Tacloban City, Philippines - Dec 4, 2013 - Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines on Nov. 7, 2013, devastating the country and destroying all communications. On Nov. 13, First Response Radio deployed a five-man team to Tacloban City, Philippines, to setup an emergency radio station to broadcast life-saving information to the typhoon survivors. The radio station is still operating as disaster response work continues.
A 600W FM transmitter (BW Broadcast TX600) is being used and has a reach of up to 60km radius. A dipole antenna was erected atop the three-storey Tacloban City Hall. Solar-powered and crank-up radio receivers are being distributed to the affected communities. Tacloban City government officials are using the radio station to broadcast critical news and information such as where to get relief goods. All TV and radio broadcast stations were down after the super typhoon.
photo courtesy of First Response Radio
This work by the Far East Broadcasting Company, an international network of non-profit and non-commercial organizations, is called First Response Radio. A suitcase studio is specially built for this disaster response initiative. The suitcase contains a small mixer, microphones, headphones, laptop, CD player, portable audio recorder, on-air light, and other equipment.
First Response Radio is a member of the Communicating with Disaster Affected Communities (CDAC) Network.
Radio listeners in the area say they not only benefit from the news and information but are also greatly encouraged by the programs on air. Music played on the airwaves gave them a sense of normalcy returning in their lives.