Snow Prep in a newsroom


Today is one of those days that are kind of fun in a newsroom.

It is the day after a significant snowfall where snow plows and tow trucks were involved.
It is also the day before a significant snow fall is due to hit the area.

Both of these points are fun for the first big fall. Maybe the second one if you get a foot of snow its fun, but after that, its old hat and you want nothing to do with that.

However, the above clip is from a late winter storm in 2007 when I was running the desk at WHO-TV. Lee Rouse and Jon Cahill were out getting some video when they captured this huge explosion behind the Urbandale fire fighter’s head. Lee’s done lots of interviews about that day. I remember when Cahill called back to say what happened. Cahill said it was amazing video and it still undersold it.

Today you will see stories of people rushing the grocery store, hardware store and what public works crews are doing to prepare.

You’ll see graphics with phone numbers on who to call for road conditions, what site to check for road conditions and winter survival tips and how our news team will beat the other news team and have people everywhere for all shows as we bring you DeathWatch 2009 Storm to End All Storm Coverage.”

It will be all hands on deck to get out there so you don’t have to be out there.

I never minded sitting in a snow bank doing live shots to say, “yup, still snowing out here, back to you.” They were fun. I remember my first winter in Davenport at KWQC when that December set a record for snow fall for a month named December. I was on the Lincoln Street overpass 3 times with Bob Palmer and another 2 times along a turnaround spot along I74 and 23rd Ave. Good times.

But, when you are in the building and don’t leave, you have to answer the phone to respond to someone’s request to crawl their business or school closing. Most school closings are called into a computer now, but you still get Aunt Edina’s birthday party is cancelled, or the Boy Scouts Troop 128 acorn pie supper is PPD until Dec. 19. I don’t miss that part.

Also, I want you to be looking for the best storm hat. This would be a reporter who is wearing a good hat, like a parka with fur, or something trendy, or if you were me, a Jesup J-Hawks hat. Hat attire in a storm is also something to view.

Storms are good for the media business. TV and radio mostly. People are more tuned in to the details of the storm. There is a lot of repetitive information, but its vital to those who HAVE to be out in it.

Take your time, no need to rush, give yourself plenty of distance and don’t go out if you don’t have to.

It sounds like I’m ready for my life shot. Anne, where do you want me at noon?

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