WQRZ-LP (103.5 FM) is a low-power FM radio station licensed to Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi, USA. The station is currently owned by the Hancock County Amateur Radio Association.
On August 14
, 2001 Brice Phillips
(KB5MPW), President of the Hancock County Amateur Radio Association, was granted a construction permit to build the first solar powered LPFM
Broadcast Station, which combined Broadcasting with Amateur radio
. WQRZ-LP signed on the air January 29
On August 27
, 2005 Brice Phillips
moved WQRZ-LP to the Hancock County
Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in advance of Hurricane Katrina
. WQRZ was one of the 4 out of 41 Broadcast Stations that survived Katrina, the only station at Ground Zero. After Katrina the FCC
allowed WQRZ to increase their power from 100 watts to 4000 watts under special temporary authority, another first in history. FEMA
distributed 3,500 FM radios so survivors could tune into WQRZ-LP to listen to information directly from the EOC.
WQRZ-LP was the first Broadcast Radio First Responder which earned American Radio Relay League Member Brice Philips the Small Business Administration's Phoenix Award, for "Outstanding Contributions to Disaster Recovery by a Volunteer".
WQRZ-LP operated out of the Hancock County EOC from August 27, 2005 until November 30, 2007. The future is unclear for WQRZ as they have not received any public assistance from FEMA. WQRZ remains the only local 24 hour Emergency Alert System
station in Hancock County.