CPB Awards First Next Generation Warning System Grants to Upgrade Technology for Emergency Alerts, Public Safety

Mississippi Public Broadcasting, Indian River State College in Florida are first to receive FEMA funding in new program

October 16, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 16, 2023) – Mississippi Public Broadcasting (MPB) and Indian River State College (IRSC) in Fort Pierce, Fla., have been awarded funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to upgrade their equipment to provide enhanced emergency alerting. The grants, totaling approximately $386,000, are the first grants awarded by CPB through the Next Generation Warning System (NGWS) grant program, funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

“Public media stations have always played a vital role in emergency alerting in communities across the country,” said Patricia Harrison, president and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. “The Next Generation Warning System grant program will enable public media organizations such as Mississippi Public Broadcasting and IRSC Public Media to replace and upgrade their technology and infrastructure that enhances critical alerting and warning capabilities to help protect those communities.” 

In 2022, FEMA selected CPB to establish and administer the NGWS grant program to help public media stations across the country create a more resilient and secure public alerting system. The program funds public media stations to upgrade their equipment and receive training to enhance alerting and warning capabilities, including the ability to use NextGen TV broadcast technology and comparable digital broadcast technology for radio stations. The program prioritizes public media stations serving rural, Tribal, and underserved communities.

“FEMA strives to provide trusted timely alerts and warnings to all people affected by threats,” said Antwane Johnson, director of FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System. “The Next Generation Warning System grant program enables us to expand and improve this vital infrastructure to better prepare and protect underserved communities.”

CPB is administering approximately $34 million in FY 2022 funding over two years. The first awardees are:

  • Mississippi Public Broadcasting, a statewide network of eight public television and eight public radio stations. MPB will receive up to $221,000 to upgrade its Emergency Alert System (EAS) encoders to expand the capacity of and geotarget its emergency alerts throughout the state.
  • Indian River State College, of Fort Pierce, Fla., licensee of IRSC Public Media, which operates public radio stations WQCS, WQCP and WQJS. IRSC will receive up to $165,680 to purchase and install an HD transmission line and antenna to a tower in Okeechobee, Fla., improving its ability to broadcast emergency alerts and to expand its coverage to an unserved audience.

About the NGWS Grant Program
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded CPB a total of $96 million in FY 2022 and FY 2023-appropriated funds, to establish and implement the Next Generation Warning System (NGWS) grant program. CPB is administering a competitive grant program for public television and public radio stations to replace and upgrade infrastructure to expand alert, warning, and interoperable communications, creating a more resilient and secure public alerting system. For more information, visit https://www.cpb.org/Next-Generation-Warning-System-Grant-Program or email us at ngws@cpb.org.

About CPB
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private, nonprofit corporation authorized by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,500 locally managed and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology and program development for public radio, television, and related online services. For more information, visit cpb.org, follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn and subscribe for email updates.



Categories: CPB Funding