OLD Media Moves

Hurricane coverage…again

October 21, 2005

It appears that business sections in Florida are gearing up for another round of stories on how a hurricane will affect the businesses and economies of their local areas.

The Tampa Tribune wrote today about how technology can be used by companies to minimize the damage from hurricanes. Read that story here. It also ran an Associated Press story on the potential impact that the storm might have on Florida’s agriculture industry. You can find that story here.

The St. Petersburg Times ran the same story on the agriculture industry. And it also had a compilation of shorter stories, put together here, that included a piece about panic gas buying leading to some shortages in the area.

Curiously, I did not find any business-related hurricane stories on the Miami Herald’s web site today.

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune had perhaps the best coverage on Friday. Its top business story was about how one of Florida’s power companies has tapped out its available resources in finding extra workers and power line crews because of all the other storms this year. That story can be read here. The Fort Myers News-Press had a similar story, but its was shorter. That can be read here.

In additon, the Herald-Tribune had a story about the fuel situation in Florida. That can be read here.

The best story was this one from the Herald-Tribune. It’s about how certain people can’t evacuate when a hurricane is coming because their job — whether it’s a nurse or a policeman or a variety of other positoons — requires them to stick around.

All in all, I’d grade the effort of the Sarasota paper as an A, while the others receive a B. The Miami paper gets an incomplete.

I worked at the Sarasota, Tampa and St. Petersburg papers from 1988-1993, and I covered Hurricane Andrew for the Tampa paper in 1992 as a business story, so I’m fascinated to see how Florida storms get covered from the business angle.

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