The power of radio

Posted July 29th, 2011 in first responders, radio, spectrum and tagged , by Alton Drew

Communications is in the blood in my family. My brother served in the Signal Corp in the U.S. Army. My sister worked in broadcast television. I volunteered at a small radio station in the Virgin Islands while in high school. Today I still volunteer, this time with the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, having manned radios on the ground and in the air.

Growing up in the Caribbean, you knew two things: First, the first week of school meant a hurricane was coming your way. Second, you better have a radio station in your community that you can rely on.

The video I’ve included in this blog post drives home that point. Radio stations serve a purpose greater than listening to Rhianna or Lady Gaga. They are the lifeblood of the community, ready to provide you with life saving information 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The rains from Camille almost took my father’s life in 1969. I lived through hurricanes David and Frederick in 1979, and drove through the gusty winds of Hurricane Kate. Through all those events there was radio, keeping me and my family informed.

For these reasons, I believe policy makers should acknowledge the power of radio by ensuring that its channels are unencumbered by unnecessary interference.