Radio may be answer to disaster relief

By July 30, 2007

Philippines (MNN) — When natural disasters strike, communication is often incredibly difficult or nearly impossible. Victims may have a hard time locating emergency shelter, food and medical aid. 

Far East Broadcasting Company
has created an emergency radio station called FIRST Response in an attempt to overcome this problem. They tested the prototype in June in Legaspi City in the Philippines,
a city prone to disasters. 

Gathering the team and equipment took 72 hours, and once they were on location, the broadcast began within two hours. FEBC and their sister organization Feba spent three days before the test run training for disaster preparedness. Other organizations as well as the Philippines National Police Disaster Team were there to help.

"The trial run convinced me of the importance of radio during a disaster," explained one FEBC engineer. "I was on the ground days after the 2004 tsunami struck in Asia, and I saw the chaos created by a lack of information. If we can reduce some of the trauma people experience, we'll have accomplished much. We're now confident that FEBC will be there…ready to help when the next disaster strikes." 

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