Topic: Disaster Relief and Recovery
When hurricane-class winds slammed into the region, killing two and causing damage in excess of $25 million, KAST-AM in Astoria, Ore., provided a lifeline to its community. Two days prior, the station readied generators, set up broadcast redundancies and prepared its listeners with more than 40 hours of reporting about the storm to come. When the storm hit, KAST staff literally fought through the rain and high winds to keep the power on. The station established a 24-hour commercial-free rotation to ensure listeners would receive the latest information. As one of the few stations to remain on air, emergency response groups, government officials and public works employees all used KAST to communicate information about food, shelter, health needs, assistance and volunteer efforts. For days after the storm, the station was still broadcasting information and taking calls to help listeners learn about available aid. Weeks later, when the stormís immediate effects had passed, KAST continued its storm recovery efforts by working with a local charity, The Wishing Tree. Hours of programming were dedicated to gathering food, toys and gifts to ensure children and families were still able to have Christmas after the storm. In total, KAST provided more than 285 hours of airtime to help its community prepare, survive and recover.
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