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 RadioSAFE Wide Area Emergency Radio Broadcast Systems
Travelers Information Stations  |  Highway Advisory Radio  |  Emergency Advisory Radio
AEL/SEL FEMA Grant Category 04AP-09-ALRT

HPR.0990 High Performance AM Radio Antenna, the Heart of RadioSAFE Systems
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. Are you prepared to use available broadcast channels to directly inform and instruct the public in your county during incidents when other communication and power sources are rendered inoperable? If not, make your community RadioSAFE.

RadioSAFE is available in the two formats, detailed below.

  1. Maximum Range:  RadioSAFE RSF:500.10X is a special radio station that typically operates at 10 watts for enhanced 7-10 mile range – 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. See map, right. See technical specifications.

  2. Enhanced Range:  RadioSAFE RSF:10X operates at 10 watts and with expanded field intensity limits (per waiver) to produce a much larger coverage pattern – 7-10-mile radius – than normally permitted by FCC rules. See technical specifications.

We provide the application documentation for emergency STAs, waivers and other licensing services required. Frequencies that are adequate for RadioSAFE operation are not available universally. Check with us regarding availability in your area.

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.

Communication Strategy
During 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 broadcast messages that can be selected locally or remotely and updated at any time via network. An optional hybrid package adds USB / flash drive redundancy and live / feed multi-channel operation capability as well.

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 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.
Standard Package
All RadioSAFE systems include . . .
  • Broadcast transmitter(s).
  • Network-based broadcast message control interface with local controls and SD card backup in the event of network loss.
  • Recording software, headphones and mic.
  • High performance AM radio antenna system with transformer, arrestor / bus, insulators, mounts and feedline and preassembled standard flexibility groundplane.
  • Broadcast quality audio processor for best audio quality.
  • Uninterruptible power supply and AC surge arrestor.
  • Diagnostic metering and test equipment.
  • Hardware, cables, power supplies and illustrated manuals.
  • System engineering and planning.
  • Remote tech support for the life of the product.
RadioSAFE system options include various audio management methods and redundancies, antenna grounding and supports, associated signage and installation services. The broadcast program can be linked to IPAWS (architecture that unifies the United States' Emergency Alert System, National Warning System, Wireless Emergency Alerts, and NOAA Weather Radio, under a single platform) and/or your Emergency Notification System and can also stream to your website to be monitored on PCs and portable devices. The broadcast antenna is generally installed in a fixed format, though portable antenna systems are possible on a custom basis. Inquire.
Many current Information Radio operators may be able to upgrade an existing station to RadioSAFE status. It may also be possible for certain communities to begin with a more modest RadioSAFE system and upgrade the coverage at a later date. It all depends on your geography and the local frequencies available. Inquire.
Technical Services
As you would expect, we provide a full menu of technical services to help you put and keep your RadioSAFE system on the air, including 24/7 remote technical support for the life of the product. We are here to help even with professionally recorded audio messages, so your broadcasts are ready to air as soon as your station is turned on.
It is important to obtain an initial frequency search before undertaking a RadioSAFE project, since adequate frequencies are not universally available. Contact Bill Baker for planning assistance and help determining if a frequency is available and the best configuration for your particular application.

Note:  Because FCC processing time is unpredictable, we recommend you request licensing and other FCC documentation services from us as soon as you know for sure you will have a station – definitely no later than when you place your radio equipment order. A waiver is required for a licensee to exceed the 2.0 mV/m signal level at 0.93 mile on a daily basis. And the use of more than 10 watts requires a waiver and an emergency Special Temporary Authority (STA) from the FCC. The engineering and filing of these documents is a service available from us.

For more info, see also Planning a RadioSAFE System.
We can provide a quote, based on a recommended configuration for your application. See "Purchasing Our Products & Services."
  • Evacuations.
  • Incident responses / recoveries.
  • Infrastructure failures.
  • Loss of power / communications due to natural or human-initiated disasters.
Up to a 20-mile radius of signal cover is possible using a RadioSAFE RSF:500.10X System with FCC emergency authorization we can help you obtain. Variables that affect coverage are authorized power level, terrain, ground conductivity and frequency. Predicted coverage is part of the RadioSAFE engineering-documentation package.
Examples of Use

"Waldo County EMA First to Deploy New Wide-Area Public Information Radio Service." IAEM, Feb 2020
"Covering the County when it Counts: an AM Radio Emergency Broadcast System." ICMA, May 2020
Emergency Advisory Radio System User Highlights
Related Links

Features Compared to Other Info Radio Systems
Planning a RadioSAFE System