AH will consider emergency AM radio channel


ATL. HIGHLANDS – Residents of this borough should have access to an alternate line of communication from the governing body and possibly the police department – even in the event of a power outage or rising water during thunderstorms, the Councilor Jon Crowley at the governing body at last week’s meeting. .

In his report, Crowley explained that the newly formed Technology and Communications Committee is ready to test a new self-powered emergency AM radio channel, low-cost, low-cost use of a radio frequency through which the borough’s communications can be transmitted both electrically powered and battery-powered radios, to homes or vehicles.

The city councilor said the volunteers are ready to spend a day testing whether a radio and antenna, to be installed at the district town hall for a one-day test, will have a signal strong enough to reach all areas of the city. the rounding. Once the site is deemed sufficient to broadcast a signal, Crowley and the Borough will then apply to the FCC, Federal Communications Commission, for permission to establish an AM frequency for its exclusive use. When not used to broadcast emergency information, the frequency can be used to share other useful information such as events and borough services.

The system can include up to 90 pre-recorded messages to be broadcast by the police department as needed. New messages can also be added at any time, he said. The low-tech system will provide another ability for the borough to reach all residents and allow people who are not computer savvy or have no access to other electronic means, to receive messages through the through their radios on a specific frequency exclusive to the borough.

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Powered by either an emergency generator or a stand-alone battery, the emergency radio complements all other systems in place in the borough, including the borough’s website at ahnj.com and SWIFT 9-1-1, the system that sends telephone messages to citizens who register on the borough’s website.

“It is just one more tool to offer access to everyone for communications with the borough, for help in emerging situations, or simply to be informed of specific conditions that could arise”, a Crowley said. He said this could include weather conditions and forecasts that would be particularly helpful to boaters at the municipal marina. Crowley added, “I have seen communities when power, cell service and wifi systems are cut off and residents are suddenly cut off from all useful information. Now anyone with a car or battery-powered radio can get information on the locations of shelters, charging stations, ice and fresh water, the important things we need after an emergency.

The cost of the system is relatively inexpensive compared to many other more technical means of communication and would be less than $ 5,000 for purchase and installation. Crowley said he already had donation insurance for local residents to offset some of that cost.

The Technology and Communications Committee was established by Mayor Loretta Gluckstein to take advantage of Crowley’s television and marketing experience and includes, in addition to himself as a council liaison, the residents local Warren Kotzas as President Kerry Kennedy, Sean Altes, Matt Masina and Brian Dougherty.

In addition to the emergency radio channel, the committee is also examining the borough’s website to determine if changes or additions could be made to facilitate access to citizens. The councilor congratulated the administrator and the clerk for all the news and updates that appear on the site, including the recent addition of an established ZOOM number for each committee. Residents simply access the site to get the singular code to attend all ZOOM municipal meetings, including planning, recreation, and shade tree board, in addition to mayor and council meetings.

The committee should also recommend that the mayor and council consider offering “push notifications” to any borough resident who wishes to receive text messages for new agendas and upcoming committee meetings.

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