2014 SUpra

The Uncertain Trumpet: Disaster Communications and the Law

In this Article, Jeff Reinhardt presents practical insights on disaster communications and public information from the perspective of an elected official, an FCC licensed Amateur Radio (ham) operator, and a public affairs leader at a public utility that helps respond to wildfires and earthquakes.

Working from Reinhardt’s insights, Russ Randle, an attorney who has advised on many environmental cleanups and oil spill response planning, outlines key legal issues with such communications, information, and learning, all three of which are essential to effective disaster response and public safety. Put simply, the most important legal issue facing disaster response and civil defense may be the need to assure by law that necessary steps are taken to ensure the survival and function of key communications systems during disasters.

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