FIRST Response Radio – Life Saving Information In Disaster

Mike Adams | FrontlineSMS | June 19, 2013

A big thank you to Mike Adams, the INTL Coordinator, for sharing his experiences with FrontlineSMS and further schooling us on how radio can facilitate in saving lives!

In times of disaster radio not only saves lives, it can also bring hope and critical information to the affected community. When the 2004 tsunami struck Banda Aceh, Indonesia, all the radio and TV stations went off air. Similarly, during the 2005 South Asian earthquake, the only radio station near the epicentre lost its tower and went off air. In times like these, people are in desperate need of news and information on how to get to safety and how to survive. However, the unfortunate trend seen recently is that when radio is so important, many times it goes off the air and does not come back until well after the emergency is over.

First Response Radio (FRR) is a network of radio broadcasters, NGOs and Government partners and our goal is to deliver critical information, via radio,  to affected communities in the immediate aftermath of disasters. Since time is critical, FRR trains their local teams in disaster prone countries to get their on air within 72 hours of a disaster. The main tool is that FRR uses a special ‘Radio in a Suitcase’ kit. This kit has a studio in one case and an FM  transmitter in another which will reach up to 15 to 20kM from the station.