FCC staff earlier this week released a Public Notice reminding TV stations and other video programming providers, including cable and satellite television providers, of their obligation to make emergency information accessible for all viewers. With a few tweaks, the reminder is very similar to what the FCC has issued in past years. Here is what we wrote about that notice in the past, equally applicable to the one released this week:
The FCC provides examples of the kinds of emergencies that the rules are intended to cover – which for the first time this year includes pandemics. Other examples of the emergencies that these obligations would apply to include “tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, tidal waves, earthquakes, icing conditions, heavy snows, widespread fires, discharge of toxic gases, widespread power failures, industrial explosions, civil disorders, school closings and changes in school bus schedules resulting from such conditions, and warnings and watches of impending changes in weather.” The details that must be conveyed to the entire audience include “specific details regarding the areas that will be affected by the emergency, evacuation orders, detailed descriptions of areas to be evacuated, specific evacuation routes, approved shelters or the way to take shelter in one’s home, instructions on how to secure personal property, road closures, and how to obtain relief assistance.” The obligations are intended to cover not just the area where the emergency is occurring, but also in adjacent areas that may be affected by the effects of the emergency – and the obligations extend not just to the immediate time of the emergency but also to information about dealing with its aftermath. What do these rules require?
Continue Reading FCC Issues Annual Reminder on the Need for Accessibility of Emergency Information from Video Providers