Building on their long history of providing critical information to millions of citizens and visitors during times of crisis, Florida’s public radio stations have created the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (FPREN) to communicate emergency information statewide through a seamless system of free over the air FM radio, still the single best and most reliable delivery method, as well as multiple mobile applications.

The FPREN stations are locally staffed and equipped to stay on the air even during times of massive power outages in order to deliver important information to local audiences before, during and after an emergency. In the event of a weather incident, the FPREN stations will continue to provide recovery information for as long as necessary. Working in partnership with the Florida Division of Emergency Management and local Emergency Operations Centers, listeners can be assured of having access to the most up to date information.

With the majority of public radio stations located between 88 and 92 MHz on the FM dial, citizens and visitors can easily access information regardless of their location in the state. In the event of evacuations, signage on the state’s interstate highways indicates the exact frequency of the public radio station in each area. Additionally, mobile devices are able to obtain local information from any of the FPREN stations at any time.

Public service is the core of public radio’s mission and affords the local stations the ability to break format when necessary to disseminate important information. Through our statewide network, our stations provide important weather, safety and evacuation information to help protect residents during storms, hurricanes and other severe weather events.

Headquartered at WUFT-FM/TV on the campus of the University of Florida in Gainesville, FPREN delivers local and regional information during emergencies and is part of the national Emergency Alert System (EAS). During hurricane season and other states of emergency, The Florida Channel broadcasts live, closed-captioned coverage of briefings from the Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee.

In 2020, FPREN partnered with Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM), the Florida Association of Broadcasters (FAB), and the Florida Outdoor Advertising Association (FOAA) to launch a statewide communications initiative, Know Your Zone, Know Your Home. LogoKnow Your Zone, Know Your Home emphasizes the importance of knowing what zone you live in and whether your home can withstand strong winds and heavy rain. Every year it’s important for residents to know if they live an evacuation zone, a low-lying, flood prone area, a mobile home or an unsafe structure during hurricane season. These areas and buildings are most likely to be evacuated and knowing these zones helps Floridians prepare to evacuate and better understand orders from local officials. It is also very important for residents to know their home. If an evacuation order is not issued for your area and your house is not in an evacuation zone, you may consider sheltering in place.

FPREN teams provide up-to-the minute weather and news reports during severe weather events on radio and social media. Florida Public Media’s statewide infrastructure provides easy access to information during emergencies, with special signage along state evacuation routes to identify public radio stations in the area.

In 2019, WUFT and FPREN were honored by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. It was presented with the Community Lifeline Award for its outstanding dedication to public service.

In 2018, FPREN received the 2018 Public Information Award at the 32nd Annual Governor’s Hurricane Conference® Awards held in West Palm Beach.