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New AM Radio System Operational

Post Date:12/09/2013

AntennaThe Town Council and the Town’s Emergency Preparedness Committee have identified that robust communication is vital for effective disaster management. Therefore, an AM broadcast radio system has been installed at Town Center as a means of communicating with residents during emergencies. It broadcasts at the frequency 1680 kHz with call sign WQQA726.

This AM broadcast system is totally self-contained and does not rely on other communications’ infrastructure during an emergency. The system has battery backup in the case of a power outage, and its antenna is self-standing and unattached to other structures. Based on tests run over the last year, its broadcast can be heard by nearly all Portola Valley residents.

The station is currently broadcasting 24/7 with a looped message containing information regarding emergency preparedness. New messages with the latest information can be quickly uploaded and the system can broadcast live messages by the Town Staff or elected officials. To receive the broadcast, residents should tune their home or car radios to AM-1680. 

The Town is licensed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and operates the station under the Travelers’ Information Stations (TIS) broadcast. As such it is limited in broadcast power, antenna height and broadcast content. The Town’s policy directs that the radio be used for public safety and information purposes and that the messages will be directed by the Director of Emergency Services during an emergency and by the Town Manager during non-emergency times.

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