As I begin this post, we in Florida are waiting for the arrival of Ernesto. That is tropical storm Ernesto, the fifth named storm of the season. Having been through a few years of hyper-storm activity, we are prepared and waiting for a day of heavy rains and some nasty wind, and a day of trying not to get cabin fever.
Having moved from New Jersey to Florida ten years ago, I’ve found that the preparations for a hurricane aren’t too different than those needed for blizzards and northeasters (or nor’easters, as we used to say). But, there is one standout preparation feature that we have in Florida that doesn’t happen in the northeast: the shutters or wood. After spending over three hours hanging wood on our windows today, I’m ready for a vacation, or in this case, leaving the wood on the windows for several more months of hurricane season so it can serve out the remainder of its useful lifespan.
As this is a blog related to public relations, publicity and the media, I suppose it’s now time to talk about these things and not just voice my displeasure with the number of splinters that are now attached to various parts of my body.
The media in south Florida, at least from my perspective, has changed drastically over the last few years during this time of the year. Ten years ago the meteorologists would have been jumping through the studios warning people of the dangers of an impending storm. In contrast, the meteorologists of today are more technologically savvy and more sensitive to not stirring up public panic. They, and the news anchors, still bring you every story possible related to the storm with a new sense of pragmatics. That is, here’s the information on the storm, on gas stations, on available food, etc. The hype is gone, the information is there, but it’s delivered with a sense or urgency for the viewers’ protection as opposed to creating news drama. The storm will create all of the drama that we need.