September 2018 Text-Only Printable PDF
 Publisher:  Information Station Specialists
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Gordon Grazes Florida
Blows by SW Florida Community Inundated by Irma
Marco Island (red circle) and the wind track of Tropical Storm Gordon.
MARCO ISLAND, FL: Tropical Storm Gordon brushed this Island on Labor Day, as it worked its way northwest into the Gulf. The soon-to-be-hurricane packed 60+ mph sustained winds with heavy rain, surf – but thankfully, left little damage in its wake.

Another upside: the City’s emergency managers are thankful to have a new ALERT AM emergency radio station that was just put in place two weeks ago on AM frequency 1690.

Hurricane Irma made landfall at Marco Island one year ago, prompting the realization that a communication backup provided by the radio station was needed. The City hustled to complete the installation in August, which turned out to be just in time for Gordon’s glancing blow. As it turned out, an emergency didn’t develop and the station’s service was not required – this time. And that’s just fine, according to Marco Island safety officials.

See a state-by-state listing of emergency advisory radio stations across America.

Opioid PSA's Available
Texas Emergency Management Agency to Air New Addiction Awareness Messages
RICHMOND, TX: Fort Bend County Emergency Management Agency has received approval from the county health department to air a series of opioid addiction awareness messages on its ten Information Radio Stations whose signals blanket the Houston-area community. See January’s The Source article “Opioid Info On the Air."

The broadcast-quality public service announcements were recorded by the National Safety Council specifically for air on Information Radio Stations in the US. AAIRO (the American Association of Information Radio Operators) makes the messages available at no cost to any station operator, with audio optimized specifically for the medium. Various versions are available – 30 and 60 seconds – as well as an infomercial-length 3:30, which provides listeners additional how-to detail about ways to assist. Hear a sample.

The FCC clarified in a 2013 Report and Order that Information Radio Stations may broadcast any information required to protect life and property at the discretion of local emergency managers.

For more information on obtaining the messages for your station, email Bill Baker.
North Plainfield’s website features their new
1630 AM StreamCAST Service on the home page.
A Streaming Success
North Plainfield Borough Sets Record
for Radio Stream Listening
NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ: The first city in the United States to own and operate its own radio station (in the 1920's) continues the tradition today by operating an Information Radio Station with amazing results. Recent research shows that since the Borough undertook “StreamCASTing,” their AM 1630 signal in April, nearly 4000 “tune-in’s” have been logged via the internet. This, at a time when no emergency was driving people to access the station’s content.

Part of the popularity may be driven by the fact that the Borough has positioned the listening link at the top of its website’s home page, so citizens don’t have to drill down to find it. But on a medium where “content is king,” even more of a factor may be the station’s reputation for delivering timely and exclusive messages regarding local events and emergencies.

Asserts Borough Clerk Rich Phoenix, “One thing I learned after years and years in commercial radio – keeping content current and germane to the audience can’t be beat. And when we have a large-scale blackout like we experienced during Hurricane Sandy, we kept our residents informed with reliable century-old technology (AM radio), and it was remarkable. Any family with a simple battery-powered radio (or car radio) did not have to be left in the dark about what was next or where to go.”

On fair-weather days, Phoenix programs the service to keep residents in the loop about local events, street closures and weather situations that impact North Plainfield.
As noted in January’s The Source, the Borough has been consciously creative with its programming, tapping students from North Plainfield High School to record multilingual broadcast messages in three languages. The inclusion of citizen input is unique and broadens its appeal and impact with the community.

StreamCASTing is a service offered by Information Station Specialists to station operators for less than a dollar a day plus a basic equipment package. It allows unlimited tune-in’s and is often praised by relatives or evacuees who want to check in on a community’s status from a remote location.

“With our streamed audio on the worldwide web from 1630-AM, you now can click into our bulletins from wherever you are…anywhere in the world.”
It's Airtime!
New Stations and Applications
REAGAN NATIONAL AIRPORT, WASHINGTON DC: AM 1640 replaces their legacy 530 AM radio service dating from the 1970’s. The Airport’s new Information Station IP station allows airport officials to keep ground travelers updated on the construction project currently underway and to issue prerecorded safety advisories quickly when needed.
Winslow Hill Elk Viewing Area, Benezette, PA:  AM 1620. Watching elk in Pennsylvania is an annual tradition, and now, visitors will be better informed about where to see them safely and be able to learn about the majestic animals from the comfort of their automobiles. This is the second Information Station IP system installed by the Pennsylvania Game Commission for wildlife viewing in as many years. 
Hocking Hills State Park, Logan, OH: AM 1620 Ohio DNR is ready for the annual influx of foliage fanciers this fall with the addition of an  Information Radio Station engineered to alleviate parking congestion by spreading demand across multiple area attractions. The park is situation in a rustic area outside cell coverage, limiting visitors’ wayfinding ability.
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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, wattmeter, 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.