As Barry is upgraded to a tropical storm — and could become a hurricane — we wanted to make sure journalists and those in the field know what they could be getting into.
We’re republishing and updating our collection of Poynter articles about covering hurricanes — stories that include lessons learned, best practices and examples of newsrooms responding to tragedy in their own communities.
We’ve also gathered some of our most helpful links and training.
- Get prepared.
- Track storms with the National Hurricane Center.
- Follow the National Weather Service on Twitter.
- Find Disaster Recovery Centers.
- Understand the Saffir-Simpson Scale.
- Avoid spreading misinformation.
Read and share
- ‘Bring pencils’ and 49 other things hurricane pros know
- 9 tips to avoid spreading misinformation about hurricanes
- 13 tips for covering a hurricane
- 12+ tools and resources useful during hurricanes and other disasters
Additional helpful tips:
- Don’t race out to cover the storm if you are not prepared. You can put yourself, and others, at risk. There are plenty of other ways to tell good stories.
- Check the charities. Before you report on any relief work, check an organization’s track record. (You can see 990s on Guidestar.) Find out where their money has gone in the past and if they do what they said they would do.
- Be skeptical of user-submitted photos. Check the meta-data or do a reverse image search through TinEye, RevEye (a Chrome add-on) or Google.
- Choose your words carefully. Avoid subjective adjectives such as “monster” or “storm of the century.” Be factual and inform your audience with objective nouns.
- Think social first. Online is a great way to connect with your audience before the storm hits. Then they can find you while the power is out. Get active now with social media and online. Point your viewers to tools that can help them stay in touch with one another, too, such as Facebook’s Safety Check.
For our permanent repository of hurricane coverage, click here.