As Florida prepares for Hurricane Irma, a retired Miami Herald reporter approved the publication of a memo he wrote outlining 49 tips for reporting in hurricanes, or other natural disasters.
The following are several key points included in the memo, which Martin Merzer sent out to reporters during his tenure at the Miami Herald before hurricanes:
"If you are not assigned to hurricane duty, do not chase the storm on your own. Editors work hard to bracket a hurricane with reporters and photographers — and managers keep very close track of those people. If no one knows where you are, no one can go find you if you get into trouble."
"Again, don't be an idiot. If you are hurt or dead, we can't get your stuff online or into the paper."
"Don't stand in standing water. Let the other idiots get electrocuted — we don't need them anyway. You, we can't replace because we're in a hiring freeze. Also, if you die, we need to fill out a lot of messy paperwork."
"Start writing as soon as you possibly can. It is always easier to modify or update a standing story on deadline than to start from scratch. Your frequently updated online story helps you here."
"Writing: Relax. Take a deep breath. Just tell the story, simply and completely and with a sense of humanity."
Read the complete list here.
Hurricane Irma, which is once again a Category 5 storm as of Friday evening, is expected to make landfall in Florida by Sunday morning.