Open letter to our Lincoln County Community:
Several comments about broadcast radio communications during our recent fire emergency have surfaced. Some misinformation is circulating and needs to be addressed. I would like to update everyone about emergency radio broadcasting. AM radio is no longer the main
artery for broadcast emergencies. Both AM and FM broadcast radio are considered equal in providing information. Each band offers great benefits. Disaster planning always recommends a radio, batteries and/or crank radios.
Your radio should have both AM/FM. AM coverage is very limited here, FM signals
are better than AM for Lincoln County due to better coverage areas. Both are important because in the event of a major disaster, you never know which broadcasters are operational.
All AM and FM broadcast stations are import. All perform required EAS (Emergency Alert System) emergency tests, including regular weekly and monthly testing of the system. In addition, periodic national and faux emergency drills occur. The FCC does not require any broadcast stations to install and maintain any emergency equipment.
This is very important: Locally there is a misconception about which station to listen to. There is no such thing as a designated station. ALL local (meaning coverage area) AM and FM broadcast stations are broadcasting for the best interest of the coverage area community. So whichever local station operating in the emergency is your “go-to” station. There are no “designated stations”. All that is needed is to look for an operating local radio station on AM or FM. Just tune your radio to the strongest local signal that is airing local news messages.
Throughout the entire fire emergency there was always at least one county-wide, local broadcast radio station on the air. The Wave 93.7 never lost power and broadcast all the information we could collect from reliable sources over all of Lincoln County. We had many listeners tell us that The Wave 93.7 was their only source of information, even having to go out to their vehicles to listen to our reports. KSHL 97.5 would usually have remained on the air with generator back up power.
However, our generator at the top of Otter Crest is 20+ years old and at the end of its operational life. That is something we plan to get fixed soon. Broadcast radio is the answer to vital communication in an emergency. Be ready. Get your battery operated AM/FM radio and extra batteries ready, and we will do our best to keep the information airing.
Stephanie Linn, Owner,
KSHL 97.5 and The Wave 93.7