Who better to share some words of wisdom than those who have been through tough situations and can relate to the unique needs a local public media station faces when it finds itself at the mercy of a disaster. Too many of you out there in #localpbs have been faced with disasters that have affected your station in ways that, prepared or not, you never wanted to face.
In November 2011, PBS Hawaii survived a fire in one of their studios after a light exploded during set up for a shoot a few days later. The station went off air immediately, buildings surrounding the station were evacuated and streets were shut down.
Traffic may have been bad but it was the uncertainty both for the safety of the station employees and their temporary inability serve the community that was of the most concern. Thankfully no one was injured in the fire and there were even station employees who were attempting to contain it until fire officials arrived on the scene.
Now, months after the fire, PBS Hawaii is still recovering. The total cost of the damages was estimated to be in the ballpark of $250,000. One month ago, PBS Hawaii gave a look into how the restoration was going at the station. Here is a look at the video, featuring the station’s VP of Communication, Robert Wong Murray.
Due to these costs, PBS Hawaii began fundraising to assist with the construction of a new building. It was recently reported that the station has risen over $275,000 in grants from local foundations. PBS Hawaii’s new station is expected to open in 2014.
Since the fire at PBS Hawaii, other stations have taken precautions to inform their employees about disaster preparedness. Even the mentioning the word hacking is enough to send people into a tailspin of anxiety. Hacking does occur though and when it happens at a public media station is sends shockwaves through the system. Managers at WyomingPBS had to face this crisis recently but were able to band together to resolve the issue. Moreover some of their station staff is sharing their experience to inform the system about crisis communications, cyber-attacks, best practices and advice for when a crisis does occur.
Thomas Fischer a Web Developer/Graphic Designer at WyomingPBS presented at the 2011 NETA Conference in Kansas City, MO. During his informational session, Pushing the Crisis Button: Making the Best of a Bed Situation, Fischer discussed his firsthand experience dealing a hacking crisis and how best to protect your station. Should you find yourself the victim of a hacking Fischer gave some suggestions based on how the hacking was handled at his station.