BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — AM radio is in jeopardy. With car manufacturing companies across around the world are eliminating the system from newer car models and electric vehicles. In March, Ford announced plans to follow suit.

Rick Burgess and Bill “Bubba” Bussey, hosts of the nationally syndicated radio show “Rick and Bubba Show,” said their start was on AM radio and that talk radio in general would not exist without it.

Burgess said AM radio still provides programming listeners can’t get on other platforms. He said the phaseout has a lot to do with the electric vehicle design, which can interfere with radio signal, but he said there are likely ways they can make it work.

“You know the cars have integrated that in now, you can plug in, or you know or various ways to do it. There’s no need to really get rid of that all too,” said Bussey. “Why don’t we just have all of it.”

“And some places, even with the streaming stuff if they don’t have Wi-Fi or you don’t have good cell service, the only way you could hear this show is on an AM radio station that carries it, and that alone is a reason to keep it,” said Burgess.

In a statement to the Detroit Free Press, Ford spokesperson Wes Sherwood said they will still offer alternative methods for AM radio through internet streaming, mobile apps and more.

Burgess and Bussey said AM radio may no longer be mainstream, but it still has a place even beyond talk radio for things like emergency alerts.

Sharon Tinsley, president of the Alabama Broadcaster’s Association, said the car companies moving forward with the phase out aren’t acknowledging how many people still utilize AM radio, with over 94 million Americans listening to over the air radio weekly.

Tinsley said AM radio is the backbone of our nations emergency alert system.

Tinsley said Ford cited a lack of listenership as a main reason for moving forward with the elimination of AM radio, but she said that’s simply not accurate. Through a campaign she said the National Association of Broadcasters hopes to influence other U.S. Manufacturers to think twice before doing the same.

“To help them understand that AM radio is still very important, and maybe we’ll get them to change their mind,” Tinsley said. “We shall see. I don’t think they have properly estimated how much people rely on and want to have AM radio available in their cars.”

Tinsley said they’re asking listeners to reach out to their local Congress members to let them know why AM radio is important so that it won’t disappear down the road.

For those worried about how this phase out may affect emergency communication, Jefferson County EMA said they prepare travelers with alternatives.

Emergency management officer Melissa Sizemore said they have other means of communication now like GPS, Apple car play, and smart phones for emergency messaging.

For people purchasing vehicles that may not have AM radio, she said it’s important to have a plan for communication when traveling.

Sizemore said radio waves used to be the most prominent way to get information from the government.

“And that has slowly moved to utilizing smart phones, utilizing the internet, integrating with several private companies to be able to provide emergency notifications to individuals within the community outside of the radio waves,” Sizemore said.

Sizemore said it’s important to equip yourself with multiple ways of receiving emergency information on the road and make sure they can always be charged and ready to go especially if AM radio is not an option.