Broadcasters Work Nonstop as First Informers to Serve Their Local Communities During Hurricane Sandy

November 2, 2012 at 9:13 am Leave a comment

Earlier this week, millions of people turned to broadcast radio and television to get up-to-the minute information on Hurricane Sandy. TV stations up and down the East Coast worked around the clock to ensure their communities had the information they needed to prepare for the storm as well as track the storm to know when it would hit their area.

Stations began providing wall to wall coverage starting at 4 a.m. on Monday. WUSA Washington News Director Fred D’Ambrosi led his news crew, preparing them to be on air for the next several days, ensuring viewers had the lifesaving information they needed. “Everybody left home on Saturday prepared to be gone for five to seven days,” said WBAL Baltimore’s News Director Michele Butt. “You don’t stop covering the storm just because the sun comes out.”

Stations ran non-stop storm tracking radar images and news tickers with emergency information and weather updates, with many reporters pulling 12-hour shifts. Stations also utilized text alerts, social media outlets and updates on their website and mobile apps to provide viewers with critical information.

Many stations lost power during the storm and relied on generators to provide coverage, in addition to relying on satellite, microwave trucks and mobile backpacks to submit stories.

Covering the storm was truly a team effort and affiliate stations joined together to share resources and content. Some affiliates brought in employees from other stations not affected by the storm, including Cincinnati, Tulsa and Phoenix to relieve teams working long hours.

“I salute the remarkable work of our radio and TV station colleagues now putting themselves in harm’s way to keep millions of people safe and informed on the devastation of this deadly storm,” NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith said. “As FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate noted this weekend, in times of emergency there is no more reliable source of information than that coming from local broadcasters. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of those in the path of Hurricane Sandy.”

Watch your local news and visit redcross.org to learn how you can help those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

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