Radio is Essential in Emergencies

Radio is Essential in Emergencies

Our world turns to radio for a myriad of things including entertainment, news updates,  and yes . . . even commercials.  Probably one of the most critical roles radio plays is when the curtain rises on major disasters and moments of crisis.  Though considered by many to be an outdated technology, the vast majority of homes have access to a radio, and therefore have access to receive important messages during an emergency. 

When the planet practically shut down in the face of the COVID-19 disaster, many government leaders ordered non-essential businesses to close shop.  However, one segment that remained open for business was broadcast media, including radio stations.  The reason was simply that during a crisis media outlets fill the important role of communicating vital updates to citizens.

When the Governor of Idaho issued an emergency order mandating non-essential businesses to shut down a handful of essential industries remained open for business including radio stations to provide emergency updates; Melaleuca to provide hand sanitizer; Grocery Stores to provide food; Pharmacies to provide medicine; and a more.

Here are three ways the technology of radios can help during a major emergency

  • Wireless messaging

Radio’s broadcast their signals through the air which proves to be helpful when major disasters, like tornadoes and hurricanes, wipe out physical infrastructures.  With this in mind, it is advisable to have a battery-operated radio at home.  You may say, “But wait! I don’t have one of those.  I’m not a prepper!” Actually, you probably DO have a battery-operated radio at home.  It’s called a car radio.

  • Broad Appeal

Radio can appeal to everyone’s tastes because of the many channels offering a broad spectrum of content.  There’s something for everyone. Because of this, a large part of the population can be reached with a mass emergency message that simultaneously hits every station.  Radio is regulated by the Federal Communication Commission and therefore has the obligation to comply by certain emergency communication functions when necessary.

  • An Army of Amateurs

Every radio station has a call sign, or unique designator.  American radio stations announce their call signs at the top of each hour.   Not only do radio stations have call signs, so do the THOUSANDS of amateur radio operators around the world.  These amateurs are often highly-skilled radio operators who practice the craft of radio transmission so they can be prepared to help with emergency communications in the face of a major disaster. 

So the next time you jump in the car and turn the dial to your favorite station, just remember . . . that device may prove to be a life-saver someday.


March 27th, 2020

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