RTNDA Issues Hurricane Florence Coverage Checklist

According to RTNDA, journalists have a special responsibility during hurricanes and other severe weather situations with potentially wide impacts to be accurate and to be measured in the tone of their coverage. The trade group says newsrooms need to prepare in advance to establish expectations for hurricane coverage. As hurricane Florence approaches the mid-Atlantic, newsrooms should review RTDNA's coverage guidelines for hurricanes and natural disasters.

In particular, note the emphasis on the safety of news teams. News managers, also remember that your team members covering the hurricane may face personal losses and trauma themselves. Be prepared to mitigate the psychological effects of disaster reporting. for reporters heading toward a storm, preparation is key.

To stay safe, make sure to have these items with you and accessible.

For the car

  • Windshield washer fluid
  • Fix-a-flat
  • Portable car battery jumper
  • Air freshener/damp rid
Clothing/Personal Items
  • Blankets
  • Waterproof boots/overalls (try a fishing shop)
  • Extra socks (many)
  • Rain gear
  • Warm clothing/layers
  • Towels
  • Portable chargers
  • Battery packs and batteries
  • Duct tape
  • Pliers/tool kit
Personal Care
  • Toilet paper
  • Baby wipes
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Dry shampoo
  • Cash
  • Important medications and medical information in plastic zipper bags
  • List of emergency numbers including local law enforcement, Red Cross
  • Medical kit
  • Battery-operated weather radio
  • Flashlights
Food and water
  • Bottled water - at least three gallons per person
  • Plastic utensils
  • High-protein food that doesn't require cooking: tuna packets, peanut butter, beef jerky
For reporting
  • Plastic zipper bags for phones and small electronics
  • Non-lubricated condoms for keeping small electronics like microphones dry
  • Plastic trash bags and grocery bags for wet items and for keeping items dry
  • Zip ties for securing equipment
  • Local maps (paper and downloaded)
  • Pencil and paper
  • Shower cap to keep hair dry(ish) between shots

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai issued the following statement regarding Hurricane Florence, "As Hurricane Florence approaches the East Coast, the FCC is working to prepare for the storm, coordinating with our federal and state partners and letting them know that we stand ready to work with them and assist in any way we can. At this point, FCC staff have already been deployed to survey the radiofrequency spectrum across critical areas of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, and our Operations Center is open 24 hours a day."

He continued, "Our staff has also reached out to broadcast associations, wireless carriers, and other telecom companies in the areas expected to be hit by Hurricane Florence. We will closely monitor communications outages data in the coming days and work to support restoration and recovery efforts. We also urge residents of the affected areas to charge their wireless phones, laptops, or tablets, sign up to receive emergency alerts and warnings, and follow other communications tips available on the FCC's website to stay connected with family and friends."


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