Hendricks County Community Foundation Awards Grant to WYRZ for Emergency Alert System

The Hendricks County Community Foundation (HCCF) recently awarded a grant to “The Voice of Hendricks County,” also known as 98.9FM, WYRZ in Brownsburg Indiana. Earlier this year, the local radio station found themselves in the dark for close to an hour during a severe thunderstorm. The power was out and the battery backup died after about 30 minutes. When power was restored, the station found that the Emergency Alert System unit had been damaged due to a power surge most likely brought on by lightning.

The FCC requires all broadcast stations to install and maintain FCC-certified EAS decoders and encoders. In practice, television and radio stations with local news departments will usually interrupt regularly-scheduled programming during newsworthy situations (such as severe weather) to provide extended coverage.

After estimates and professional evaluations, it was decided that the entire unit would need to be replaced. The Brownsburg radio station turned to the Hendricks County Community Foundation, and applied for and received a grant from the Deedee Daniel Opportunity Fund in the amount of $2,700 which fully covered the cost of the unit’s replacement. In a short amount of time the new EAS unit was purchased, installed, and operational.

Shane Ray, Executive Director of WYRZ at that time, said “We can’t thank the Hendricks County Community Foundation enough for helping us through this ordeal. Our listeners can once again rely on WYRZ to provide emergency information during hazardous weather conditions. Having the EAS unit in operation also brings us back into FCC compliance.”   

HCCF President & CEO William Rhodehamel commented, “We’re so pleased to be able to help WYRZ replace this critical piece of infrastructure to help keep county residents informed during emergencies. WYRZ is an important community partner to many listeners and residents.”

WYRZ is listener-supported and a non-profit radio station whose mission is to inform and entertain listeners while providing educational opportunities in radio broadcasting.

For more information about WYRZ, visit the radio station’s website at wyrz.org.

Questions can be addressed by emailing info@wyrz.org or by calling (317) 852-1610.

About Brian Scott

I play on the radio from 7 am -1 pm weekdays on 98.9 WYRZ and WYRZ.org. Follow me on twitter @WYRZBrianScott or e-mail me at brian@wyrz.org.

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