TV tops all sources of news about Hurricane Irene in three markets, survey says

Local broadcast TV was the preferred source of news updates and other information by adults in selected communities impacted by Hurricane Irene, according to a newly completed survey from Marshall Marketing conducted for Hearst Television.

The survey polled adults in three television markets — Baltimore, Boston and the Burlington, VT/Plattsburgh, NY, market — impacted by flooding and other damage from the hurricane.

According to the findings, with 39 percent, local TV topped the list of news sources chosen by respondents who were asked, “Where did you first learn Hurricane Irene was approaching your area?” The Internet was second at 16 percent, and all other news sources were cited by 11 percent or fewer of the respondents.

Television again played a dominant role when it came to charting the course of the storm. Sixty-six percent of those surveyed said local TV news was their source of “key or critical information” about the hurricane, the survey found.

The survey also discovered many of the respondents turned to radio for information when they lost power. Sixteen percent said they listened to TV broadcasts on the radio, and 50 percent of respondents said they returned to local TV news as their source of information when power was restored.

Also, mobile technology helped keep communities informed about the hurricane. The survey said 30 percent of adults received an alert on a mobile device.

Other important findings include:

  • 85 percent of all adults in the markets tracked Irene as it impacted their region
  • 54 percent said they were “very prepared” for the storm
  • 42 percent said they were “somewhat prepared”

When asked, “What would you do differently the next time a hurricane or storms are headed for your area?”, the top two responses were, “Nothing,” at 44 percent, and, “Make sure I have more batteries in the house” at 24 percent.

The survey was conducted Sept. 19-22 and included 1400 respondents — 500 each in Baltimore and Boston, and 400 in Burlington/Plattsburgh.