CRTC: Emergency Alerts to be Mandatory for All Stations

CRTC: Emergency Alerts to be Mandatory for All Stations

Postby jon » Fri Aug 29, 2014 1:34 pm

CRTC requires broadcasting industry to relay emergency alert messages to Canadians

August 29, 2014 – Ottawa-Gatineau – Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today acted to ensure that, in the event of an emergency situation, Canadians receive timely warnings over the radio and through their televisions. The CRTC is requiring the broadcasting industry to participate and relay emergency alert messages to Canadians.

Cable and satellite companies, radio stations, over-the-air television stations and video-on-demand services must begin issuing such messages by March 31, 2015. Campus, community-based and Native broadcasters have until March 31, 2016 to comply with this new requirement.

Emergency alert messages are issued by emergency management officials such as fire marshals, police officers and public health personnel to warn the public of dangers to life and property. For example, alerts could be issued to warn Canadians of Amber Alerts, tornadoes, forest fires, floods, meteors, water contamination and industrial disasters.

Currently, participation in the National Public Alerting System is voluntary.

Quick Facts

  • The CRTC is requiring the broadcasting industry to participate in the National Public Alerting System to enhance the safety and security of Canadians.
  • Starting in 2015, Canadians will receive timely warnings over the radio and through their televisions in the event of an emergency situation.
  • Emergency alert messages are issued by public officials to warn of dangers to the public and could include notifications about severe weather, wildfires, hazardous chemical spills, train derailments or water contamination.
  • Messages issued under the system must follow specific guidelines to ensure they are easily recognized by members of the public.
Quote

“During an emergency situation, important information can be relayed quickly to Canadians over the radio and through their televisions. We are making sure that broadcasters and television service providers play their part in improving the security and safety of Canadians. Today’s decision ensures that Canadians will have access to important local safety messages when these notifications are issued by authorities.”

Jean-Pierre Blais, CRTC Chairman

CRTC Press Release
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Re: CRTC: Emergency Alerts to be Mandatory for All Stations

Postby jon » Fri Aug 29, 2014 1:37 pm

Broadcasters to be required to transmit emergency alerts: CRTC
Emily Chan, CTVNews.ca
Published Friday, August 29, 2014 3:04PM EDT

New safety rules will require broadcasters to transmit warnings during emergency situations, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission announced Friday.

Starting March 31, 2015, the CRTC will require most stations to broadcast alerts during emergencies, the CRTC said in a statement.

These alerts may be issued to warn Canadians of "Amber Alerts, tornadoes, forest fires, floods, meteors, water contamination and industrial disasters," the release said.

Chemical spills or train derailments could also prompt alerts, the CRTC said.

"We are making sure that broadcasters and television service providers play their part in improving the security and safety of Canadians," CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais said in the release.

"Today’s decision ensures that Canadians will have access to important local safety messages when these notifications are issued by authorities."

Most stations, such as cable and satellite companies, radio stations, over-the-air television stations, and video-on-demand services, have until March 31, 2015 to enforce the new requirements. Campus, community-based, and Native broadcasters have until March 31, 2016.

Right now, the National Public Alerting System is voluntary, the commission said.

Unlike the Wireless Emergency Alert system in the U.S., the CRTC guidelines do not extend to mobile alerts
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Re: CRTC: Emergency Alerts to be Mandatory for All Stations

Postby albertaboy4life » Fri Aug 29, 2014 1:38 pm

Hear! Hear!
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Re: CRTC: Emergency Alerts to be Mandatory for All Stations

Postby jon » Fri Aug 29, 2014 1:38 pm

Relaying of emergency alerts to be mandatory for broadcasters: CRTC
The Canadian Press
August 29, 2014 11:47 AM

OTTAWA - Canada's broadcast regulator is making it mandatory for radio and television broadcasters and others in the industry to relay emergency messages from official sources.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission said Friday that it was acting to ensure that, in the event of an emergency situation, Canadians receive timely warnings over the radio and through their televisions.

"Cable and satellite companies, radio stations, over-the-air television stations and video-on-demand services must begin issuing such messages by March 31, 2015," the CRTC said in a statement.

"Campus, community-based and native broadcasters have until March 31, 2016, to comply with this new requirement."

Currently, participation in the National Public Alerting System is voluntary.

The CRTC did not say in its statement whether there had been any problems with the voluntary system.

Emergency alert messages are issued by emergency management officials such as fire marshals, police officers and public health personnel to warn the public of dangers to life and property.

These could include Amber Alerts for missing persons as well as warnings of tornadoes, forest fires, floods, water contamination and industrial disasters.

"During an emergency situation, important information can be relayed quickly to Canadians over the radio and through their televisions," CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais said.

"We are making sure that broadcasters and television service providers play their part in improving the security and safety of Canadians. Today's decision ensures that Canadians will have access to important local safety messages when these notifications are issued by authorities."
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Re: CRTC: Emergency Alerts to be Mandatory for All Stations

Postby jon » Fri Aug 29, 2014 1:39 pm

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Re: CRTC: Emergency Alerts to be Mandatory for All Stations

Postby PicturesForYourEars » Fri Aug 29, 2014 2:18 pm

Correct me if I'm wrong.
Is the CRTC saying that in the future it is expecting a warm body be available in the station to broadcast LIVE...AT ALL TIMES 24/7 ?

What a concept.
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Re: CRTC: Emergency Alerts to be Mandatory for All Stations

Postby Howaboutthat » Fri Aug 29, 2014 3:27 pm

I didn't see anything in the release about any announcement being done in a 'timely manner'.
Houston, We're dealing with morons!.
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Re: CRTC: Emergency Alerts to be Mandatory for All Stations

Postby jon » Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:20 pm

Howaboutthat wrote:I didn't see anything in the release about any announcement being done in a 'timely manner'.

Like you, I could not find any discussion of timeliness in either the release material or the CRTC Decision's discussion, etc.

The CRTC did get the Radio Regulations right, however. A new Section 16, includes the following in Point (2):
...a public alerting system that broadcasts without delay...
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Re: CRTC: Emergency Alerts to be Mandatory for All Stations

Postby jon » Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:45 pm

PicturesForYourEars wrote:Correct me if I'm wrong.
Is the CRTC saying that in the future it is expecting a warm body be available in the station to broadcast LIVE...AT ALL TIMES 24/7 ?

What a concept.

Definitely not. Even the Alberta network, highly criticized as being antiquated when CKUA was replaced as the provider nearly 5 years ago, never required, not even in 1992 when it first started, any human beings to be involved during an Alert. Except at the regional control centres, which is why the Westlock AM station used to be manned 24/7.

It sounds like the main piece of technology is "the same", at least in concept, as the CKUA-based system: a transmitter override, triggered at the transmitter site, that switches feeds from the station's studios to the emergency alert network feed.
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