In the wake of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita, a push began for low
power radio stations to be available during emergencies.
There could be more stations on the radio in the future, but not just to
entertain. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita, a push
began for low power radio stations to be available during emergencies.
Newton County Emergency Management Agency director Gary Galloway supports
the Local Community Radio Act that, if it passes the U.S. House and
Senate, would allow hundreds of new licenses to be granted for low power
FM radio stations.
Galloway just returned from Washington, D.C., where he testified before a
Congressional committee about the need for these licenses.
These stations can run off generators or even a car battery during a power
outage. Immediately after Hurricane Katrina, Galloway says a station like
that was a saving grace.
"They couldn't communicate. They didn't have power. Their homes were wiped
off the foundation. These people needed help," said Galloway.
For three months after the storm, Galloway was one of the scores of
emergency responders who helped with the recovery effort on the coast.
"What I liked about low power FM was us that were trying to help them in
emergency services, we had an access to them over the radio and that was
the immediate," said Galloway.
If passed, Galloway says he would also like to see more low power FM
stations be established along storm evacuation routes. He says he's
hopeful that the measure will pass in both chambers of Congress by the end
of this year.
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