
Mon Aug 23 23:22:25 EDT 2010

Hi John-

It continues to amaze me that nobody thought to send out an EAS alert on 
9/11. So many people responded in thoughtful and considered ways, given the 
magnitude of the event.

One thing that comes to mind is the PATH Train folks who stopped the 
Exchange Place outbounds immediately and sent the ones that were already in 
the tunnel straight through the WTC loop and back without stopping.  That 
must have PO'd the passengers until they got to street level in NJ.  Quick 
and admirable thinking, made possible by good communications.

9/11 and Katrina resulted in a big increase in aux sites for broadcasters, 
particularly in major markets.  It seems like hardly a week goes by without 
at least one new aux site being licensed someplace.

On balance, I think it is easier and more secure to have a main site backed 
up by one or two aux sites than to maintain a large array of low power 
cellular sites, even though the loss of a single cell site or a small group 
of cell sites is relatively less costly to the coverage. I can cut a deal 
with a couple of fuel suppliers to deliver off-road diesel to two or three 
sites a lot easier than a hundred cell sites. And I might even be able to 
provide two different power mains suppliers to a big site.


From: "John Mullaney" <john@minutemancomm.com>
Sent: Monday, August 23, 2010 10:44 PM
To: "'Bob DeMattia'" <bob.bosra@demattia.net>; "'boston Radio Interest'" 
Subject: RE: Globe editorial calls FM radio "outdated technology"

> Hi Bob,
> In example number (1) most of the radio were knocked off the air and the
> others ran out of diesel fuel. Quite a few got back on from remote 
> locations
> but days later. TV did a better job but they had a lot of problems too.
> Thing is how do you recharge your phone anyways.
> Example(2) EAS was never activated
> (3) I have no data
> The thing is today's EAS system is a joke. And even if you could fix it
> people just don't listen to the radio like they used too. A massive 
> cellular
> regional text messaging blast would be of more use today to spread 
> messages
> quickly. If it was designed to stagger messages you'd think you could even
> handle the load issues.
> In massive disasters like Katrina almost everything goes down eventually 
> due
> to a loss of power. If the infrastructure fails to that degree it's almost
> impossible to get diesel fuel pumped from tanks and delivered with
> hospitals. Police and Fire getting the first deliveries. With today's 
> loads
> and today's EPA regulations on tanks most folks go through there supply of
> fuel in 24hrs-46hrs.
> Anyways isn't FM radio what the NAB wants to add. I don't think there 
> intent
> is EAS.
> I do have the iPod FM tuner with RDS. I use to like it cause folks never
> realized you could be listening to FM on planes with your IPod. But you
> can.... Not that I would. ;)
> John 

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