FEMA Report Recognizes Value of Public Media’s Public Safety Capabilities

WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 10, 2019 – A broadcast technology executive today cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Advisory Council (NAC) report as new evidence of public media’s integral role in the nation’s public safety communications infrastructure.

Today’s presentation by the broadcast technology expert at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas (“The Role of Television Datacasting in Public Safety, First Responder Support and Alerting”) said the FEMA report’s recommendations encouraging greater use of public media’s resources in alert, warning and interoperable communications send a clear signal that public media’s public safety mission is being recognized by a growing number of officials at the federal, state and local government levels.

Theme 2, Recommendation 7 in the report on Modernizing the Nation’s Public Alert and Warning system specifically encourages public media’s role in alerts and warnings: “FEMA should engage and educate lawmakers on needed improvements to the Nation’s emergency alerting systems by encouraging the use of public media capabilities to expand alert, warning and interoperable communications.”

“America’s Public Television Stations are pleased that this report recognizes public media’s essential public safety mission and the role we play in protecting communities and keeping Americans safe, including those in rural and underserved areas,” said Patrick Butler, president and CEO, APTS. “Local public television stations provide a range of public safety services on the local, state and national level. We look forward to continuing and expanding this work in coordination with FEMA and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

“PBS is grateful to the FEMA NAC for acknowledging the value of a public-private partnership with public media,” said Dana Golub, Vice President, Programs Management, Technology and Operations, PBS. “As this report highlights, there is a need for multiple and redundant technologies for alerting, and we are proud of public media’s uniquely qualified role as a vital public safety partner.”

Butler concluded: “As the Next Gen broadcast standard is deployed across the county, public television’s public safety capabilities will expand. We look forward to continuing our work with FEMA and other public safety partners to enhance public media’s emergency alerting capabilities, reaching more people and saving more lives.”

The FEMA NAC advises the FEMA Administrator on all aspects of emergency management, including preparedness, protection, response, recovery and mitigation for natural disasters, acts of terrorism and other manmade disasters.


About APTS
America’s Public Television Stations (APTS) is a nonprofit membership organization ensuring a strong and financially sound public television system and helping member stations provide essential public services in education, public safety and civic leadership to the American people. For more information, visit www.apts.org.

About PBS
PBS, with nearly 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 90 million people through television and 30 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. Decades of research confirms that PBS’ premier children’s media service, PBS KIDS, helps children build critical literacy, math and social-emotional skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality educational content on TV – including a 24/7 channel, online at pbskids.org, via an array of mobile apps and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.