More than once I have used this soapbox to rail at
the way the TV networks cover our storms (or, as
they call them -- events.) It was always
be-afraid, be-very-afraid coverage.
Remember CBS broadcast star Dan Rather reporting
on Hurricane Andrew on the East Coast from the
West Coast of Florida? Rather stood on a bridge
overlooking blue skies and placid water in
beautiful Fort Myers and told the world this was
ground zero for hurricane trouble.
Now, as you may know, Andrew hit Miami-Homestead
on the East Coast of Florida, not Fort Myers on
the West Coast of Florida. So isn't a charter
yacht proprietor on the West Coast of Florida
allowed to wonder how much Florida business was
lost because of those rather loose lips?
Well, that was 20 years ago and I have to say that
the TV storm coverage is getting better. A little,
Today superior satellite technology lets the
networks show us where the storm is and where rain
and wind are causing trouble. And experts say it
will get even better. I just read where new
weather satellites are in place and before long
will be delivering 30 times more data than the
ones we have now.
When Tropical Storm Isaac started across the
Florida Keys I was expecting more wall-to-wall
excitement telling everybody to be afraid, be very
afraid. But, all in all, I thought the media were
fair. Oh, of course, some on the scene reporters
still overhype the rain and wind (or, as they call
them --impacts) and I guess this makes good
TV. But I don't fall for it.
Actually, I think the TV audience back home is
getting a little smarter, too. A little voice
talks to me when I'm watching TV and basically it
tells me what's hype and what's not.
As TS Isaac approached our area we got some rain
but it wasn't much different from a normal
afternoon thunderstorm. Our teams overseeing our
fleets at Marinatown Marina and Burnt Store Marina
know what to do to secure our sail and power
yachts. Just in case. Taking precautions – just in
case -- is what boaters do, you know. Like Boy
Scouts, we prepare.
Today, as I write this, Isaac is now a hurricane
and is dumping rain on Louisiana. I hope, like
boaters, they prepared for flooding and power
outages. I also hope the new weather satellites
I've been reading about will be good enough to let
us know if an approaching storm, like Isaac, is
going to stall and dump 25 inches of rain where I
Meanwhile my organization -- the Academy of Boob
Tube Hurricane Coverage – is accepting nominations
for an award ceremony at the end of the hurricane
season. All eyes will be on who wins the award for
Best Actor in a Leading Role. It is also
known as the Be-Very-Afraid Award. Some refer to
it as the Dan Rather Award.
If we don't have a winner this year, that's a good