With no end in sight for the recovery efforts in Puerto Rico, the radio industry is putting its best foot forward to help the folks on the ground.
This week, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), the National Alliance of State Broadcasters Associations, and a number of U.S. broadcasters announced they would fund the donation of 10,000 battery-operated radios to Puerto Rico, with the goal of providing information for those in need.
The battery-operated radios could prove an important resource, as just 16 percent of the island currently has power weeks after Hurricane Maria caused dramatic damage.
NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith emphasized that the situation underlines radio’s role “as a lifeline to communities desperate for information and support.”[…]
Continue reading at the Associated Press website.
I’m very happy to receive this news. At Ears To Our World, we’ve been trying to find the right way to send radios to the areas in Puerto Rico that are still without power. So far, it’s been difficult as distribution lines are clogged and we don’t want to interfere with the delivery of medical supplies, clean water and other basic necessities.
Very happy the NAB has donated so many radios and I hope they can reach the people who need them in good time.
They need to track how many people actually listen to shortwave.
This is a very worthwhile cause, and is overdue, even if they are only inexpensive radios! I do agree that wind-up radios would have been a better choice but availability may have been an issue.
I’ve been wondering if something like this would happen and WRMI, VOA or someone else would offer special programs on SW to Puerto Rico. They could provide updated information from FEMA and the local authorities, as well as some sort of audio message board to help people connect. I remember during Katrina WHRI relayed the programs of a group of New Orleans broadcasters. Further back the Northern Service of the CBC had a program called Northern Messenger that provided messages to people in remote Northern villages.
How ironic it would be if Radio Havana jumped on the bandwagon saw the propaganda value of doing something like this!
I was also wondering about the programming that Puerto Rican’s would listen to on these radios. Is there a special broadcast setup for this? I could see a laminated card with a schedule and pertinent frequencies being an added value to the radio and batteries.
NAB supplied a pretty crappy radio to desperate Puerto Ricans, based on the reviews I’ve read. But even more concerning is where are stranded Puerto Ricans going to buy batteries for these radios after the included short-life zinc-carbon cells go dead after a day or so of use? What a numbskull operation.
For not much more money, NAB could’ve sent dynamo-powered radios–with a built-in LED flashlight–that would’ve been far more useful to desperate islanders. What were they thinking?
I saw a story on TV showing that because the U.S. Postal Service is back up and delivering mail, folks there are writing letters and post cards to make sure they’re alright. Back to the future!