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Topic: Disaster Relief and Recovery
Television and radio stations joined together to provide timely and lifesaving information as Hurricane Ike ravaged the Texas coast. KPRC-TV, KHOU-TV, KTRK-TV, KRIV-TV, KRBE-FM and KUHF-FM in Houston, Texas, provided crucial wall-to-wall storm coverage leading up to Ike and in the recovery phase following the devastation. Stations broadcast continuously throughout the week, with some staff working 12-hour shifts or more. In addition to working overtime, stations implemented new technology to report on location from the Galveston seawall during serious power outages. Storm coverage took precedent over stations’ regularly scheduled programming as the stations worked to keep Houstonians informed and safe. As people lost power, local radio stations picked up KHOU’s signal and continued its broadcast. KHOU reporters described the broadcast picture to listeners to make sure they knew what to expect as the hurricane picked up speed and made landfall. The stations’ Web sites also proved critical in keeping the community informed and provided a global audience with live streams of hurricane coverage.
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More than 2.47 million American jobs depend on broadcasting, and the local broadcast radio and television industry - and the businesses that depend on it - generate $1.17 trillion annually for the nation's economy.