HULL, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A bunker at WBZ NewsRadio's 50,000-watt transmitter site in Hull showcases the latest technology to keep WBZ NewsRadio on the air if a major disaster strikes. The site, which was unveiled today as a partnership between iHeartMedia and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is a small emergency broadcast studio, designed to keep the station on the air in even the direst emergencies.
It was the resilience of radio that made FEMA choose this method of getting information out.
"In a major disaster, sometimes phones stop working, internet goes away, power's out," said Manny Centeno, the program manager for the National Public Warning System. "Radio can reach you at any time, even if you have a 1950's radio, you can still get information that can save your life," he said.
The bunker in Hull is one of 13 FEMA-partnered emergency bunkers around the country that have completed the agency's "all hazards upgrade." It's designed to survive a Category 5 hurricane, nuclear and chemical weapons, and a military-grade electromagnetic pulse.
The studio comes stocked with everything a radio host needs to live for 60 days including beds, food, a bathroom, and enough diesel to keep the broadcaster's generators running.
"It is set up so that two people can live in this station," said Keith St. Clair with FEMA external affairs.
WBZ's Carl Stevens (@carlwbz) has more from Hull: