We Are Broadcasters
National Association of Broadcasters

WWL-AM/FM Acts of Lifeline During Hurricane Gustav

Topic: Disaster Relief and Recovery

In the face of Hurricane Gustav, which many feared would be worse than Hurricane Katrina, veteran broadcasters at WWL-AM/FM in New Orleans, La., stood equipped and ready to provide a lifeline of critical information to listeners. Although the studio endured winds greater than 50 mph, WWL never lost power thanks to emergency transmitter generators put in service prior to any power outages. Throughout the storm, the station not only broadcast from its studio, but also ran four remote broadcast locations. Station talent was placed at emergency operations centers in several parishes, providing local authorities a direct venue to communicate with their communities. These remote broadcast locations had real-life impact. For example, when a private levee in Braithwaite was threatened, WWL talk radio host John “Spud” McConnell made an on-air plea that rallied help and sandbags from nearby residents and businesses. The station remained a steady stream of accurate and potentially lifesaving information before, during and after the storm.

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