Throughout the areas where Feba’s partners are working, there are places vulnerable to natural disasters, and crisis-affected communities. In these situations, radio can help save lives by sharing accurate information so people can take appropriate action.

FIRST Response Radio (FRR) involves a network of partners, including Feba, working together to respond to emergencies. The FRR team in India responded to widespread flooding in Tamil Nadu in 2015, producing programmes to help people overcome trauma and inform them of appropriate action to take to avoid the spread of waterborne diseases.

FRR producer interviews local community, Nepal

First Response Radio producer interviews local community, Nepal 

More recently the team was on standby for deployment in the wake of Cyclone Nada in December 2016 but were not needed when the storm weakened.  Less than a week after, a 6.5 magnitude earthquake struck Aceh, Indonesia and a team was deployed to contribute to the relief effort.  

A portable radio station for emergencies - the studio in a suitcaseTaking a suitcase radio transmitter from nearby Jakarta, the team distributed Wind-Up radios to the community.  An existing local radio station was supported to provide critical information and undertake two-way communications with people affected by the quake.  Locals were able to call the station and actively participate in, and inform, the response.

These events highlight the need for advance preparedness.  More training for First Responders will go ahead this year.

Radio, being a cheap and readily available tool, can play an important role in reaching out to the affected people with critical information

Iype, First Response Radio team member 

North-East Africa is an area with crisis-affected communities where Feba works with partners, who told us: “This year we had drought and at the end there was very acute diarrhoea spreading in most areas.”

Radio was used to respond by producing programmes and short announcements about diarrhoea, warning about the causes, the symptoms and where to get treatment.

With a couple of batteries in hand, a radio set can become the receiver of any vital or crucial information

FirozFirst Response Radio team member 

Disasters can also result in power failure and other communication channels may not be available.  These issues are not insurmountable and simple fixes can provide life saving solutions, as FRR team member Firoz says: “With a couple of batteries in hand, a radio set can become the receiver of any vital or crucial information.”  

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Read more about one of Feba's key focus areas: Emergency Response