IT’S A DISASTER! e-news May 2011
This month's topics:
Due to all the recent disasters, and with Hurricane and Wildfire Season coming (and already here in several states) combined with the tough economic conditions, FedHealth is offering special discounted pricing to businesses and consumers through September 30, 2011 and donating to disaster relief efforts at the same time. (see press release)
Normally the business price on our 268-page disaster preparedness and basic first aid manual is 50% off $14.99 list (or $7.50 US) but ... through the end of September, we are discounting the business price to $5.00 each with free customization either in the print process or with peel & stick labels.
We’re also dropping the $14.00 consumer / prepper price down to $7.00 each for individual copies.
The Government / nonprofit / volunteer / school price is still 75% off list (or only $3.50 each) and, as mentioned above, we customize them in bulk at no additional charge.
Even with these reduced prices, nonprofit organizations, volunteer groups (like CERTs, Amateur Radio clubs, etc), K-12 schools, youth groups and others (including bloggers) can still earn 10% - 50% of every order through our easy Affiliate and Referral programs.
PLUS… between now and September 30, 2011 Fedhealth will donate 10% of each new order to relief efforts like Chasing4Life's Disaster Response Team, DERA, U.S. First Responders Association's DRT and others.
With hundreds of thousands of copies of IT’S A DISASTER! in print and millions in cash and match donations to date, FedHealth continues to find collaborative ways to get this data into every home and business in the country while helping fund and support First Responders and volunteers. Please help spread the word...
As we wrote in our Mother Nature’s Fury article in March enews, spring normally brings all kinds of wild weather and chaos like thunderstorms, tornadoes and flooding .. and boy, did it ever … and it’s still going strong.
A major player in this weather action is the winding down of La Niña, a cooling in the Pacific Ocean. In April the Climate Prediction Center reported La Niña has weakened for the third straight month and will continue to bring warmer and drier air to the U.S. South and cooler conditions in the North until it fades completely by June. These cooler climes butt heads with the warm, moist Gulf air causing major storms and tornado outbreaks.
Below are some stats and free resources that could help you and your communities prepare for the unexpected and check out our 268-page book that helps families and businesses prepare for and respond to many types of disasters and emergencies and can be customized for giveaways or resell. Note: Some resources below also appeared in March enews but repeating here with new statistics.
FLOODING (part 2):
Did you know...
…in February NOAA had predicted a very busy flood season thru central US due to the extensive amounts of snowfall this winter. Combine that with all the spring rains and the swollen Mississippi River and its tributaries have already swamped 3 million acres of Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi.
Plus much of this water is polluted with chemicals, pesticides, and other pollutants now surging down towards the Gulf of Mexico.
…as of Monday 5/16, Louisiana has opened 15 of 125 floodgates at Morganza Spillway to give residents and wildlife the chance to escape and to maintain the integrity of the spillway itself. And at Bonne Carre Spillway, which feeds into Lake Pontchartrain, 330 of 350 bays were open, with water coursing through it well above its rated capacity. The powerful water could affect nearly 25,000 people and hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland before communities see the Mississippi start to crest.
…flooding has postponed or canceled plantings of rice on 300,000 acres of farmland in Arkansas, which represent 10% of total rice acreage in the US.
…at least three nuclear power facilities along the river are also threatened by record flooding, including two plants in Louisiana, and another in Mississippi.
…parts of Alaska are flooding due to ice jams and snowpack melt and Idaho snowpack was way above average so if it warms too rapidly this month, many cities and levees could be impacted.
Flood Safety Tips (3-pg PDF from our book) - click here
FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/
Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety Flood page www.disastersafety.org/risk?riskId=2
NOAA’s Flood Safety page at www.floodsafety.noaa.gov
Ready Campaign flood safety awareness page www.ready.gov/floodawareness
also in Spanish at www.listo.gov/floodawareness
TORNADOES (part 2):
May is typically a peak month for tornadoes and, according to The Weather Channel, there are several ingredients that frequently come together to trigger severe weather outbreaks. First, May is warmer and more humid both in the south and into the Midwest. Second, the jet stream is still very strong pushing cold, dry air into the warm, humid areas.
The last ingredient, per TWC, is the role of near-surface boundaries, including warm and cold fronts, dry lines, pre-frontal troughs, and thunderstorm outflow boundaries. In non-geek speak that basically means surface winds can force warm, humid air to rise and spin.
Did you know...
...even though the National Weather Service (formerly called the Weather Bureau) has been tracking storms since 1870 .. they were not allowed to use the word tornado in its forecasts for fear of panic until 1950..?!
...the US averages 1,200 tornadoes a year and the record number of twisters was set in 2004 with 1,817 (also a La Niña year)?! As of May 9th there have been an estimated 1,048 tornadoes this year (875 in April alone)… and May is typically the most active month in southern US.
...the Tuscaloosa-Birmingham tornado during the April 2011 event had a maximum width of 1.5 miles and a track 80 miles long?!
...the 1925 Tri-State Tornado rode a straight-line path for 3.5 hours across 219 miles of Missouri, southern Illinois and Indiana, making it the longest single tornado track anywhere in the world?! With a mile-wide diameter it looked wider than it was tall and caused 695 deaths -- a record for a single tornado -- and injured thousands.
Tornado Safety Tips (3-pg PDF from our book) - click here
Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety www.disastersafety.org/risk?riskId=7
NOAA Tornado safety tips www.spc.noaa.gov/faq/tornado/safety.html
More NOAA tips www.nssl.noaa.gov/edu/safety/tornadoguide.html
The Tornado Project Online! www.tornadoproject.com
Did you know...
to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), as of May 16 the
nationwide number of fires year-to-date was 25,804 which have burned
almost 2.7 million acres (over 1 million hectares).
...Texas was recently denied disaster assistance even though fires have consumed more than 2 million acres and damages have been estimated in excess of $500 million to date? The Administration has provided 25 wildfire management assistance grants to help offset some firefighter costs, but without a declaration the residents and local governments are on their own.
And unfortunately the southwest, south-central US and Florida are all expected to have a busy summer due to extreme droughts.
Wildfire Mitigation Tips on USFRA
Wildfire Safety Tips (2-pg PDF from our IT’S A DISASTER! book) - click here
US Fire Administration safety tips www.usfa.dhs.gov/citizens/focus/wildfire.shtm
National Interagency Fire Center www.nifc.gov
National InciWeb www.inciweb.org
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~AGENCIES: AN IDEA FOR YEAR-END & GRANT DOLLARS
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Connor Cusack, MPA - Education Management Professional and Ric Skinner, GISP - GIS and Emergency Management Professional are conducting a brief survey of K-12 public, private and parochial schools to gauge the current level of emergency management, disaster preparedness and crisis response, and identify areas where these programs and actions need improvement.
Chasing4Life's Disaster Response Team is comprised of volunteers from all over the country that have undergone training, have backgrounds in emergency response work, or have specialties in areas related to disaster response and recovery. From Florida to Haiti, from North Carolina to Iowa, the team's members have responded to disasters around the world. Joining the C4LDRT team will require online classes, trainings, assembling your response gear, and assisting in recruiting new members as well as supporters. Skills and interests needed include, but are not limited to: severe weather tracking, debris removal, counseling, heavy equipment operation, construction, search & rescue, medical, fire, communications, hazmat, education and more. If you are interested in joining C4LDRT or simply becoming a supporter or a sponsor, visit www.chasing4life.org .
Depiction recently released version 1.3, which is the most significant upgrade since the mapping, simulation and collaboration software was originally launched. Watch Depiction’’s webinar and learn more at www.depiction.com/webinars/depiction13/
Formidable Footprint - A National Neighborhood Exercise Series - Members of CERTs, Neighborhood Associations, Faith-based groups and local Citizen Corps can join the Formidable Footprint tabletop exercise on Influenza Pandemic on Sat May 28, 2011 from 9:00AM - 4:00PM EDT. Note: It is only a 3-hour exercise so your group can be scheduled within the 9a-4p timeline as needed. For more information and to register for the 2011 exercises visit www.formidablefootprint.org
Also... join Depiction on Thursday, May 26 for the required pre-exercise webinar where valuable information and guidelines regarding exercise participation will be provided. http://depiction.com/webinars/formidable-footprint-may
Japan Updates: Officials confirmed the core of the heavily damaged reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant melted 16 hours after the March 11 mega-quake and tsunami rocked the complex in northeastern Japan. Plant officials also believe reactor Nos. 2 and 3 suffered partial meltdown as well despite their cooling efforts and continue to say “a large-scale release of radioactive materials is unlikely”. Also … soon Unit 1 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station will be enveloped in a special “emergency cover”. This would serve as a short-term measure, pending the eventual installation of a long-term “radiation shield”, according to TEPCO. Workers will erect a steel framework and place a giant polyester tent-like cover around the reactor building. Similar covers will be placed around units Nos. 3 and 4.
Previstar has extended their CEMPlanner Partnering for Preparedness program through June 30, 2011. Previstar is offering their emergency planning software service at no cost to city and county Emergency Management and Public Health organizations to bolster their planning processes and emergency plans in 2011. The complimentary service lasts for 12 months and includes training and customer support. At the end of the term, organizations can purchase a license for continued use of the service or cancel the subscription with no obligation. To learn more about this free offer visit the Previstar website at www.previstar.com or contact Joe Gordon at 813-244-7774.
...the two tsunami warning centers NOAA operates are "remarkably outdated" and need upgrades, said John Orcutt, professor of geophysics at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The Alaska center currently runs on a PC-based architecture using the Microsoft Windows XP operating system while the Honolulu centers runs on Unix architecture. NOAA wants to develop a common architecture that will make it easier to introduce technology for both centers. Orcutt estimated design of the architecture and purchase of new hardware would cost about $2 million, a small investment to improve the warnings of potentially devastating events. Source: NextGov
…the 1958 Lituya Bay megatsunami occurred on July 9, 1958, when a landslide caused 30 million cubic meters of rock and ice to fall into the narrow inlet of Lituya Bay, Alaska. The mass of rock striking the surface of the bay created a giant splash, which sent water surging to a height of 1,720 feet. In addition to this initial splash, a giant tsunami at least 100 feet tall swept across the bay. Source: USC Tsunami Research Group
The humble algae -- Closterium moniliferum -- might one day soon be used to help separate strontium from calcium in nuclear waste; if successful, the process could lead to a reduction in the amount of nuclear waste that is left over from nuclear power facilities, and might even help in cleanup when accidents occur such as the one in Chernobyl, Ukraine, that spewed great quantities of strontium into the surrounding environment. Source: Homeland Security Newswire (hat tip to GCIS)
AT&T Remote Mobility Zone (ARMZ) can provide recoverable GSM voice and data equipment that can be dynamically deployed in a disaster area where mobile coverage has been disrupted. It can also be set up in any area where AT&T cellular coverage is not available, and where AT&T is licensed to provide cellular service. www.wireless.att.com/businesscenter/business-programs/mid-large/remote-mobility-zone.jsp
Prepper Broadcasting Network, "PBN", a new prepper radio site launched Sunday 5/15/2011 on Blog Talk Radio. While the broadcast is new, those involved in developing PBN have been doing podcasts for some time. PBN hosts include Dr. John Waterman with "The Waterman Files", Erin Dakins with "Twisted Radio", Lynna Ekstrom with "The Other Side...A Preppers Path", Tom Martin with "American Preppers Network", Kurt Wilson with "The Armchair Survivalist" and Glen Martin with “Backwoods - Funny Bone News, Sports, and Music”. Steve Sickinger with “Ranting From Reno” starts 5/25/2011 and more shows will be added to the PBN line-up soon. www.prepperbroadcasting.com
Weather Dude (a.k.a. Meteorologist Nick Walker from The Weather Channel) is raising awareness of severe weather preparedness through talks at community events and by singing original weather songs that drive his safety message home to young people and their families. Now, for the next four months, Walker will donate 100% of the proceeds of his CD sales and music downloads to aid victims of the southern tornadoes. Walker has designed the recording to be a conversation-starter for parents to talk about severe weather with their children or teachers with their students, encouraging them to plan ahead for severe storms. For better understanding and application of each song's message, Walker has written an online companion guide to the CD with further tips to help families prepare for storms. www.wxdude.com/order1.html
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