Local radio stations play a lifesaving role in keeping communities informed and safe during natural disasters and extreme weather events. They provide real-time updates on weather conditions, road and school closures, and evacuation orders. They also offer support and comfort to listeners who may be feeling isolated or scared, and they help connect people with the resources they need. During recent crises, these stations have stepped up to support their communities.
When wildfires struck Maui this August, the people of West Maui lost power, water and internet service. “Radio has been the only lifeline,” Pacific Media Group President and CEO Chuck Bergson told Radio Ink. “Our team work tirelessly… to keep the public informed and calm.”
And radio provides more than news. “We hear their crying, their tears, their desperate pleas. It is real. It’s very real for me,” KISS-FM host Bradee Carvalho told Hawaii News Now.
Local radio stations have the expertise and connections to serve their communities during ongoing news stories, too. Beasley Media Group COO Justin Case spoke to Radio Ink about the company’s preparations and local service during rough hurricane seasons in Florida. “When there’s a storm or any other emergency in our markets, it’s all hands-on deck,” he said. “Our talented live and local teams are dedicated to serving and informing our community.”
Local stations provide the news and service Americans need, and they’re a vital part of our communications and emergency infrastructure. In fact, dozens of AM and FM stations serve as the first line of contact for emergency alerting messages. Those key stations pass the messages along to other radio, television and cable stations to alert the public before, during, and after catastrophic events.
There is an effort by some auto manufacturers to take AM radio out of their cars, but AM listeners and Congress are pushing back because of the risk this poses to public safety. Learn how you can help ensure radio remains in the car.