In this emergency preparedness document, Montana Public Radio defines key station functions in times of crisis, defines various levels of emergency and the stations response at each level.
- Montana Public Radio is an important news source for citizens in our communities of service.
- At all times, Montana Public Radio maintains its journalistic values of accuracy, fairness and independence.
- Montana Public Radio strives to imbue all coverage with context, civility and craftsmanship.
- Montana Public Radio cannot be primary source of news in communities where we have no staff.
Four Key Functions in Times of Crisis
- Vital Information Resource: Montana Public Radio provides calm, factual accounts of what is happening, where it is happening, who is affected and how things are changing, and explains why.
- Communication Lifeline: Montana Public Radio saves lives by relaying critical information to and from affected parties.
- Early warning beacon: Montana Public Radio saves lives and property by transmitting timely, reliable information that prevents harm.
- Community Forum: Montana Public Radio connects citizens, giving them a way to come together, share concerns and support one another during difficult times.
Plan for Decision Making – Assess, Mobilize, Air
- Assess: the first person aware of the news notifies news management. Management sets appropriate response level.
- Mobilize: Studio staff is the first need – to feed air. Newsroom staff is the second need – to feed studio. Field staff is next – to feed newsroom and studio.
- Air: Provide summaries promptly. Present facts calmly, carefully. Repeat as necessary. Adjust coverage proportionately to severity, interest and resources.
Five Emergency Response Levels
- Low, normal format
- Medium-low, updates in format
- Medium-high, updates break format
- High, limited extended coverage
- Ultra-high, unlimited extended coverage
Emergency Level One
Lowest response level Normal format Localized situation Air can wait.
- Assess: Situation qualifies if “yes” is the answer to these questions:
- Does the emergency directly affect few people (1-4)?
- Is it clear the emergency isn’t becoming worse?
- Can public curiosity wait until a scheduled newscast?
- Mobilize: News Director assesses response. News anchor feeds air in newscasts. News reporter covers if assigned.
- Air: Regularly scheduled newscasts