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Former FEMA Head Notes Lifeline Role of Local Radio and TV


Hurricane Dorian (from NOAA)
Hurricane Dorian (from NOAA)

As Hurricane Dorian approaches Florida and is expected to move up the Eastern U.S. coast, Craig Fugate, who served as FEMA's administrator from 2009-2017, asked those in the path to tune to local radio stations for updates from local government officials and storm updates. In a Twitter post, he advised those affected to "keep a portable radio nearby in case power or the Internet goes out." And with this storm's reported slow movement that could linger for days, he added that in previous storms "it was my only source of news."

"Broadcasters take seriously our lifeline and 'first informer' role in times of emergency, particularly when cell phone networks collapse and Internet service is compromised. NAB salutes our Florida and Southeast local radio and television stations and broadcast networks for the preparations being made to keep citizens safe as Hurricane Dorian approaches," said NAB Executive VP/Communications Dennis Wharton.

The Weather Channel's coverage of Hurricane Dorian, started to air free on SiriusXM on channel 105 starting Saturday, August 31 at 8pm ET through Tuesday, September 3 at noon ET. Current SiriusXM subscribers and non-subscribers can listen to The Weather Channel at no cost on any SiriusXM radio or streaming online.

Both of Salem Radio Network's 24/7 news services (SRN News and Townhall News) tapped Salem stations in Florida for updates on the potential impact as Dorian heads toward the U.S. mainland. Its Miami stations have also provided contact info for station personnel who are ready if Dorian's impact is severe in South Florida. (Schools in Miami/Dade and other areas are already closed through at least Wednesday, and stores and gas stations along the East Coast are running low on fuel, water and food.)

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