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Thread: Being dumb during Hurricanes

  1. #1
    Well, as Irene approaches the major cities of the Northeast, I can only wonder what dumb things TV reporters and cameramen might be doing to cover what might be "the storm of the century."

    I'm sure there will be plenty of reporters who will want to stand out in the hurricane force winds to show how difficult it is to stand without being blown over, and I am sure there will be plenty of camera people who will do the same. Still others will wade into flood waters.

    To my friends in the news business: don't. It's not worth your safety or your lives.

    I covered several major hurricanes in my career and I came close to being killed several times without doing stupid things like asking for it by wading into flood waters or standing in the high winds. Just driving in a car with my camera crew almost got us killed even before the full force of the storm hit us -- that's because a gust of wind blew out the windows. Taking shelter in the basement of the Hotel Galvez in Galveston, Texas almost got us killed because the basement started to flood.

    I'm afraid that the audience has a short memory span-- and if you give your life to cover this storm no one will remember you in a couple of months. You will probably only be remembered as "that reporter who got hit with the sheet of glass" or "that cameraman who was electrocuted."

    You can still get the story and stay safe. Putting yourself at risk, or putting your crew members at risk is not part of your job description.

  2. #2
    The dumbness has started. I was just watching a TV reporter standing in flood waters, being blown by the wind, with the water rushing over his knees while doing a live report. Doesn't he know that rushing water just over your ankles can have enough force to knock you over? And what is he stepping on? Are those nails and broken sheets of glass under his feet, or is he about to fall into a hole or manhole without a cover while he is doing his walk and talk? I don't want to mention the water, but it's probably filled with some nasty bacteria.

    And while you watch this, you wonder why some good citizens disregard the warnings not to drive their cars on flooded streets? Gee, they must say to themselves, if the water is only up to the reporter's knees my car has to get through this?

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