It was a tough call.We had met on Thursday and Friday of last week in the office.We had a conference call Sunday afternoon and with that call made THE call.We would begin Hurricane Dorian coverage at 6am on Monday.The storm was devastating the Bahamas and it was a Category 5 hurricane giving all indications that the Space Coast was its next target.
I can’t tell you there weren’t concerns.This would be the most powerful storm that most of us would have seen impact Brevard.Record setting winds and destruction in the Bahamas were evident.We’d be facing the same unless something changed.
That’s the thing about hurricanes, they are dynamic.They change hour to hour if not faster.But, no, not Dorian.It parked on the Bahamas for over 30 hours and we sat, we waited and we talked.There is only so much preparation to do, only so many safety points to be made, and while audience is always tuning in and out, the repetition is necessary, but tiring.
And Dorian lingered.
My on air partners for this venture are Ken Holiday and Jorge Medina.We have regular reports from AccuWeather, the sheriff and other officials as necessary.Our other on air team consists of Kevin Campbell and Wingnut from KISS 95.1 and Mike Lowe from Lite Rock 99.3.Together we provide live storm coverage to the Space Coast through any storm that impacts our region.Dorian, strong as it potentially was, would be no different.
This time out there was an added element.Our Statewide news team would be producing shows that would allow us to air live, relevant programming while our staff could rest up, grab a shower or a meal and be fresh for the next shift of coverage.Headed up by Grace Blazer in Miami these teams from across the state did a fantastic job in providing excellent coverage and interviews with prominent officials (and occasionally obscure WMMB morning hosts) keeping Florida informed on Dorian.This was a fantastic added feature to our standard coverage and I’m glad it was put in place.
During breaks in our show I was also able to provide interviews to our stations in Miami, Orlando and Toledo.On Wednesday I was a guest on Todd Starnes’ show from Fox News Radio as he related storm information to that national audience.The country was watching Dorian.
I’d be lying if I said hurricane coverage was not fun; it most certainly is.And the relationships developed in and outside the building are special.Sure, it has its moments of trepidation, but we are never alone and the cool thing is, because of that- neither are you.
It’s what radio does and does best.It’s an honor to be a part of it.
CONGRATULATIONS Nick Sabourin. YOU’VE WON THIS WEEK’S BML INSIDER MUG.
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