Braving the Elements with Jim Cantore
Viewers are used to seeing Jim Cantore and Al Roker on their TVs when bad weather hits. But they aren’t the only ones braving the elements. There is a whole crew of folks with them, from those working the cameras to media relations. We spoke Mon afternoon with Weather director of corporate communications Maureen Marshall, who has been out with Cantore in Battery Park for much of Sun and Mon. She is helping to facilitate interviews with other media during Sandy.
How did you prepare to be in the field?
I have full rain gear—tall boots, water repellent pants, rain coat… not to mention I have about six layers of clothing on because I’m always cold. Then I went and bought water, granola bars and other snacks for the crew and any media who are embedded with us. Every store is closed and sandbagged so there’s nowhere to go if you’re hungry or thirsty. It’s just us and the elements.
What have you seen that you’ll still be talking about 20 years from now?
It’s amazing what these crews go through to keep people safe and informed. They will stay out in unimaginable conditions to show people what it’s like out there so that people don’t try to do it on their own. I hope in 20 years I’ll be able to say I was out with Jim Cantore in what we thought was the scariest, most destructive hurricane we thought possible about to hit New York City… but then it took a turn and went out to sea.
How does Jim spend his time when he’s not doing live shots?
He is shooting seemingly nonstop, between hits for The Weather Channel, NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, NBC affiliates and tons of media interviews with other outlets. He is like the Energizer Bunny—he just keeps going and going. But when he’s not doing interviews, he spends every minute getting updates from the Newsdesk on weather conditions, anything happening elsewhere—whether it’s a mayor about to do a press conference, water levels changing, bridge collapse—the flow of information is constant. And tweeting! Jim tweets constantly with his followers and other meteorologists. He gets great tips from people on Twitter. He’s amazing to watch. He has been doing this for 26 years, so I can’t think of anyone I’d feel safer with as Sandy approaches.