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Digital TV Transition Coming Soon; Update Preparedness Plans
Date:6/8/2009

Editorial note: Call (202) 303-5551 to speak with an American Red Cross spokesperson on the ground.

WASHINGTON, June 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The upcoming transition from analog to digital television signals will have a real effect on the disaster preparedness plans of many people who have relied on small portable televisions with antennas for emergency communications in a disaster, and the American Red Cross urges you to update your preparedness plans and materials.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090108/RedCrossLOGO)

Congress has mandated June 12 as the last day for television stations to broadcast in analog format and the first day for the switch to digital broadcasting. If you don't have a television capable of receiving a digital signal or if you rely on an antenna for reception (not pay television, cable, or satellite service), you will need to act now and make the changes necessary to make sure you will be able to access local television stations. This access is especially crucial during a disaster, when many people in the past have used battery operated televisions with an antenna to get disaster news.

"The change from analog to digital television signal is set to take place at the end of this week," said Scott Conner, Senior Vice President, Preparedness and Health and Safety, "If you have used a battery-operated TV in the past to get disaster news, it is urgent that you make the necessary changes now."

The federal government has set up a web site to answer questions and help families transition to the new digital format.

In addition to updating your televisions, the Red Cross offers the following action steps to help prepare for disasters:


SOURCE American Red Cross
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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