Share Your Story
Recording a Hurricane-related interview couldn’t be easier: You invite an interviewee to share their story and follow our steps to sharing that story with us at Dorian and Beyond.
Dorian and Beyond gives the survivors of Hurricane Dorian in The Bahamas—as well as Bahamians abroad during Hurricane Dorian, international first responders, and NGO workers and volunteers—typically two at a time, the opportunity to record their Dorian story for archiving on the project’s online database.
Step-by-Step Guide to Recording a Dorian Story
- Select an interview with a story/perspective relating to Hurricane Dorian in The Bahamas.
- Ask the interviewee if they are interested.
- If the interviewee is interested, arrange a date, time, and place for the interview. Having some general information about the interviewee’s Dorian experience would be good. Ask if there is any existing footage, or write-ups relating to their experience that you can review prior to your interview. Make certain that the mutually agreed upon place of the interview is quiet and that there are minimal to no disruptions.
- Communicate the interview plans–preferably in writing, in advance of the recording date. Share with the interviewee as much information as you can about how, where, and what it will be used for, as well as the type of questions you may ask. This is especially important because Dorian was a traumatic experience. The interviewee’s consent–desire to share–must be protected as well as respected at all times.
- Create an outline of questions you’d like to ask. Be prepared to be flexible and responsive. If the interviewee gives you the information to a question you haven’t asked without prompting, skip it. If the interviewee raises a subject of interest that you hadn’t planned to ask a question about but you find it interesting, create a question on the spot.
- Practice with your recording device. Whether you intend to record with a mobile phone, tape recorder or video recorder, become familiar with how the device works.
- On the day of the recording, make certain that your equipment is fully charged. Carry the printed permission forms with you. Have your interviewee sign the forms prior to the interview. Make certain to arrive on-time for your interview.
- Make certain that your interviewee can clearly be heard and/or seen. Lighting is best when the interviewee is facing both the light and the camera. Please see official videos in our directory.
Sample Questions for Recording a Dorian Story
- Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Begin with your name, where you’re from and where you were during Hurricane Dorian.
- How long have you lived on the island?
- What are your fondest memories of growing up on your island?
- What would people be most surprised to know about the island that you grew up on?
- You’ve likely weathered many storms. Are there any storms that stand out from your time living on the island?
- How was Dorian like previous storms in terms of Bahamians’ anxieties, preparation and fear?
- How was your family affected by the storm?
- Did you know anyone that lost their life or is still missing?
- What was the sense of emotional wellness? Hopelessness? Hopefulness?
- Is there a specific story or rescue that stands out in your mind?
- Surely you must have known some of the people over on Marsh Harbour. How did you balance your concern for friends and loved ones with the responsibility of the job?
- Tell us about your organization and your role at the organization. How long have you been here and what is it that you do?
- The frequency of major hurricanes is increasing because of climate change. Are we doing enough to build climate resilience in The Bahamas? What more can we do? What should we do?
- How has your island changed; and what are some ways that it has not changed that you would like to see changed?
- Has your relationship with water/the ocean changed since Dorian?
- What has Dorian taught us?
- What lessons can we all learn from Dorian?
- Given all that has happened over the last two years, what is your hope for your island as other hurricane season approaches? What is your hope for The Bahamas?
Things to Remember When Recording a Dorian Story
- Be interested: Let the interview tell their own story, their way. Let them point you to things of interest in their experience.
- Be open-minded: Create questions that begin with tell me about, can you describe, etc.
- Be patient: Pauses are okay. Don’t worry about silences. Give the interviewee time to think and respond thoughtfully.
- Be helpful: Refer to specific days, p.laces, experiences that are important for the interviewee to share
- Be gracious: Remember that this is a difficult subject. The willingness of the interviewee to participate does not mean that doing so is not hard for them. It means that the interviewee is courageous.
- Be grateful: Nobody owes any of us their story. Whatever an interviewee is willing to share is a priceless gift.
Submit Your Story
Photo by Lyndah Wells © 2019