KRBD has been awarded a disaster preparedness grant through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA.
The station is one of 30 winners nationwide. KRBD will receive $35,000 for its Radio in a Box program, which will allow the station to remain on the air and broadcast important information in the event of a disaster. The equipment will include a portable studio, transmitter, antenna and the accessories needed to make it all work.
Station Manager Deb Turnbull described the equipment: “These units are for emergencies, they’re portable, they’re easy to assemble, they can be picked up and flown to any community in Southeast to aid with earthquakes, tsunamis, dam breaks, all kinds of things,” she said.
The funds awarded through FEMA also will go toward buying 1,000 hand-cranked radios that will be distributed throughout the community.
KRBD will work with local disaster relief officials to distribute the radios. Who gets one is partly dependent on a pre-determined checklist.
“The local emergency group would like to see people prepared in the event of an emergency,” she said. “They’ve sent out fliers and in those fliers they say what should be in your kit. Food, water, for how long, batteries, the ability to communicate, things for your pets. Our intent is to launch a program whereby you bring your kit in and if you have a level of preparedness in your kit, it could be that you have 10 of the 25 things, you would receive one of these hand-cranked radios so you could listen in. Maybe you’d be the contact person in your neighborhood who would be the contact person for people to receive the news if something like that should happen.”
KRBD worked in collaboration with Ketchikan Fire Department Chief Frank Share to prepare the grant request.