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RadioSAFE
Wide-Area Emergency Radio Broadcast System

AEL/SEL Category 04AP-09-ALRT
Travelers Information Station / Highway Advisory Radio
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RadioSAFE Brochure

Example RadioSAFE (RSF.500.10) Signal
Coverage of up to 40 miles in diameter (shown above) is possible with an emergency authorization from the FCC. Variables that affect coverage are the authorized power level, terrain, ground conductivity and frequency. Predicted coverage is part of the RadioSAFE engineering documentation package.
The new HPR.0990 Antenna is the heart of the RadioSAFE System.
 
RadioSAFE Application Examples
  • Evacuation.
  • Incident Response / Recovery.
  • Infrastructure Failure.
  • Loss of Power / Communications due to Natural or Human-Initiated Disaster.
The RadioSAFE Wide-Area Emergency Radio Broadcast System is a community’s safety net – a key resiliency asset that can be called up during a major incident to direct citizens in evacuation, preservation of life and property and disaster recovery. RadioSAFE is a special radio station that typically operates at low power (10 watts) under Travelers' Information Station rules – until required to go active in an emergency to advise the public. With the substitution of its high power transmitter, the system is capable of signal coverage that blankets an entire county or major city.

In a most dire disaster in which grid power is severed and mobile devices are not functional, a RadioSAFE Broadcast System might be the only means of reliably getting critical information to local residents, who are likely to have functioning battery-powered radio receivers in their vehicles.

An emergency Special Temporary Authority (STA) must be granted by the Federal Communications Commission to permit the initiation of the RadioSAFE service at full power – which may be hundreds of watts, though more compact communities might only need 10 watts of power to cover their jurisdictions. As a result, RadioSAFE is offered in two power formats, detailed below. The service is licensable by any government entity in the United States and is permitted to transmit any emergency information that local authorities deem necessary to mitigate harm.
"Is my agency prepared to utilize available broadcast channels to directly inform and instruct the public over a wide area during incidents in which other communication and power sources are rendered inoperable?”
RadioSAFE Broadcast Systems have the capability of staging hundreds of preplanned safety messages that can be selected locally or remotely at a moment’s notice and updated minute by minute. Programming can be performed at the station or remotely via telco or UHF/VHF transceiver or by LAN/WAN if optioned. We typically provide prerecorded safety messages created by professional announcers as part of the service. (Samples.)

A RadioSAFE Broadcast System operates on AM channels because of their near-universal availability and because AM signals travel a much greater distance than FM signals at a given wattage. AM radio signals have long wavelengths that are less likely to be blocked by terrain and tall buildings. And more importantly, AM antennas can be installed at relatively low profiles (50’), making them dramatically less vulnerable in high wind or geophysical events that can render tower-based communications inoperable.

Emergency officials can employ conventional methods of promotion, such as websites, media articles, commercial posters and local signage, on a day-to-day basis to provide visibility for the service so local populations have residual awareness of the special emergency frequency in their specific area. If possible, we recommend that each RadioSAFE station be operated at low power 24/7 and that the public be encouraged to identify it in advance to “set a button” on vehicle radios so they can quickly find the channel when needed.

During emergencies, officials typically alert citizens to the availability of the RadioSAFE service via electronic notification / social media, Portable Changeable Message Signs (PCMS) or flashing beacon / LED signage installed along highly traveled roadways. The higher the public’s underlying awareness of the emergency frequency, the more likely word-of-mouth will become a powerful ally when its content is critical.

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Upgrades

Some current Information Station operators may be able to upgrade an existing Information Radio Station to RadioSAFE status. It may also be possible for certain communities to begin with the 10-watt RadioSAFE RSF.10 and obtain the higher powered RadioSAFE RSF.500.10 at a later date. It all depends on your geography and the local frequencies that are available. Inquire.

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Planning

The process starts with a determination that a frequency is available at the intended location and to determine whether high power is an option in an emergency. Then FCC licensing / engineering, equipment procurement and installation can occur.

The planning process determines whether RadioSAFE’s High Efficiency and High Power Antenna can benefit a community by delivering signal levels additional to what would normally be allowed for an Information Station (TIS) licensee. A waiver is required for a licensee to exceed the 2.0 mV/m signal level at 0.93 mile on a daily basis. And the use of more than 10 watts requires a waiver and an emergency Special Temporary Assignment (STA) from the FCC. The engineering and filing of these documents is a service available from Information Station Specialists.

A RadioSAFE Broadcast System is typically installed strategically at a central location in the jurisdiction where a building (often an Emergency Operations Center) with automatic generator power is available. The electronics are normally installed inside the building with the antenna system located in an adjacent yard. Due to the HPR.0990 Antenna's size and potential field intensity, it may not be roof mounted. Installation can be performed by local contractors with locally-supplied antenna support, cable and rack cabinet. Or, we offer options in which we supply everything as a turnkey project. See "Options" below.

And, we provide all Radio
SAFE Systems with 24/7 operational support for the life of the product.

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Options

RadioSAFE options include for various audio management methods and redundancies, antenna grounding, associated signage and installation services. The program can be linked to IPAWS and/or your Emergency Notification System and can also stream to your website to be monitored on PCs and portable devices. The RadioSAFE broadcast antenna is generally installed at a fixed format, though portable antenna systems are possible on a custom basis. Inquire.

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Purchasing

Sole Source. We frequently are the only source for the products and services we offer and can send you support letters to affirm that for your purchasing documentation.

HGACBuy. If you are a state or local government agency anywhere in the US and you are a HGACBuy cooperative member - or want to join as an end user - you can purchase our products without the necessity of going out to bid. Membership is free to villages, towns, cities, townships, counties, state agencies, departments, authorities, districts, councils or nonprofits doing work for such entities. Here's how to join.

Competitive Process. If you must seek competitive bids or quotes, we can supply specifications (in text form) so you can easily integrate them into bid documents.

Purchases by governmental entities can be made by purchase order, agency order on letterhead, VISA/MC (up to $3,500) or simply by signing and returning our quote sheets. Standard terms are Net 30 days.

Email us today to learn more.
RadioSAFE RSF.500.10

This broadcast-class facility is licensed as a 10-watt Travelers' Information Station. With FCC emergency authorization, a higher powered AM transmitter may be substituted for the 10-watt transmitter, which can produce a signal coverage area that rivals that of a commercial broadcast station – a 20 mile radius daytime coverage (40 mile diameter/1200 square miles*)

The wide-area coverage potential is made possible by an innovative antenna system – the HPR.0990 – which is capable of operating at hundreds of watts in an emergency but can also function at 0-10 watts in compliance with FCC rules (Part 90.242) on a daily basis. A HPR.0990 Antenna can make the transition to high-power operation with no physical modification or re-tuning required. This allows most RadioSAFE systems to be tested and exercised at lower power as Travelers' Information Stations, so they are ready for high power operation when needed. The antenna system is installed away from obstructions in an open area that affords vertical room for the 50’ antenna and horizontal room for the antenna’s grounding system – comprised of a 25’ or 50' radius groundplane. If horizontal room is not present, a deep-bored groundrod is substituted.

The delivered RadioSAFE package includes the engineering document required to obtain emergency authority from the FCC to initiate high power operation on short notice. We recommend obtaining an initial frequency search before undertaking your project, since frequencies are not universally available.

(*) 40 mile diameter signal coverage is nominal and presented here for example purposes only. Range will vary based on antenna mounting position, local ground conductivity, terrain, interference sources and the specific broadcast frequency utilized.
RadioSAFE RSF.10

This variation of the service typically operates full time at up to 10 watts and is intended for operators in compact communities that do not need wide-area coverage. The signal radius of 3-5 miles (6-10 mile diameter/25-75 square miles) is suitable for most small to medium-sized cities as well as most large educational campuses and government facilities. These stations can be synchronized in groups to increase the coverage footprint. Additionally, the FCC commonly grants waivers to allow RSF.10 stations to function at higher field intensities to expanded signal coverages in locations where the spectrum will permit it.
   
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PO Box 51, Zeeland, Michigan, USA, 49464-0051, Phone 616.772.2300, Fax 616.772.2966, Email info@theRADIOsource.com

The USA's best known source for Emergency Advisory Radio Stations, Travelers' Information Stations, Highway Advisory Radio & related products/services.


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Information Radio Stations is a generic term synonymous with Travelers Information Stations (TIS), Highway Advisory Radio Stations (HAR) / Highway Information Systems & Low Power Radio Stations (LPR). Operation of the stations is governed by FCC Part 90.242 Rules. A FCC license is required. Information Radio Stations may be fixed or portable. Subcomponents may include transmitter, antenna and ground system, digital voice player, wateter, cabinet with conventional or Corbin locks, lightning arrestors for RF, power and telephone lines, coaxial cable. Most stations employ black maximized antennas to discourage ice accumulation and security measures to prevent unauthorized program access. Options include synchronization, battery backup, solar power, remote programming by local, network or telco, multi-station audio distribution via RF or LAN / WAN or wireless network.