AWARN Roundtables: Rebooting the Broadcaster-Public Safety Partnership Across the Nation
AWARN Regional Roundtables 2022 Series
The AWARN Alliance, with the help of local partners and sponsors, has convened the first-of-its kind AWARN Regional Roundtable Series. The primary goal of these meetings is to bring together emergency managers and broadcasters to launch Advanced Emergency Information (AEI) with ATSC 3.0/ NextGen TV.
Through this effort, we want to reboot the historic relationship between broadcasters (“first informers”) and the public safety community. Specific goals are that AEI becomes part of the agenda for State Emergency Communications Committee (SECC) meetings and, eventually, agreements between EM’s and TV stations.
The Santa Barbara Roundtable
On March 9-10 of 2022, the AWARN Alliance joined with KEYT-TV, the Santa Barbara County and City of Riverside Offices of Emergency Management, and the California Broadcasters Association to host the first of a series of roundtable discussions on the development of Advanced Emergency Information (AEI). AEI promises to create new significant value for viewers, consumer electronics manufacturers, broadcasters and emergency management authorities through advancements like improved indoor signal reception, delivery of rich media content, and precise geo-targeting.
Leveraging the advanced alerting capabilities of NextGen TV was a key component, but the first-of-its kind AWARN Santa Barbara Roundtable focused on something else: building the human and institutional relationships between emergency managers and TV stations to use NextGen TV and allied technologies.
The meeting was an opportunity for disaster information stakeholders in SoCal to come together in a relaxed, informal setting to discuss the future of public warning. Post-meeting evaluations from participants were extremely positive, with comments like “eye-opening,” “excellent,” “it really moved me,” “connections were made,” and “just the beginning.”
The AWARN Summit
In May 2021, the AWARN Alliance hosted a virtual Summit that, for the first time, brought together broadcasters and other media industry players with the nation’s largest alerting authorities to discuss advanced emergency alerting and informing with ATSC 3.0/NextGen TV and other new technologies. During and after the Summit, we discovered the need and desire for broadcasters and emergency managers to rebuild and strengthen their relationships in order to develop local agreements for optimal roll-out of AEI services. These discussions lead to the launch of the AWARN Regional Roundtables Tour.