Disaster Preparedness Tips From The Pacific Daily News

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Release date: 
March 25, 2003
Release Number: 
HQ-03-Pacific

Preamble: When disaster strikes a community, everyone turns to television and radio for immediate news. As soon as the first newspaper coverage hits the streets, people grab copies to find out what's happened, what happens next, and where to go for help. But when a natural disaster strikes the news outlets-knocking out power, toppling buildings, blocking road and bridges-the media become disaster victims as well. When that happens, the challenge becomes how to plan for the safety and security of the news staff while at the same time getting emergency information and news to the public. With that challenge in mind-balancing the welfare of staff with the need to publish or broadcast the event as it unfolds-one newspaper on Guam set out its plan.

Before Disaster Strikes

  • Stock up on disaster supplies for newsroom including food and water for at least 12 hours and up to three days.
  • Distribute flashlights, portable radios and extra batteries
  • Charge batteries for computers
  • Make an emergency assignment schedule including emergency communication plan for staff and family members
  • Place first aid kits in strategic locations
  • Distribute emergency kits for reporters assigned to field during disaster
    • Fix-A-Flat for tires flattened by road debris
    • Cell Phones and chargers
    • Food and Water
  • Gas up cars
  • Fill up fuel tanks for emergency generators
  • Strengthen building housing news outlet and technical equipment
  • Get as much reporting as possible done prior to storm-reporting, non-news sections
  • Plan and assign next day coverage as early as possible
  • Protect and secure equipment and photographs from possible damage
  • Prepare alternative distribution plan for publication or alternative means to broadcast
  • Preposition staff when possible

During Disaster-Safety First

  • Secure building
  • Stay inside unless assigned to cover disaster in field
  • Unplug unnecessary equipment
  • Avoid unnecessary trips and staffing
  • Make provision for assisting and/or housing staff families unable to remain in their homes.

After Disaster-Keep Safe and Get Out the News

  • Continue keeping staff safe
  • Allow staff time to take care of personal business and families
  • Set priorities for continuing to get out the news
  • Develop a plan for the coming weeks
Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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