Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Red Cross Radio

The Red Cross has always been a media machine. In the 1920s they published a magazine. They run radio, TV and print advertisements everywhere. They were virtually the inventors of viral advertising trying experiments brand propagation such as sponsoring parade floats. All this and the organization is still largely non-profit and mostly focused on social services. Their work is on an international scale and strangely despite their century of media savvy they only started a radio channel last year.

Largely they'd left the dissemination of emergency service information to NOAA and the shortwave crowd. Somtimes local Red Cross outfits even host relays for shortwave stations. This includes KB1FLH, KC7ZUH, KC2ESD and many others.

Grundig now makes a Red Cross branded Emergency Radio, the FR400. It sports a turn crank for power and tunes all seven NOAA weather alert channels, and TV channels 2-13. It also, in a modern twist also has a cell phone charger with adapters for most common brands.

The new Red Cross information channel is not on terrestrial radio. It's a Satellite channel. (XM Channel 248), is an XM satellite radio channel. It started to provide 24-hour news and information for Hurricane Katrina victims, Red Cross workers along the Gulf Coast and across the country.

XM is donated radios to the Red Cross for relief workers, shelters and aid stations. The Red Cross is not only using the XM Radio channel to deliver news and info directly to workers but is also using the channel to send mass messages to staff across the country. Red Cross Radio is airing continuous updates on the relief efforts in New Orleans and other Gulf Coast areas devastated by Katrina, as well as the sites where victims have been relocated to receive Red Cross assistance.