When a storm like Hurricane Michael threatens, resources such as the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (FPREN) make it easy to gain access to information about what to do before, during and after an emergency situation. The FPREN StormCenter began its forecast coverage more than five days before Hurricane Michael made landfall in the Florida Panhandle, and continued with live updates on radio, online and social media through the Florida Storms mobile app.
For Hurricane Michael, FPREN broadcasted critical information nonstop on radio stations throughout Florida including WUFT-FM (Gainesville-Ocala), WFSU-FM (Tallahassee), WFSW-FM (Panama City), WKGC-FM (Panama City), WUWF (Pensacola-Ft. Walton Beach), WUSF-FM (Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater), WJCT-FM (Jacksonville) and others. FPREN also used Facebook Live and Twitter to reach more than 600,000 people.
FPREN’s goal is to communicate important information statewide through a system of free public media. Through this approach of statewide reach, and, thanks to a recent partnership, also in South Carolina, people can easily access emergency information regardless of their location.
FPREN works with the Florida Division of Emergency Management and local Emergency Operations Centers in a partnership that creates the most up-to-date information released to the public.
The FPREN stations are staffed in the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida and have the resources to stay on the air even during power outages. In the aftermath of a weather-related incident, FPREN will keep providing recovery information for as long as necessary. UF uses its own team of meteorologists and experts to provide information on the storms and other emergency situations.