We want to thank the University of Alabama Department of Telecommuncation and Film for inviting us to be a part of a documentary screening panel Monday night. One of the colleges instructors, Dr. Chandra Clark showed part of her documentary, “The Signal That Saves.” This documentary showcases the role of local broadcasters during the April 27th event. She plans on showing this documentary to the National Association of Broadcasters in April. This program not only highlighted the importance of emergency broadcasts here in Alabama but also displayed the role of local broadcasts during the Joplin tornado. The documentary features comments from local broadcasters including Fox 6 Chief Meteorologist J-P Dice. (Top Image: Dr. Clark discussed the documentary)
We were fortunate to have plenty of warning lead time here in Alabama. According to the National Weather Service, the average warning lead time was about 24 minutes. Furthermore, local forecasts highlighted the threat for severe weather in the days leading up to April 27th. In the case of the Joplin tornado, the severe weather threat wasn’t realized until the day of the event. Still, the emergency information provided on the television and radio airwaves was crucial in helping save lives in both cases.
There were several student in attendance and I mentioned that when events like April 27th happen everybody needs to be the communicator. We need to make sure you call friends and family members, and help spread the word about the danger. We faced a unique situation on April 27th because there was not only one but two waves of severe weather. I discussed how our coverage was crucial in not only providing emergency weather information but helping to provide emergency response information and helping to reconnect families.
A big thanks goes out to Dr. Clark for her hard work. This type of research helps to support our ability to bring our television audience a constant stream of severe weather information when severe storms threaten.
Fox 6 Meteorologist