In an emergency, you need a plain old radio or TV

Conventional technology was critical in keeping people informed after a summer storm.

That’s one of the key, upfront messages in the Federal Communications Commission report on the June 2012 storm that knocked out communications and emergency 9-1-1 services in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions of the country.

Conventional radio and TV broadcasters operated without a hiccup in the wake of that storm, the FCC said, filling a valuable role as “first informers” when nothing else worked.

Public safety call centers worked with broadcasters “to provide updates on 9-1-1 service and alternate ways of obtaining emergency assistance….some reports advised residents to call 9-1-1 only for true emergencies, and provided 10-digit administrative numbers for other questions about cooling shelters and restoration of power,” the FCC said.

The FCC noted -- and I imagine this is for the iThing generation -- that plain old radios work real well on plain old, inexpensive batteries that don’t require charging.

What a concept. I think plain old radio has a real future.