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Pender County reviews AM broadcast possibilities

BURGAW – Pender County Board of Commissioners and the county’s emergency management personnel are reviewing a proposed plan to bring an AM radio station online.

“When a major storm blows into the Pender County region and power is lost, an AM station is a solution to reach the entire county during an emergency,” said Tom Collins, Pender County Emergency manager.

Covering a county that is more than 900 square miles is no easy task. It will take three stationary antenna and two portable units to reach the entire county with an emergency message.

“The frequencies are licensed by the FCC and approved,” said Collins.

Commissioners like the idea of a county-wide emergency system that will be operated from one control station, with the ability to change messages quickly. The system the commissioners reviewed allows the same message to appear on the county website or in text format.

The system costs more than $285,000. The system offers a lifetime warranty, installation, three fixed antenna, frequency stabilizer, wireless links for transmissions and receiving, solar powered portable stations, boosters, and more.

Collins said the broadcast station would transmit reliable emergency alerts before, during, and after a natural disaster.

“When cell phone batteries fail and the power is out, the old fashioned transmission radio is a reliable tool to receive emergency information,” said George Brown, chairman of the Pender County Board of Commissioners.


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