RFP just received a grant award for $800 for a UPS at the studio. This is part of our emergency preparedness plan as outlined here:
Radio Free Palmer (RFP) broadcasts at KVRF, 89.5 FM, to Palmer, Sutton, Chickaloon, Lazy Mountain, Butte, and parts of Wasilla. We are poised to provide FM radiobroadcast announcements to these areas of the Mat Su Borough during emergencies and natural disasters. A few more pieces of equipment will make this possible.
Disasters such as the recent super storm and power outages on the East Coast warn about the weakness of depending on a functioning power grid during emergencies. However, car radios as well as windup and solar powered radios continue to function.
Plans for RFP to provide this vital communications link came from conversations with the Emergency Services Director of the Mat Su Borough, the Public Safety Director of the City of Palmer, and representatives of the committee working on the Homeland Security grant for the Borough in 2012. There is a consensus that there is a need to improve communication during emergencies and public officials support this project. The intention is to write RFP into the Borough’s emergency planning protocol. We will become a link in the circle of information to keep the local population informed of public safety information.
RFP’s Chief Operating Officer has been appointed to the borough-wide Local Emergency Planning Committee as the media representative. The radio station is located in downtown Palmer and is staffed locally, providing easy access to Borough offices, police and fire services.
During a generalized and lengthy emergency situation – especially one accompanied by a power outage – the entire population within our broadcast area will be a targeted beneficiary group (approximately 30,000).
During acute shorter emergencies various populations: parents with school age students during snow emergencies or seniors during hazardous wind and air quality alerts, will benefit from broadcast without interruption.
The plan is to have auto start propane powered backup generators at our transmitter in Sutton and our translator on Lazy Mountain. An additional UPS that can be charged by a car or at the borough building will serve the downtown Palmer studio.
Communication between the studio and sites will be by POTS (plain old telephone service) and line of site radio dishes. Our goal is to provide a signal from the studio to the transmitter and translator even when there is no grid-based power. The station has begun development of failover systems that will allow communication between either the studio or a roving site and the transmitters in the event of a loss of Internet and cellular service.
Some of the pieces are in place. A $5,000 grant from the Mat Su Health Foundation enabled us to install the generator at the transmitter in Sutton. The dishes are installed between the studio and the translator. We are seeking funds for a propane powered generator for the translator site ($5,000) and for an additional backup UPS at the studio ($800).