Where were the media during storm?
To the editor:
During this age of real-time information availability, I was appalled at the lack of valuable news while stranded in my car on the east side of South Mountain on Interstate 70 for more than six hours Wednesday evening.
After leaving Clarksburg at 4:10 p.m. and making my way west on I-270 and 70 I found myself, and many others, sitting in my car just west of Myersville from 5:15 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. During that time I had the opportunity to listen to a variety of local radio stations that provided limited information about traffic — none of which addressed our situation on South Mountain.
Most stations went to regular programming after 7 p.m. I turned off my radio in disgust around 8:30 p.m. My family watched local TV news hoping to give me some insight by cell phone, but coverage was just as useless.
I can understand why we only saw one trooper and a couple snow plows in that six-hour time period — they were busy trying to get everyone moving. But radio stations and TV have the opportunity, and the responsibility, to inform and reassure listeners during events such as this.
WTOP had extensive coverage for its area — local Washington and Frederick County stations take notice! I don't think it's too much to ask for 30- or 60-minute updates, especially when people are stranded in their cars during a snow storm. Acknowledge there's a situation and provide an update on the response from the State Highway Administration, state police or local emergency authorities — not just some generic statement that "plows have been sent out" or "It's a mess out there" or "traffic is at a stand still" — really?
I find it hard to believe that not one electronic news outlet seemed to be aware we were sitting out there. I can only hope that electronic outlets take notice and pledge to do better the next time.
Crucial need for blood in Tri-State area
To the editor:
The treacherous winter weather over the past few weeks in the Tri-State area has had consequences beyond that of closed schools, businesses and roads.
In many communities throughout the United States — and especially in the Hagerstown, Chambersburg, Waynesboro areas, with blood supplies already low — the American Red Cross has had to cancel some 300 blood drives.
This could result in shortages of up to 14,000 units of blood. With bad weather throughout the country there is little opportunity for the Red Cross to import blood from other regions.
All three local hospitals get their blood supplies from the Greater Alleghenies Blood Service Region. In total we use more than 60 pints of blood and blood products every single day in our local hospitals.
It is too late to donate after an accident or serious illness occurs. The blood needs to be on the shelf when the patient comes to the hospital.
If you are a past donor who hasn't given blood in a while, now is a great time to return to this rewarding service to patients, family and friends. If you've never donated or are a regular donor who is eligible to donate again please call 1-800-733-2767 or visit redcrossblood.org to find a blood drive near you.
The need for blood is constant, the gratification is instant. What else can most of us do that will help save the life of another person?
Greater Alleghenies Blood Bank