The City of Orlando, Florida, gets a new Emergency Advisory Radio
Below is an interview with the Orlando, Florida, Emergency
Operations Center about their new ALERT AM station with computer-controlled audio (contact:
FAEM; Deputy Emergency Manager, 321.235.5439).
What problem were you trying to
solve by getting your Emergency Advisory Radio station?
"...to find a way to quickly and cost
effectively communicate emergency information to city residents.
Also, we wanted a system that we could control ourselves and not
have to rely on an outside vendor."
How did you obtain funding?
"We requested funding through the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI)."
Emergency Funding Resources webpage.)
How would you judge results to date?
"I think we have started a good program with a tremendous
opportunity to continue to grow our broadcast range and types of
What has the response for your public been?
"Most of the response we have been getting is positive and asking
for increased broadcast range....we have had some television news
pieces done on the station."
Did you experience any problems on this
"From the installation to the training to our first broadcast it
has been very user friendly."
How is the station managed?
"The system is managed by the Orlando Office of Emergency
Management, and we primarily have messages on overall disaster
preparedness. In all of our outreach and media interviews we try to
promote the station as much as possible."
Has the station actually been used for any
"Yes it has. During [Hurricanes] Wilma in 2005 and Ernesto in 2006
we had up to date information for our residents."
What did you tell listeners to do?
"For those events it was primarily stay informed and heed the advice
of public safety officials."
Where is your station located?
"It is in the Orlando Emergency Operations Center (EOC). During
times of disaster the EOC is where we operate all city functions for
response and recovery to a disaster, so it made sense to have the
radio station close at hand to continually update the information
What is your frequency and callsign?
"1650 WQDC Orlando Radio."
Do you have advice for other emergency
"Have a plan on how and why you would like to use this system before
you purchase and set it up. Also talk to other agencies how have
been using the system to see if your operational goals could be met
by an AM radio station."
What has your experience working with ISS been?
"Very good! They were highly professional, training was simple and
easy to understand and follow-up technical support has also been