The latest forecast says we should expect 3 to 6 inches of snow tomorrow. Ever since I started working here at WSUS in the mid 1980's our community has counted on local radio for important information. Especially when it snows. Back then I used to sleep on the floor of my office during snowstorms so I was here to be on the air. When my kids came along in the 90's they would bring their sleeping bags and come to WSUS with me before each storm. Their mom would also be at work when it was snowing because she worked as a caregiver at a local nursing home.
Most radio stations across the country stopped doing what we still do many years ago. Those radio stations just send listeners to their website or another company's website. I still think it's very important to share this information on the air as well. Many people still remember the "Bong Bong Bong" of the WSUS First Report Alert sounder which we used for decades. Back then "First Report Alert" was exactly that. The first place people got storm and closing information was local radio.
Today there are automated calls and websites (including WSUS1023.com) that provide up to the minute information. However, many people still count on our radio stations to find out first. That's why on days when it's snowing I get here before 4 AM.
In addition to all the usual radio morning show preparation extra time is needed to put together a snow closing report and a more detailed local weather report. Every time a school adds information my on air report has to change. As far as the weather goes, I try to pinpoint when the snow will start and end. There's also traffic information. Listeners still are welcome to call and report local road conditions which get passed right on to our traffic reporters. There's a lot of running around going on while the music and commercials are playing. Hopefully, it all comes together very smoothly for everyone listening.
One more thing, I'm no longer sleeping on the floor of my office when it snows. I Heart Media puts me up at Minerals Hotel so I'm close. So while I don't look forward to what's happening behind the scenes on snow closing mornings. I do look forward to a nice soak in the hot tub at Minerals Spa!