October 6, 2008

Broadcasting & Cable Goes Inside TV Stations’ Plans to Cover California’s Inevitable ‘Big One’ Earthquake

In April, a group of scientists and engineers, working with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), released an official forecast of California earthquake probability, and the findings were frightful: They suggest a better than 99% chance of an earthquake measuring 6.7 or greater hitting the state sometime in the next 30 years, and a 46% chance of one posting a 7.5. (The Northridge quake, which claimed at least 60 victims and rang up $25 billion in damage, registered a 6.7.)

The Chino Hills, Calif. earthquake on July 29, measuring 5.4 on the Richter scale, caused no fatalities, but it put an exclamation point on an alarming fact that had come up three months earlier. The prospect of a giant quake is always top of mind for television station managers, and never more so than now.

Univision station KMEX Los Angeles will hold Earthquake Preparedness Week starting Oct. 13, with media outlets practicing communications. A month later on Nov. 13, the USGS and the California Office of Emergency Services, among others, are preparing what is essentially a fake quake, encouraging the whole of Los Angeles to take part in emergency drills when the quake "hits."

Through extensive original reporting, Broadcasting & Cable's Oct. 6 cover story by Deputy Editor Michael Malone takes readers inside the technological and ever-changing plans at local stations to cover the Big One.

For more information, go to: http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6601848.html

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