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Barnstable County buys portable radio stations for emergency broadcasts

Barnstable County

Barnstable County is acquiring three portable radio stations for emergency broadcasting.

The standalone stations typically broadcast to an AM call sign to get important messaging out to people during emergency situations.

One of the three stations the County is buying is trailer-mounted and can be seen through the vendor's site.

Chip Reilly is the County’s Emergency Preparedness Director.

He gave an update on the purchase at last week’s County Commissioners meeting.

Reilly said besides getting information out in potential disasters, the stations will also be useful for big events like parades and festivals.

“What a lot of people don’t realize is that there’s a whole behind-the-scenes movement in case there’s an incident, or an issue. And if we had to evacuate, we could use it for a system like that, for broadcasting evacuation routes and information.”

Reilly said the listening range could almost cover the entire Cape between the three stations.

Commissioner Mark Forest says the stations will be useful when the region is hit by storms.

"Let folks know what’s going on, communicate what we know about where outages are, what steps that they need to take, where there may be flooding or road blocks."

The roughly $90,000 purchase comes from the County’s federal COVID relief funds. 

Brian Engles is an author, a Cape Cod local, and a producer for Morning Edition.