I had an amazing blog plan for this week, and I was so excited to share it with you. My sisters have moved in with me, and they have been encouraging to up my content game, and we had an amazing plan.
But then Hurricane Harvey happened.
As a journalist, this means that I have been reporting non-stop about the absolute tragedy that Harvey has become – and it’s only the beginning.
I have been working non-stop since Friday, and today, Thursday, the coverage has begin to lighten up.
Because I work so closely with viewers on our online platforms, I realize that people really do not understand how breaking news work.
In an event that promised to be a life-threatening as this, we prepare days in advance. Here is a little look about how the week leading up to, and after, Harvey went for my team two hours away from the tragedy.
We first learned about how frightening Harvey could be on Tuesday. At this time, the weather models showed Harvey hovering our area for more than 24 hours, causing 20-30 inches of rain. This prompted a weather meeting on Thursday to discuss the state of the weather event at that time.
Because weather is so unpredictable, it can never be an exact science. However, we want people to be prepared for the worst.
We are not an owned and operated station, so we are owned by a television company that isn’t ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, etc.
Our parent company has stations along the gulf in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi, so those stations were also concerned about Harvey. This prompted more meetings on what the action plan would be to make sure all of the stations affected would get coverage.
Again, this is all theoretical until we got closer to the actual event because weather is so unpredictable.
During our Thursday meeting, it became clear that Harvey wasn’t going anywhere. Our meteorologist told us they believed Harvey had the capability of becoming a Category 4.
DURING & AFTER
On Friday, our meteorologist were speechless about this event. They warned us that this is unlike anything they have ever seen before. The storm was projected to stall for an extended period of time and promise flooding for any city underneath it.
We sent a reporter and a photographer to Port Lavaca, TX. They stayed in a hotel with other major media outlets, and the actual owner of the hotel evacuated and left them a key.
The team at home began stories about our area preparing for evacuees, and our eastern counties were preparing for some flooding.
On Saturday, we all began to work 12 hour shifts, even those who don’t normally work on the weekend. We wrote every story that came in about Rockport and Corpus Christi and their damage.
Then on Sunday, the flooding in Houston became more prominent. News of deaths in the area started coming in, and the rescues efforts became extraordinary.
We wrote over 200 pieces of content about how Harvey was affecting South Texas while not even being there.
However, fortunately for me, I live about 2 hours from Houston, so the only way I have been affected is the temporary shortage of food and gas as it gets transported to help the thousands in South Texas. The shortage is only temporary, and supplies are replenished by the next day.
Monday through Wednesday, I was also fortunate to work a normal shift.
As for my journalism peers in Houston and Corpus Christi, they have been working 24-7 since Friday. Their work has not let up. They have so much going on they can’t even cover it all.
Journalists from all over who came to the area are stepping aside from their reporter jobs, and they are helping rescue efforts.
First responders are working tirelessly to make sure everyone gets out.
People are getting out of their homes that weren’t affected and getting into boats to help people.
I am so amazed by the efforts of humanity and my fellow Texans. I sometimes get jaded and think the world is full of terrible people because I work in the news. This event has shown me that people are still good, despite the horrible things they do and say on the internet.
So yes, I am still here. I am still blogging.
If you want to see what I have been up to, click here to read more about how Hurricane Harvey is affecting my home state.
And if you are able to, please donate to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey. They really need monetary donations right now, so donate to the Red Cross or the Salvation Army. More info on how to donate to the Red Cross here.
The damage the storm has caused is projected to be more than Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Katrina combined. These people are going to need our help.