If you can’t drive in the same conditions that a TV station’s uplink van, maybe you should not try.
While I was in Naptown, we had some nasty snow and wind.
My '68 Ford wagon (full size beast) was heading in to work on I-65 when a moron in an open-air jeep zips past me.
About a mile down the road, I stopped and offered the idiot a ride (this was open space - no exits near by). He declined. I had not seen any other traffic, so how he expected to survive was not apparent. 1978 - no cell phone.
I’m no TV reporter but my job will often put us up in hotels and take us to and fro on nasty winter nights.
Also, it’s worth noting that on air personnel usually get to work about four hours before they actually go on air. So that gives them a lot off leeway if they take a little longer to get to work.
Feild reporters also work their asses off. Heck, I’d say it’s not unusual for one to pull a 24 or even 36 hour stretch before punching the clock. If a station manager says: “Hey, I need you to stay over and work so-n-so’s shift.” they’re not likely to respond with “Sorry, I got plans with the wife tonight.” If they did, they would be edged out of a job because that’s how competitive the market is.
Reader’s Digest version: Reporters and on air personalities are a VERY determined bunch.
I don’t know about television stations, but my mother worked as a directory assistance operator for the phone company. They had cots stockpiled in case of a major storm. (The building also housed the zero operators and a major switching center, so there were many people who needed to be at work regardless of the weather.) I imagine that a television station might book hotel rooms for its staff for the duration, or any member of staff living nearby might let others stay over.
There are a bunch of different jobs that require people to be there regardless of the weather or other eventualities. Doctors/nurses/EMTs/utility workers and other types of critical support personnel are just some examples. I am in charge of IT support for a facility that makes and distributes surgical kits, some of which are critically important to the waiting patients all over the world, and I don’t have the option of not going to work either just because it snows.
The answer is that you plan for it from your choice of vehicle (a 4-wheel drive SUV with snow tires can get you almost anywhere if you allocate enough time for it). You have pre-made plans for times when your kids’ school is canceled and you leave really early if conditions are that bad. Massachusetts has closed the entire state twice in the past two years so that the snow plows wouldn’t have to deal with unneeded complications from traffic or accidents but people with critical jobs are still allowed to drive if you have to. It isn’t fun but I have never seen routes in the Boston area that are completely impassible to a suitably equipped vehicle and a competent snow driver. You may to go really slow so that you and your vehicle don’t get hurt but you will get there eventually if you allocate a really generous amount of time.
Mass General hospital had a problem recently resulting from literal gridlock that crippled the area as a secondary effect of heavy snow in Boston. Relief employees couldn’t get in so they just put the hospital itself on lockdown so that essential employees that were already there had to stay to make sure the positions were covered until the gridlock abated.
I recall my dad keeping blankets, a shovel and bags of sand in his car trunk during the winter. He was stationed at Ottis Air Base on Cape Cod in the 60’s. We were lucky that the Cape is somewhat sheltered compared to the rest of Mass. I recall a lot of snow and sledding. I was nine when we moved south. Never had to worry about driving in that climate.
We get ice which is worse than snow. We’ve had stuck semis on our Interstates all day.
The same way I do. I drive. If I know it’s going to be nearly impossible to get out of my driveway I stay at my mother’s who is only a mile from work. There has never been anything I couldn’t get to work through. A couple of weeks ago when the governor declared a state of emergency for the storm that fizzled, it made for a very nice commute.
If the conditions are too bad they film from helicopters and reporters in a studio commentate. Most ‘natural disasters’ like floods, earthquakes and volcanoes seem to at least start off being reported from the air.
Ice and snow, unless it’s a historic snowfall, are just as accessible to reporters as they are to the Inuit and polar explorers - there’s lots of suitable equipment to move you on snow and ice.
When I worked for the NHS, we had a plan for snow and I expect that applies to any hospital in most of the world.
In the UK it takes very little snow to bring things to a standstill. One inch will do it if it is unexpected. All the idiots set off to work on normal summer tyres and with little or no experience of driving on snow. Result = chaos.
Our plan involved bringing essential morning staff in early with our own properly equipped vehicles, but keeping some of the night shift on, sending them to the canteen and then to bed if it was really bad. Naturally any patients with appointments would get a phone call to cancel.
Not at all. Crown Vics are horrible in the snow and ice. Some of our vehicles are 4 wheel drive police vehicles like the Explorer police model. If there are not enough to go around they borrow some trucks from DPW. But since none are take home vehicles it doesn’t matter with regards to the OP. I have to rely on my Subaru.
In the early 80’s there was a heavy snow in early March. The St. Louis County Police had no, or few, vehicles that could get them to calls. The TV stations aired that they were looking for drivers with 4WD vehicles to drive them to calls. That’s how they got around for two days or so.
I don’t think this is particularly typical, but all the local news stations here have snow cats. They mostly have them to do maintenance on their mountaintop broadcasting towers during the winter, but a couple of times I recall them running them around town during really bad snow storms. Other than that, though, their reporter cars are all Subarus with snow tires so that’ll get them through the vast majority of stuff.
Crown Vics and the various other big RWD sedans that are typical cop cars are just fine in the snow with a good set of winter tires. If it were that big of a deal, there’s plenty of large FWD and AWD alternatives that the departments in snowy climates would be flocking to. But it isn’t, and they aren’t.
My husband has worked in newspapers for decades. He’s slept on the floor of his office once snowed in to keep getting the paper out. (Even though it’s not like the delivery guys were going to get it to many people!) Of course, in SC things are different. The kind of snow he was trapped by wouldn’t trap most of the country.