Local Broadcasters and I applaud the essential workers that are on the front line of the COVID-19 crisis threatening not only their health, but also the health of their families. From the medical professionals, first responders, and Army National Guard, to those that are keeping the stores stocked, and essential businesses open for their communities.
For more than 25 years, in my former role as administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency under President Barack Obama and the director of the Florida Emergency Management Division under Governor Jeb Bush and Governor Charlie Crist, I witnessed firsthand the important work broadcast radio and television stations do to keep local communities informed when disaster strikes.
From my experience, I know local broadcasters, too, are on the front line working 24/7 to bring credible and reliable news and information to their viewers and listeners – essential in this war against COVID-19. From hurricanes and tornados, flood and fires, and now a global pandemic, your local radio and television stations do not waver in their commitment. Broadcasters are out in your communities right now to ensure you receive the most critical and up to date information from official sources to keep you and your families safe.
These broadcasters live in your community, they are your neighbors, they are the trusted face you see when you tune into your local news, or the familiar voice you hear when you are in your car. Like many facing economic challenges, broadcasters are also experiencing tremendous financial headwinds, but they are committed to continue to serve their communities to the best of their ability.
I have seen firsthand the heroism of men and women during deadly storms, floods and fires. I have seen disasters wreak havoc in different parts of the country. Today I see more acts of heroes across all fronts. This isn’t about being local, state or federal, this is about America, and local broadcasters are part of the American team. Broadcasters are your most reliable source for information in times like these. Broadcasters are one of you, and together, they will be there with you when COVID-19 waves its white flag. They have kept people safe in times of crisis for decades, and they won’t stop now.
Craig Fugate served as President Barack Obama’s FEMA administrator from May 2009 to January 2017 and served as Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Gov. Charlie Crist’s emergency management director from 2001 to 2009.