by Joey Hudson
On Thursday, September 12th, I had the opportunity to broadcast my morning radio show from atop Paris Mountain where 94.5 WGTK’s tower is located. Our radio station is a partner with FEMA as one of their PEP stations. What is a PEP station? PEP stations are privately owned commercial and non-commercial radio broadcast stations that cooperatively participate with FEMA to provide emergency alert and warning information to the public before, during and after a national or local emergency.
PEP stations are located throughout the country and have a direct connection to FEMA. They serve as the primary broadcast source for Presidential National Public Warning System (NPWS) messages.
PEP stations network to other broadcast stations in order to disseminate messages throughout the country, and state and local public safety officials can leverage EAS and FEMA PEP stations when they are not in use for National EAS warning messages.
What does all this mean? In a nutshell, if we were to have a natural disaster, like a hurricane as witnessed last week with Dorian, or some type of national emergency or terror attack and not be able to continue to broadcast from our normal radio studios, I could make my way up to the top of Paris Mountain, activate the FEMA provided equipment on the mountain, and stay on the air for 30-45 days.
We have broadcast equipment, generators, a large supply of diesel fuel for the generators, and food, (not very appetizing looking in a box!!!). We had a number of guests throughout the morning who talked about how to respond in an emergency. Take some time to listen to the various state and local officials and be sure you are prepared to respond. Also, be sure to download the South Carolina Emergency Response CHECKLIST to be sure you have what your family would need in the event of an emergency.
See the great coverage from our friends at WYFF News 4.