Dangerous Weather In Delaware - All Stations Should Provide Some Kind of Emergency Information
Yesterday, we had a very dangerous weather event here on Delmarva. Heavy rain, dangerous winds and tornadoes! Winds gusting over 70 miles an hour in some cases that caused power outages,downed trees and damage to homes. A wind gust of 79 miles an hour was reported at the Delaware beaches. These gusts were hurricane force. Two tornado watches were issued for Kent and Sussex counties. There was a tornado warning issued in Kent County and various counties in Maryland.
If you're an internet music station or a LPFM or even a talk station, unless your trying to be just a jukebox (why bother!) you have an obligation to your community to provide some information about the dangerous weather or emergency condition such as the Coronavirus. So you need to get off your butt and get the information out there.
Edgewater Gold Radio is an oldies music station but also provides local information. I always make sure that our listeners (and there are many in Sussex County) receive information on dangerous weather and currently the Coronavirus. Do I stop the music and talk for a half hour on these events?......no of course not. I provide small bits of information between the music. The music is not disrupted and the local audience is getting pieces of important information.
Yesterday, the day's programming was voicetracked when I received the dangerous weather information. Fortunately I have a robo DJ in our automation software that is very easy to use. I simply type the message on a small screen in the software and it will generate the emergency message at the times I tell it to. It works! I broadcast a tornado warning for Kent county and I later received a " thank you" e-mail from a listener near Dover saying that she was scared and then heard my announcement. She took cover and luckily the danger passed her area. It was a very simple announcement but it worked!
Programmers don't be lazy, there are too many stations that are only concerned with playing music. Radio is a lot more than that. You need to be able to convey emergency information any time. So I say to you, come up with a plan and DO IT!