When electric power utilities have a major gr id failure due to a weather -induced crisis, earthquake or possible terrorist attack--the length of which is enhanced by a national aging infrastructure, television and social media ‘blackouts’ occur that can be detrimental to response and recovery from the crisis. Commercial radio, able to be listened to on car and portable, battery-operated radios is a communication asset inadequately considered for i ts contribution in such challenging situations. Also when the blackout is restored, TV and social media may be inadequate alone to the communication needs if the destruction is severe and widespread, thus requiring complex actions by a myriad of residents scattered out of the area. Radio can broadcast details available to a very large listening audience concurrently. And when the programming includes live talk-show hosts ’connected’ to the citizenry, radio offers a powerful form of collective community resiliency, as strong as and perhaps stronger than that offered by other media.
Laska, Shirley, ""Citizen" Responders: Ordinary Men Making Extraordinary Moves Through Radio Programming" (2013). CHART Publications. Paper 29.