Alumni on Disaster Response Radio

Comments Off Written on September 9th, 2011 by
Categories: Alumni, General

Mike and Brigit Adams - 1985

We have had a range of exciting and varied work experiences with Far East Broadcasting, but it is in the last five years that Mike feels he has found the thing that God has been preparing him for – Disaster Response Radio.

Asian Tsunami

Six years ago the Asian Tsunami changed Mike’s life. FEBC had been thinking about creating a small unit that could put an emergency radio station on the air after a disaster to help the affected community, and the tsunami provided the impetus to put that plan into action. Despite not being prepared, we helped partners get an FM station on the air within one month of the disaster right at “Ground Zero” in Indonesia. We saw how powerful it was to provide critical information to the affected community, and determined to “do it better next time.” That meant being better prepared and doing it faster!

Ready for Crisis

We started by assembling a set of “radio-in-a-suitcase” equipment―one suitcase containing a studio, another containing an FM transmitter and an antenna. The whole station can be set up and on the air in 45 mins. A key component of Disaster Response Radio is to train teams to work with other NGO’s and aid agencies, teach them how to make appropriate radio programs, and most importantly, practice beforehand. Our five day workshop trains radio staff and disaster responders to work together to get the station on the air and broadcasting critical information in under 72 hours from the time the disaster strikes. The workshop is followed by a realistic three-day field exercise where they put their new skills into practice. These field exercises have taken us to places that had previously experienced floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis.

Shortwave Luggage

There are now trained teams with “radio in a suitcase” kits in five locations across Asia. The Indian team deployed into a flood zone where 2-3 million people had been displaced in 2008. The Indonesian team had not even finished their class when they responded to the Sumatran Earthquake in 2009, and followed that with a trip to Mt Merapi when the volcano erupted in 2010. Our daughter has made a short video detailing rapid response radio called, “Radio in the Ring of Fire”.

Someone recently told Mike that they had known him since we started with FEBC 24 years ago, but he is far more passionate about his work in disaster response in the last five years than anything before. Mike’s life verse is a quote by Jim Elliot “ He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose”. Life is a journey and God has led him down the path to a place where he can use all his skills and found what God made him for. That’s a great feeling!

About the Authors

Brigit and Mike met at Multnomah in 1985, both doing the one year Graduate Certificate course. Brigit is from the UK, and Mike is from Seattle (how Brigit came to be at MBC is another story. Suffice to say, it was a God thing). They were married in 1986, and in 1987 went as missionaries with Far East Broadcasting Company (FEBC) to the island of Saipan, where Mike did transmitter and studio engineering at the shortwave radio station, and Brigit worked in the offices. They are now based in the UK where they have been for ten years, though Mike works for the International Office of FEBC in Singapore, keeping in touch with his fellow staff by email and Skype, and commuting to Asia several times a year. They have two daughters, Megan (22) and Colleen (19). Brigit worked as Administrator at their church for ten years and is now seeing what else God has in store for her, possibly working with the International Office also. They hope to be able to travel together more in the coming years.

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