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Wide Area Emergency Radio Broadcast Systems

AEL/SEL Category 04AP-09-ALRT
Travelers Information Station / Highway Advisory Radio

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RadioSAFE Brochure

A RadioSAFE Wide Area Emergency Radio Broadcast System is a community’s safety net – a key resiliency asset that can be called up during a major incident to direct citizens in evacuation, preservation of life and property and/or disaster recovery. The service is licensable by any government entity in the United States and is permitted to transmit any emergency information that local authorities deem necessary to mitigate harm. RadioSAFE is offered in three formats, detailed below and on the linked planning page.
RadioSAFE Application Examples
  • Evacuation.
  • Incident Response / Recovery.
  • Infrastructure Failure.
  • Loss of Power / Communications due to Natural or Human-Initiated Disaster.
"Is my agency prepared to utilize available broadcast channels to directly inform and instruct the public over a wide area during incidents in which other communication and power sources are rendered inoperable?”
This new HPR.0990 Antenna is the heart of the RadioSAFE System.
Example RadioSAFE (RSF.500:10X) signal
coverage of up to 40 miles in diameter (shown above) is possible with an emergency authorization from the FCC. Variables that affect coverage are the authorized power level, terrain, ground conductivity and frequency. Predicted coverage is part of the RadioSAFE engineering documentation package.
Maximum Range  RadioSAFE RSF.500:10X is a special radio station that typically operates at 10 watts under FCC Part 90.242 rules – until required to ramp up in an emergency. With the substitution of its high power transmitter, the system is capable of signal coverage that blankets an entire county or major city. A signal radius of 20 miles or more is possible. An emergency Special Temporary Authority (STA) must be granted by the Federal Communications Commission to permit initiation of the RadioSAFE service at enhanced power – which may be hundreds of watts.

Enhanced Range  RadioSAFE RSF.10X operates at 10 watts and with expanded field intensity limits (per waiver) to produce a much larger coverage pattern than normally permitted by FCC rules.

Local  Area Coverage  The RadioSAFE RSF.10L System is more compact yet, with a signal range that makes coverage ideal for more modest-sized communities. It operates at up to 10 watts and within the conventional signal limitations of the Travelers Information (TIS) service. Like the other RadioSAFE systems, it utilizes the high-efficiency RSF.0990 Antenna so that an upgrade to larger coverage is a potential in the future.
Information Station Specialists provides the application documentation for emergency STAs, waivers and other licensing services required.

RadioSAFE Broadcast Systems operate on AM channels because of their nearly universal availability and because AM signals travel a much greater distance than FM signals at a given wattage. AM radio signals have long wavelengths that are less likely to be blocked by terrain and tall buildings. And more importantly, AM antennas can be installed at relatively low profiles (50’), making them relatively inexpensive to install and dramatically less vulnerable in high wind or geophysical events that can render tower-based communications inoperable.

Frequencies that are adequate for RadioSAFE operation are not available universally. Check with Information Station Specialists regarding availability in your area.
Communication Strategy

In a disaster in which grid power is severed and mobile devices are not functional, a RadioSAFE Broadcast System might be the only means of reliably getting critical information to members of the public, who are likely to have functioning battery-powered radio receivers in their vehicles.

RadioSAFE Broadcast Systems have the capability of staging hundreds of preplanned safety messages that can be selected locally or remotely at a moment’s notice and updated minute by minute. Programming can be performed at the station or remotely via telco or UHF/VHF transceiver or by LAN/WAN if optioned. Redundant levels of message control are provided in the RadioSAFE design.

Emergency officials can employ conventional methods of promotion, such as websites, media articles, commercial posters and local signage, on a day-to-day basis to provide visibility for the service so local populations have residual awareness of the special emergency frequency in their specific area. If possible, we recommend that a RadioSAFE station operate at 10-watt power 24/7 and that the public be encouraged to identify it in advance to “set a button” on vehicle radios so they can quickly find the channel when needed.

During emergencies, officials typically alert citizens to the availability of the RadioSAFE service via electronic notification / social media, Portable Changeable Message Signs (PCMS) or flashing beacon / LED signage installed along highly traveled roadways. The higher the public’s awareness of the emergency frequency’s presence, the more likely word-of-mouth will become a powerful ally when its content is critical.

See "Planning a RadioSAFE System."
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PO Box 51, Zeeland, Michigan, USA, 49464-0051, Phone 616.772.2300, Fax 616.772.2966, Email Form

The USA's best known source for Emergency Advisory Radio Stations, Travelers' Information Stations, Highway Advisory Radio and related technical services.

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Information Radio Stations is a generic term synonymous with Travelers Information Stations (TIS), Highway Advisory Radio Stations (HAR) / Highway Information Systems & Low Power Radio Stations (LPR). Operation of the stations is governed by FCC Part 90.242 Rules. A FCC license is required. Information Radio Stations may be fixed or portable. Subcomponents may include transmitter, antenna and ground system, digital voice player, wateter, cabinet with conventional or Corbin locks, lightning arrestors for RF, power and telephone lines, coaxial cable. Most stations employ black maximized antennas to discourage ice accumulation and security measures to prevent unauthorized program access. Options include synchronization, battery backup, solar power, remote programming by local, network or telco, multi-station audio distribution via RF or LAN / WAN or wireless network.