HURRICANES HARVEY, IRMA, JOSE AND MARIA - Information for stations inside disaster areas. [Learn More]
GRASSROOTS RADIO CONFERENCE Albany, NY NEW DATES!! OCTOBER 6~9.. [more info here!!]

Disaster Information

This information has been updated for Hurricane Irma on September 6, 2017.

LPFM and other broadcast stations needing to operate at a variance as a result of the hurricane can make the request informally to the FCC by e-mail or if necessary, by telephone. Electronic filings in CDBS should be made if possible.  Even if you file in CDBS, the FCC staff can see the filing before the public does and they can "push" an application through the processing system.  

Requesting a Special Temporary Authority

All requests should include the technical parameters and contact name and phone number. 

Technical parameters should include:

  • Latitude and longitude of operation (if moving),
  • Radiation center antenna height (if changing),
  • Effective radiated power / transmitter power output.

Licensees are reminded that the Commission’s rules address operation during periods of emergency for licensees authorized under each of the rule parts for Broadcast Television Services, Broadcast Radio Services, and Multichannel Video and Cable Services. These service specific rules allow licensees to provide emergency communications during a period of emergency in a manner or configuration not specified in the station authorization or in the rules governing such stations.

Anti-Drug Act Certification

All requests for special tempoary authority (STA) must be accompanied by a the following statement:

Neither the applicant nor any party to this application is subject to a denial of federal benefits that includes FCC benefits pursuant to Section 5301 of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, 21 U.S.C. § 862.

FCC Contact Information

To file a an STA by e-mail or to receive an oral STA over the phone during business hours, FM/LPFM stations should contact Dale Bickel at 202 418-2706 dale.bickel@fcc.gov

Outside of business hours (over the weekend), contact the FCC's Operations Center at 202 418-1122 FCCOperationCenter@fcc.gov

If your station has to go silent

If your station has to go completely silent (not broadcast at all), you may take your station silent.  If your silent period is expected to last at least 10 days, a notification of suspension of operations should be filed with the FCC.  This can be done through CDBS.  If your station plans to be silent for at least 30 days, then you need to file a request for a silent STA through the CDBS system.  By rule of law, any station that is silent for more than 365 consecutive days will result in cancellation of the station license.  In extreme stitutions, the FCC may have the authority to extend that.  This is something that REC can not give advice on and in those extreme cirumstances, you should consult a qualified broadcast attorney.  Once your station has returned to its authorized facility and is operating in compliance with the terms of the station license, then you will need to file a notification of resumption of operations in CDBS.  All of these CDBS forms can be found in the "non-form filing" section of CDBS.

Expiring construction permits

If you have a construction permit that is about to expire in the next 30 days and the disaster has directly impacted your ability to complete your construction, you should send a request to toll your construction permit the Office of the Secretary at the FCC with a courtesy copy to Victoria McCauley.  Follow the instructions on our Extend CP page. (opens a new window/tab)

Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS)

DIRS is an FCC system that collects information on communications services that are regulated by the FCC and are impacted by the disaster.  Reporting to DIRS may give stations the ability to obtain assistance they may need from federal and state agencies and would be a vehicle to communicate the status of your operation.  Reporting to DIRS is voluntaryREC encourages all LPFM stations in the affected areas to report in DIRS. Even if your LPFM station is up while others in your area are down, you should report to DIRS as it will describe the utility of LPFM stations in the wake of a major disaster such as a hurricane.   DIRS can be accessed at the following URL: (opens a new tab or window)

More information about DIRS for broadcasters can be found at this URL (opens a new tab or window):

Contacting REC

If your station has done any paid CDBS filings in the past through REC (which had a 4-digit REC order number and we have your CDBS and FRN passwords on-file) and your station needs to file a silent notification, silent STA or resumption of operations and the reason is directly related to the disaster, please contact REC and we will file your silent request at no charge.  If you need other STA services or minor change filings or you have not used REC in the past, please contact us at lpfm at recnet dot com for information on our services and rates. 

The Federal Communications Commission will not charge any filing fees for non-commercial educational stations including LPFM stations.

We wish you the best and we'll be there if you need us!