Local Radio Is a Lifeline during Hurricane Season

September 29, 2022

When disaster strikes, broadcast radio has the reach and resiliency to get life-saving information to your community.

“The linkage between the local officials and the local radio stations is critical. It’s the one thing we know that will survive a lot of these disasters,” Craig Fugate, the former Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management and former FEMA Administrator, told Inside Radio as Hurricane Ian headed toward Florida. “We’re talking about hurricanes but think about cyber-attacks that go after the network, where we have congestion or network failures. And you go, ‘Well, what would still work?’ And it’s back to broadcast radio.”

Broadcasters are committed to serving their communities, reinvesting profits in news, emergency information and public service.

“You’ve got the longer-term recovery and the role that a lot of stations play in sponsoring events, working with charitable organizations, and keeping the focus on the recovery,” Fugate said. “The national media goes home but the local stations, those people live there, it’s their community. And we’ve seen this time and time again: for those local stations, it’s still big news helping their community with that longer term recovery.”

Any legislation that affects local radio must take care to preserve its vital public safety role. But Congress is currently debating legislation that would levy new fees on local radio simply for playing music, without considering how such fees could harm radio’s service to communities. This could devastate local radio, impacting not only the stations you love to listen to every day, but also your community’s safety when disaster strikes.

Tell Congress to stand up for local radio today!