FEMA Admin Touts ‘Dependable’ AM Radio To Homeland Security


AM radio remains a hot topic across Capitol Hill as the second half of 2023 begins. At a House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Management and Technology hearing, Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanne Criswell highlighted the critical role of AM radio in times of crisis. The topic was broached by Rep. John Brecheen, Representative for Oklahoma’s 2nd Congressional District, in relation to recent discussions about the removal of AM radio from some automobiles.

The conversation unfolded with Rep. Brecheen posing this question: “In your opinion, does the removal of AM radio in some cars – it’s kind of been a topic of discussion in recent timeframe – weaken your ability through the National Public Warning System to reach Americans in times of crisis?”

Criswell responded affirmatively, saying, “AM radio is one of the most dependable ways that we can reach individuals across this country to get warnings out there. And I do believe that if we remove AM radio from our vehicles, we’re just taking away a very stable and reliable source for us to get that information out there. AM radio is integrated into our emergency alert and warning system, and I think it would have a significant impact.”

The National Public Warning System relies heavily on AM radio due to its wide reach and robustness, particularly in scenarios where other forms of communication may be compromised, such as during severe weather events or other emergencies. This has been the cornerstone of the AM For Every Vehicle Act. As Congress nears its August recess, the Act is reaching a favored position for a vote by the end of the year.


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