September 9, 2015, Indianapolis. September is National Preparedness Month, and NextRadio is partnering with FEMA to support the Ready.gov initiative to help draw attention to the need for families to discuss and create a plan in case of an emergency.

New data from the NextRadio app indicates that during an emergency weather situation the number of NextRadio listeners increases an average of more than 2.5 times and the number of listening sessions increase by 4 times. These dramatic increases validate NextRadio as a valuable resource that consumer’s tune to in a time of need.

“An active FM chip in smartphones allows the public much needed information in the event of an emergency. When a catastrophe occurs, electrical power grids can go down disrupting cellular and Wi-Fi networks. An FM receiver in a smartphone receives broadcast radio despite a cell network being unavailable. The ability to broadcast life-saving, mass-market information to the devices people use most is imperative and one we need to continue championing until all FM Chips are activated,” said Jeff Smulyan, CEO, Emmis Communications.

FM radio delivers important information and is a lifeline to consumers when cellular and Wi-Fi networks crash during disaster-related incidents. The FEMA RBDS Study Demo Report developed at the direction of Congress in 2014 validated the benefits of an FM-enabled cellphone solution for allowing digital alerts and messages such as evacuation orders, tornado warnings, Amber Alerts, emergency routes, homeland security alerts, school closings, traffic alerts and more.

Data from prior weather emergencies in the Midwest during 2015 highlight the fact that consumers are using NextRadio for information:

Event: Straight Line Weather Disaster Location: Brainerd, MN 

Event Listening Date: Sunday, July 12th

Stations: 12 radio stations in a 30 mile radius of location

Comparison Date: July 5 (same day prior week)

Results: 260% increase in Listeners vs. comparison day (Listeners increased by 3.6x)

615% increase in Listening Sessions vs. comparison day (Sessions increased by 7.2x)

 

Event: Tornadoes Location: Rochelle, IL (Northern Illinois)

Event Listening Date: Wednesday, April 8th

Stations: 67 radio stations in a 30 mile radius of location

Comparison Date: April 1 (same day prior week)

Results:

54% increase in Listeners vs. comparison day (Listeners increased by 1.5x)

151% increase in Listening Sessions vs. comparison day (Sessions increased by 2.5x)

 

Event: Tornadoes & Flash Floods Location: Oklahoma City, OK

Event Listening Date: Wednesday, May 6th Stations: 46 radio stations in a 30 mile radius of location

Comparison Date: Wed, April 29 (same day prior week)

Results:

146% increase in Listeners vs. comparison day (Listeners increased by 2.5x)

254% increase in Listening Sessions vs. comparison day (Sessions increased by 3.5x)

Making radio accessible in mobile devices is key to providing information to people wherever they are, and listeners are already discovering the potential life-saving information they are able to hear on FM radio on their smartphones. This summer, Duane Daugherty was on a bike ride traveling a few miles from his home in Terre Haute, IN. He was listening to his favorite local FM radio station through the NextRadio app. When Duane arrived at a nearby park, he was informed through his local FM radio station that a severe storm was heading his direction. Duane was able to quickly return home, while continuing to listen to the local radio through the NextRadio app. A few minutes after he returned home, the storm swept through the park and left substantial damage. He credits the NextRadio app and local FM radio for warning him of the oncoming weather and possibly saving his life.