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Anybody ever covered a hurricane?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by sirvaliantbrown, Aug 17, 2007.

  1. I'm doing it this weekend. Other than "attempt not to die," any tips?
  2. hondo

    hondo Well-Known Member

    You're in Jamaica, Mon?
  3. Going to be tomorrow, sir.
  4. trifectarich

    trifectarich Well-Known Member

    Being in the center of a storm with winds better than 100 mph is no fun whatsoever. Be careful, and I hope all your communications stay intact.
  5. Hustle

    Hustle Guest

    Don't hide directly behind buildings - if the winds are strong enough, they'll topple the building with you underneath.
  6. Matt1735

    Matt1735 Well-Known Member

    i covered the miami hurricanes for one game in 1994. It was the game that broke their home winning streak. But as far as an actual storm, lived thru a couple of them, but never covered one.
  7. Cameron Frye

    Cameron Frye Member

    Get a couple cans of Fix-A-Flat. You'll be driving over all kinds of debris, and you don't want a flat tire to put you out of commission.

    This time of year, it'll probably be hot and sunny once the storm clears, so sunscreen and and a few gallons of water will come in handy. Also, make sure you have plenty of food (energy bars are a good choice) because there's a good chance McDonald's won't be open.

    Look out for downed power lines. Don't assume the line is dead. I stood three feet away from a live line blocking the driveway of a house two days after one storm.

    When you're out driving, watch out at any intersection without working lights. Treat it like a four-way stop, but DO NOT assume anyone else will.

    Invest in a power inverter for your car - you'll be able to charge your laptop and cell phone wherever you are (but don't assume your cell phone will work)

    That's all I can think of right now, but I'll post again if I think of anything else.
  8. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member

    If you have a portable generator, that would be nice. Also a few gallons of drinking water as well as some canned goods and other non-perishable items that can be eaten directly. Extra batteries for flashlights are also a must.

    Some patience for all the rubbernecking that tends to occur after a big storm will be helpful. And, no matter what anyone says, do not try to drive through flooded roads. The undercurrents can be stronger than anything you may see on the surface.

    As for coverage, I was in North Carolina when Floyd slammed into my hometown. Got thrown over to newsside to write two stories and help our chief photographer - also a good personal friend - negotiate some rough areas before having to do my own sports section one night.
  9. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    If you can't make or receive calls on your cell, try text messages. During Katrina and Rita, we discovered you could still text even when calls weren't possible.
  10. Left_Coast

    Left_Coast Active Member

    This tip also was passed along during the Virginia Tech disaster and the bridge collapse in Minneapolis.
  11. rascalface

    rascalface Member

    We had Nextel phones in a previous shop, and while a hurricane knocked out cell towers (generally because of massive power outages) we were able to use the walkie-talkie function with limited success (compared to zero success with a regular phone call).

    If you're going to be driving around after the storm, keep supplies with you (water, food, medical, etc.) and several changes of clothes. I would recommend treating your windshield with Rain-X if you plan to be on the road during any inclement weather leading up to the storm (the day after a hurricane tends to be windy but clear, while the day and hours before you could get hit with some nasty rain bands flung off the edges of the storm). Probably wouldn't be a bad idea to have a big ziplock baggie or something else waterproof to haul around your notebooks and pens/pencils.

    I also echo the above recommendations ... fix-a-flat and avoidance of standing water and power lines. More than likely, debris will make many roads unpassable for hours or days, depending on the scope of the damage and the efficiency of local authorities.

    And if you're staying somewhere that is using a gas-powered generator, remember to have it properly ventilated. A common cause of death in post-hurricane areas is carbon monoxide poisoning from running a generator without ventilation.

    Stay safe and good luck.
  12. Simon_Cowbell

    Simon_Cowbell Active Member

    winds will be 130 mph sustained. That could through a piece of straw through your neck like a hot knife through butter.

    Luckily, if I remember correctly, Jamaica has many bomb-shelter-type dwellings.

    Good luck to you.

    Please be conservative and safe.
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