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Public Stations: Note This Funding Deadline

There's a window open now to apply for money to boost your alerting infrastructure

Through Wednesday, public radio and TV stations in the United States have another opportunity to apply for federal money to help fund certain technical improvements.

The aim is to boost public broadcasting’s emergency alerting capabilities. Some $34 million is available in this phase of the Next Generation Warning System Grant Program.

Applications are being accepted through Nov. 8, with grants to be awarded on a rolling basis into late 2025. The first broadcasters to receive money included stations in Florida and Mississippi.

[Related: ”CPB Starts Distributing Warning Grants”]

In 2022 the Department of Homeland Security asked the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to administer the program and lay out its goals. FEMA awarded CPB a total of $96 million over two fiscal years.

Among the objectives are to enhance the ability of local stations to receive, broadcast and redistribute emergency alert messages from FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS); to enhance infrastructure so that public stations can launch enhanced broadcast services; and to expand delivery and distribution of emergency alerts from IPAWS to fill gaps and reach more people in underserved areas.

CPB will distribute money to public stations on a rolling basis to purchase, install and receive training on upgraded IPAWS alert equipment.

For radio stations, the program can fund upgrades to digital broadcast equipment and capabilities as well as potentially fund the purchase of resilience-related equipment like emergency generators.

CPB hopes in particular to hear from stations that broadcast in underserved geographic locations like tribal or remote rural communities. It also seeks stations that reach people with unique access needs and those with limited English, and stations where upgrading their alerting systems create a financial burden.

Other considerations include whether a station is in an area with risk factors such as hurricanes or wildfires; the uniqueness of a station’s public broadcasting coverage; the age of existing equipment; and whether a station has with a clear project timeline. The money is not for things like general cosmetic and structural upgrades.

Applicants should request access to the CPB’s Grants Management System by emailing [email protected]. They will need to submit audited financial statements for several fiscal years, an inventory of current capital equipment, and proof of nonprofit status among other requirements.

Details and guidelines can be found here. The CPB also posted an FAQ page.