SUFFOLK, Va. (WVEC) – During hurricane season, 13News Now often speaks with experts about the best way to deal with the fallout from severe weather. The top advice from those experts is to make a plan before storms become a real threat to our area.
Like many residents of Hampton Roads, 13News Now is headquartered in an area that can be impacted by severe weather like a hurricane.
"Our studio in Norfolk is in a low-lying area. There' s real chance that we might have to evacuate this facility, so we test it every year," the said Doug Wieder, Executive News Director for 13News Now.
Wieder was on hand Wednesday morning from the Suffolk neighborhood of Driver, home to the emergency backup operation for 13News Now.
Located inside a brick building below the antenna that broadcasts the 13News Now television signal, producers, anchor Andre Senior and meteorologist Evan Stewart put the technology through a battery of tests to make sure they will be operational during an emergency.
"One of the thing that we learned after Hurricane Katrina at our sister-station WWL in New Orleans is how important it is to have a backup facility and we learned from them about what to do it here," said Stewart, who is also the Director of Weather Content for the station.
With 63 years of service to Hampton Roads, most television consumers connect to 13News Now through our over the air signal, but we are actually a network of distribution platforms to which viewers can connection such as the 13News Now app, 13NewsNow.com, Roku app, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram social media pages and YouTube channel.
Along with testing the ability of the backup site to broadcast through those mediums, cameras, and weather computers were also among the systems that were tested.
The ultimate reason for 13News Now's storm plan, said Wieder, is done with one thing in mind – keeping the viewer informed before, during and in the aftermath of the storm.
"I believe very firmly that we have a commitment to our viewers that commitment only becomes stronger during real emergencies like hurricanes."