Broadcasters were well prepared to provide wall-to-wall coverage of Hurricane Florence, which made landfall on the coast of North Carolina on September 14. The storm killed at least 23 people, with some areas receiving up to 30 inches of rain. Radio and television stations in the Carolinas ramped up coverage ahead of the storm, disseminating vital information around the clock.
Nearly one million more residents in the Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh areas of North Carolina tuned into local newscasts on broadcast TV stations the week Hurricane Florence approached the East Coast and made landfall in the Carolinas than the previous week, according to data from ratings measurement service Nielsen.
“These Nielsen ratings again highlight the critical ‘first informer’ role of local broadcasting during emergencies,” said NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith. “As we’ve seen time and again, communities across the country rely on their local radio and TV stations for timely and lifesaving information. We applaud broadcasters who were in the path of Hurricane Florence for their continuous efforts to inform listeners and viewers.”
Former FEMA administrator Craig Fugate tweeted: “Tracking #Florence? Keep a radio in your Disaster Kit. Why, you have cell phone right? Until cellular services goes out, happen to me during Hurricane #Irma. No power, no Wifi, no cellular data. Radio was my only source for news and updates.”