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THE POWER OF LOW-POWER
Hancock County Mississippi
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August 24, 2007

"I cannot replace my house. I don't have the money to do it...in a way, that's why I'm in this level of service to my community. Because when you're left with a last resource, you share it with your friends, you share it with your family and you share it with each other."-Brice Phillips

Brice Phillips' low power FM radio station, WQRZ LP, was one of only 4 stations in the region that remained on the air after Hurricane Katrina devastated Hancock county, Mississippi. He and a small group of volunteers remained on air 24 hours a day, broadcasting alerts and pointing survivors in the direction of vital aid.

"He's probably saved as many people after the storm than he did before the storm because of being able to tell them where to go get food, water, and ice," explains Brian "Hooty" Adams, director of Hancock County's emergency operations center.

Directly after the disaster, the FCC allowed WQRZ to boost it's signal from 100 watts to almost 2000 watts, which increased its reach to about 30 miles (LPFM stations usually extend only 4 miles), and to this day Phillips and Hancock County officials are trying to allow the station to keep its "full-power" status.

Read an update on Brice Phillips from Rick Karr on THE BLOG.

Related Media:
References and Reading:
WQRZ Katrina Radio Web site

NPR: Radio Operator Honored for Katrina Service
by Pam Fessler, MORNING EDITION, April 13, 2006
"One community radio operator managed to stay on the air during Hurricane Katrina. He is in Washington, D.C., to be honored with a federal award. He's also applied for an extension of his temporary permit to broadcast at higher power."

MSNBC: An Endangered Beacon
by Alex Johnson, MSNBC, November 14, 2006
"Phillips says he often gets 'exercised' about the predicament, but he works hard to keep a positive outlook. 'Getting upset over stupid things is not good, especially in an emergency,' he says. In the end, he says, 'With all the generosity that's come in here and all the volunteers, there'll be someone.' Until then, 'Life is good, man. We accomplished all we set out to do.'"

NOW: Battle Fields
Watch the PBS NOW program produced by Karla Murthy about the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, who have used low power radio to help their cause.

Additional Low Power FM stations: FEMA Hurricane Katrina Center
Check FEMA'S Press Releases on the recovery process.

Voices of Katrina
Read USA TODAY'S blog VOICES OF KATRINA to hear stories from survivors, rescue workers, and residents of New Orleans.
Also This Week:

COMMISSIONER MICHAEL J. COPPS
Bill Moyers talks with FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps about the state of media consolidation and net neutrality.
>Developments in the net neutrality debate

LOW-POWER RADIO
LPFM activist Hannah Sassaman and media journalist Rick Karr discuss the current battle to protect and bolster low-power FM radio.

KATRINA HERO
A look back at how low-power radio helped to save lives after Hurricane Katrina.

MOYERS CLIP FILE
Bill Moyers examines underreported stories about the Iraq war.

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