The Weather Channel's Bryan Norcross Revists Hurricane Andrew
The Weather Channel's acclaimed meteorologist Bryan Norcross revisits Hurricane Andrew, the most volatile hurricane in South Florida's history, in his new book, My Hurricane Andrew Story. It was twenty-five years ago that Norcross led the television coverage of Hurricane Andrew and would later be widely recognized as the storm's foremost guide throughout the ordeal.
In August 1992, as Category 5 Hurricane Andrew was bearing down, people huddled in their closets and under their mattresses and tuned to "the man who talked South Florida through."
The is the story behind Norcross's TV coverage, and how he was the first to raise the alarm. The book, told from his vantage point, relates untold stories about the storm, one which rewrote our understanding of hurricanes.
Norcross sums up the lessons we learned, some we should have learned, and lists policies and systems we need to adopt to be ready for the next monster storm.
Norcross points out that:
Broadcasters need a "Hurricane Plan B" and that television is the only medium that lends itself to the detailed explanations necessary to fully describe the threat and how individuals and businesses should respond.
Radio is critical to keeping people up to date as they prepare, evacuate, or do any of the myriad tasks required. After a major storm, radio may well be the only lifeline if power and mobile-phone systems fail.
Journalists and broadcasters should never make definitive statements about uncertain things, whether it is the storm's track or the post-storm status of anything that they haven't seen or know about with certainty. Doing so can have unintended consequences of delaying or diverting recovery resources.
In every market the media should have a plan to team up for an ultra-extreme event.
Advance emergency planning and coordination with government agencies should be a requirement of holding a broadcast license.
Norcross writes that Andrew's primary lesson is that the worst does happen and that we must prepare. Storms explode into ultra-hurricanes near the coast. Forecasts still go wrong, and even a good forecast incorporating the best modern science cannot predict with certainty where exactly the core of a hurricane will hit.
Bryan Norcross began his career at CNN serving as the cable network's first weekend weathercaster before moving onto broadcasting jobs in San Francisco and Atlanta. He was later on television in Miami for 25 years. After working on emergency management communications with America's Emergency Network, Bryan joined The Weather Channel as Senior Hurricane Specialist in 2010.
For more info visit: www.MyHurricaneAndrewStory.com
"My Hurricane Andrew Story" is available now through Amazon at: