Three R’s of Dealing With Tragic Events

It’s impossible to prepare in advance for a disaster or tragedy. They’re not on your show prep planning sheets and they aren’t published in the calendar of upcoming events.

But you can be prepared by having a process for how to react in the face of an emergency.

Eric Rowe is the producer of the Roula & Ryan Show on KRBE/Houston. He shares his thoughts Three R’s their show uses when there’s a disaster, locally or nationally.


What is the mood of your city? Of your target audience? How are they feeling today? If it’s a local disaster, be there with information that is essential for their lives today. Be the pulse of your city. In this case, you’d probably drop everything and focus exclusively on how to serve your audience.


Take charge and react to the situation. You don’t have to have it all figured out, or have any solutions. But you do have to be quick. Be the source your audience turns to. Figure out ways to get things done.

If you need to get a blood drive going, be the show that sets it up for your community.


Be real. You don’t have to always tell a joke or be funny to be entertaining.

The most powerful radio is when you are yourself and talk about what’s happening in listener;s lives.

If there’s a disaster and you’re worried if your house is going to make it, you can guarantee listeners are thinking the same thing about their house, too.

I’ll never forget Jeff & Jer’s show on the Monday morning after Princess Diana died. They simply said,

“We’re not feeling that great today, and we’re guessing that you aren’t either. So this morning, it’s all about you. Call and get it out. Share your feelings.”

Most of their show that day featured listeners crying, being together with the show they love. It was out of character, and it was powerfully real.

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