Pender Co. commissioners consider AM radio station to share emergency alerts

Pender Co. commissioners consider AM radio station to share emergency alerts

BURGAW, N.C. (WECT) - Pender County may be getting an online radio station that could provide emergency information when severe weather hits.

According to a news release from the county, the board of commissioners and Pender emergency management personnel are reviewing a plan to bring an AM station online.

"When a major storm blows into the Pender County region and power is lost, an AM station is a solution to reach the entire county during an emergency,” said Tom Collins, Pender County emergency manager.

To cover a county of more than 900 square miles and reach all of Pender with an emergency message, three stationary antenna and two portable units will be needed. The system costs $285,000, which covers a lifetime warranty, installation, three fixed antenna, wireless links for transmissions and receiving, solar-powered portable stations and boosters.

Collins said the frequencies are licensed by the Federal Communications Commission.

Pender commissioners say they like the idea of a county-wide emergency system being operated from one station.

“When cell phone batteries fail and the power is out, the old fashioned transmission radio is a reliable tool to receive emergency information,” said George Brown, chairman of the Pender County Board of Commissioners.

The AM station would transmit alerts before, during and after a natural disaster, Collins said.

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