I live in Southern California. Land of the brushfire.
Yesterday there was a fire near my house. My wife and I were both home to deal with the consequences, if any. As it moved away from us, she asked me what we’d do if both of us were gone on a work day, leaving two pets alone in the house and not necessarily knowing if or when a fire threatened.
Today, I signed up with the local TV station’s email/text message update service for emergency news.
Two hours later an alert comes over: Another fire in San Diego county.
Early and universal notice provided. Problem solved.
Then I went to KOGO’s website to see how San Diego’s radio news powerhouse was able to help me.
There was no mention of the new fire.
There was no way to sign up for emergency updates.
There was no recongition that either text messaging or even email notification exists.
As we crow about Radio’s unquestioned ability to come through in a crisis, it’s instructive that crises come in many shades and most are very minor shades.
In my case, knowing from wherever I am whether or not there is a fire threatening my house is a reasonable service for a “local” radio station in Southern California to provide.
Because right now, I’m getting my breaking news text messages and emails from TV, not radio. And when those messages advise me to check their website or tune in for more information, what are the chances I’ll turn on the radio instead?