Reporting in a hurricane is dangerous business, and it’s important for journalists to protect themselves and their gear.
A savvy reporter caught viewers’ attention on Wednesday for doing just that as she reported on Hurricane Ian near Naples, Florida, with a condom over her microphone.
WBBH-TV’s Kyla Galer cleared the air on her Instagram story after baffled social media users wondered what they were seeing.
“It is what you think it is,” Galer said. “It’s a condom. It helps protect the gear. We can’t get these mics wet. There’s a lot of wind, a lot of rain. So, we gotta do what we gotta do, and that is: put a condom on the microphone.”
Another local journalist, Jeff Butera of WZVN-TV in Naples, chimed in to help his colleague field questions about the technique.
“We practice safe hurricane reporting,” he quipped. “Yes, it’s a condom. Nothing better to waterproof a microphone.”
The major Category 4 storm made landfall in Florida near Cayo Costa, roughly 90 miles south of Tampa, on Wednesday afternoon. Within hours, it had caused widespread power outages, surging floodwaters, wild winds and significant damage. At least one fatality has been reported.
The storm is expected to move up the coast, bringing a “life-threatening storm surge” on Thursday and Friday to northeast Florida and parts of Georgia and South Carolina.