Tag Archives: Disasters

This video about the West Fork Complex is beautiful

West Fork Complex from Hon schlapfer on Vimeo.

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Stuff in the news 6/28/2013 – New Mexico

Ghost Ranch, Abiqui, NM - Image by M. Reddy-Hjelmfelt http://theredelm.com/

Ghost Ranch, Abiqui, NM – Image by M. Reddy-Hjelmfelt http://theredelm.com/

  • You may not realize just how bad this drought is… Santa Fe now joins the list of towns in New Mexico that are running out of water. Local reservoirs are only at 33% capacity and after McNichols and McClure are tapped out, they’ll have to go to underground aquifers. Pray for rain, guys, and pray hard.
  • Extreme drought is also in its third year in Magdalena, where the water is trickling back but only trickling enough to re-open town for now.
  • In other liquid news, there’s a fight brewing over an arrest made in Tucumcari for an open container of near beer in a vehicle. 5-year legal fight over O’Doul’s beer
  • Have you noticed a lot of people here that have Michigan ties? I wonder if the load officers at CUANM do. The New Mexico Credit Union Assn. of New Mexico teamed up with a Troy, MI firm to release a mobile arcade game called Kirby’s Catch and Save, that features a kangaroo that catches coins in its pocket.
  • The Legal Tender in Lamy is re-opened this week. You can see a video from opening night here. To start out, they will only be open for dinner, Thursday through Saturday. Happy hour goes from 3-5pm and dinner goes from 6-9pm. Here’s the info:

    HOURS & RESERVATIONS

    Thursday, Friday, Saturday
    3:00 PM to 9:00 PM Happy Hour Served: 3:00 P – 5:00 P
    Dinner Served: 5:00 P to 8:00 P
    Reservations Requested Call: 505.466.1650
    email: info@TheLegalTender.com
  • According to the US Department of Energy, “Los Alamos National Laboratory (Los Alamos) is at some risk of seismic events and susceptible to forest fires, including those started by lightning.  Since 2000, there have been two major forest fires that threatened Los Alamos.Although Los Alamos had made progress in upgrading existing nuclear facilities, concerns remained regarding the mitigation of risks related to natural disasters.  Specifically, we found seismic issues affecting the Plutonium Facility that remain to be addressed.  Additionally, we found that fire protection and prevention vulnerabilities in Area G Waste Storage and Disposal Facility (Area G) continue to exist.  Further, we found that several known risks exist with compensatory measures implemented in Area G that may lessen their efficacy in mitigating natural disasters.  Los Alamos’ processes and procedures have not always been fully effective in ensuring that hazards, including natural disasters, are fully analyzed and effectively mitigated. ”
    If it weren’t the Energy Department, one would find this piece of news to be alarmist, not just alarming. But it is from the government agency and more than a bit frightening.
  • The Hepatitis A outbreak, blamed on Townsend Farms Organic Anti-oxidant Blend, has now affected 122 people, including 5 here in New Mexico.

Stuff in the news 6/21/2013 – Wildfires

Fire Danger Level Meme

  • I’ve heard this weather referred to as a new dustbowl many times. I don’t think it’s quite that yet but it surely is a drought and something about which we should be concerned. Cross-posted from today’s New Mexico news. 8 Images to Understand the Drought in the Southwest
  • As if a fire weren’t scary enough on its own…  At Chernobyl, Radioactive Danger Lurks in the Trees: For 26 years, forests around Chernobyl have been absorbing radioactive elements but a fire would send them skyward again – a concern as summers grow longer, hotter and drier
  • And elsewhere on the international front, Wildfire training for African locals
  • According to Mammoth Times, Eastern Sierra and other areas of California are really in for it this year (as if it’s been a cakewalk so far)…  Fire season could be ‘worst in 100 years’
  • ESRI Wildfire Activity Map
    ESRI has a current wildfire activity map up. It says that it’s US but it also shows some activity in Canada and in Central America. I believe it is a worldwide tool.
  • Staci Matlock has a good piece in today’s New Mexican about the Jaroso fire and how the IMT is managing it. It was good to see the inclusion of Luke Sheehy’s passing at the beginning of the piece.
  • In Colorado, a Fireworks Company Says They Can Still Shoot Off Displays Safely
    • ““I hate to go there, but I think that a lot of times, these decisions are made and they aren’t thought out, it’s just ‘Hey, we’ve got fire, we’ve got smoke and this is a good story,’ ” Diaz said.”
      • Yeah, given the fire situation in Colorado, probably you don’t want to go there….

Stuff in the news 6/21/2013 – Wildfires

Fire Danger Level Meme

Stuff in the news 6/20/2013 – Communication

Vintage Telephone

Image courtesy of Daniel St. Pierre / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  • How MomsRising and charity: water have used Storify & Quora for success
  • This piece is a good companion to my previous blog post, To Post or Not to Post. Things you should pay attention to when considering posting in the aftermath of a tragedy… Social Media Moments of Silence – 5 Areas to Monitor During Tragedies
  • Social-media tools allow anyone with a Facebook or Twitter account to play a role in determining how many readers a story reaches. And online communities such as the heavily trafficked Reddit enable readers to submit links to their favorite content, and vote up or down the content submitted by others, thereby changing a given item’s prominence on the site. The result is that the mainstream-media oligopoly is now just one force deciding what “the news” is and how important a story or image might be.“Over the last 100 years, you go from a point when a newspaper would be able to set the tone and the five top stories of the day, to what Walter Cronkite and his cohort would say on the evening news, and then to the explosion of cable news, and now the Internet,” says Gabriel Snyder, 36, the editor of The Atlantic Wire and former editor in chief of Gawker. “We’ve gone from having just a few handfuls of places that might set the agenda to this proliferation that is reaching a near infinite number of people who can define what the top story is today.” — Source: Streams of consciousness: Millennials expect a steady diet of quick-hit, social-media-mediated bits and bytes. What does that mean for journalism?
  • From NPR: “On July 3, the 1977 movie Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope will premiere dubbed in Navajo. The Navajo Nation and Lucasfilm have teamed up to translate the original Star Wars movie into Navajo, the first time a major motion picture has been translated into a Native American language.”
  • Do you really want to know what your cat thinks? Will Translation Devices Soon Allow Us To Talk With Animals? 
  • Use it only for good….  NSA-Style Intelligence Comes To Financial Services Communications
  • “Monitoring electronic conversations just got a lot more powerful with the alliance of Digital Reasoning and OP3Nvoice, announced at SIFMA today.

    Digital Reasoning, with roots in defense and intelligence, can search and understand structured and unstructured data and use it to build a view of underlying entities, facts, relationships and discover geospatial and temporal patterns. OP3Nvoice can monitor audio, video and text conversations across channels including fixed lines, mobile and Skype and search and locate conversations very fast.”

  • Facebook is revamping their Insights again. I don’t know how this is going to affect analytics, comparatively, but you should be aware of the changes: Facebook Studio :: Blog | Updating Page Insights
  • Just one more reason to refrain from using “baby talk” to your infant –  “The little sounds and puffs of air that toddlers often inject into their baby babble may actually be subtle stand-ins for grammatical words, new research suggests.”
  • The [UK] government has published its communications plan for 2013 to 2014, prioritising professional development and innovative partnerships.

Stuff in the news 6/19/2013 – Tech

Image courtesy of Luigi Diamanti/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Luigi Diamanti/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  • Helping out our friends at Village Memorial in Portland, OR. They’ve entered a contest on the NASA Tech Briefs website and we want you to know about it and vote for them, if you would, please. The concept behind their project is that pathogens stay resident on a human body after it is dead, even up to a couple of days. This, of course , can be a health hazard to survivors of a disaster or first responders. Village Memorial has developed an eco-friendly method of removing these pathogens through the use of “mycelium enzymatic digestion”, or to use layman terms, pathogen-eating fungi. Here’s their video from YouTube:
  • There will be a full blog post coming soon but I want to mention this because it’s such a great use of virtual tech. I am at my new favorite hangout, Hillside Market, this afternoon and had a very nice chat with  the owners, Trish and Pam, who was paying barista today. Also here was Fernando Aleo, owner of the now closed Epazote restaurant that used to be on Agua Fria in Santa Fe.  Turns out that one of Fernando’s projects has been to host virtual dinners between Santa Fe, NM and Chihuahua, MX. He creates the menus and has staff in both locations and they meet by Skype. Is that not cool? Definitely looking forward to his new ventures here in Santa Fe!
  • Haiku Deck is one of those apps that I’ve been meaning to try but I’m so averse to doing anything on an iPad that I have to see extremely well, like spreadsheets. Still, this article is making me reconsider, as the author is pretty honest about the shortcomings it has. May major worry is the notion that you have to upload the presentation to their server and it’s not reliable. I do have a pico projector, so I suppose I could present directly from the iPad but it’s not ideal, since I like to share my slide decks.
  • Good stuff in here: 50 Ways Your Business Can Get The Most Out of Gmail
  • ” In the future, a grandmother’s crowning achievement—the thing she never forgets to remind her grandchildren about—will be that Justin Bieber retweeted her once. The framed screenshot of the RT will become a family heirloom.” — Has The Internet Changed Our Definition Of Success?
  • Feedly rocks! The pending integration with Sprout Social will make it even better. Feedly Cloud Available to All Users Two Weeks Before Google Reader Shuts Down, Press Updates With Support
  • Four ways OS X Mavericks will save your MacBook’s battery.
    • Great. Now fix the battery life on the iPhone….

Stuff in the news 6/18/2013 – Wildfires

Fire Danger Level Meme

  • Repeating from yesterday because it’s important…. From our friends at incidentinfo.org: Luke Sheehy was a California Smokejumper. On June 10, 2013 he made his last jump into a fire on the Modoc National Forest. He was killed when a piece of a tree fell on him. He was 28 years old. Here’s how you can help. Please share out this page when you click through.
  • Following up on yesterday’s wildfire post, in which there was piece on people building in fire zones, the state of Colorado has a task force to address the issue. Colorado wildfire task force tackles building in burn zones
  • In 2012, more than 20 wildfires in Utah were caused by target shooting. With a bad fire season upon us again this year in the West, Utah officials have set out restrictions on activity to mitigate risk. The restrictions include a ban on target shooting of exploding targets. Other restrictions are listed in the same source. According to BLM in Salt Lake City, target shooting in dry rocks or vegetation can also spark fires but that doesn’t seem to be included in the restrictions just set out.
  • Mother Nature Network released a listing of 10 of the Worst Wildfires in U.S. History. While the rankings aren’t actually consistent – some are based on dollar figures, sone on acreage, and some on the most important factor in my opinion, loss of life – it’s interesting reading.
  • More of a fire science piece than a wildfire thing but did you ever wonder how fire works in space? Here’s What Happens When You Light a Fire in Space
  • Generally, I’m skeptical of studies done by pharma companies, large or small. That said, this is a frightening statistic: Three quarters (75 percent) of the surveyed firefighters/EMTs are more concerned about dying of a heart attack than in the line of duty. This is International Fire/EMS Health & Safety Week. Why is it harder to accomplish our personal health goals than a work-related task or project? Here’s a great story on a Delaware teen who’s trying to help. Be sure to also  click-through to the Heart Healthy Firefighter program!

Stuff in the news 6/17/2013 – Wildfires

Fire Danger Level Meme

  • NM Fire Info has been posting the link to the NIFC daily situation report on Facebook, since we got hot and heavy into fire season. It occurred to me that if someone asked me, I don’t know that I’d be very good at explaining it to someone. You know me – when in doubt, look it up. Here is a link to a PDF document on NIFC that explains what’s in there:  Understanding the Information Provided in the National Incident Management Situation Report (IMSR)
  • Speaking of things I use but am sometimes at a loss to explain, I am in search of a good explanation of how to read a fire map. If you can help me find one, please post the link in a comment. I promise to give you credit when I include it in the next stuff in the news post 🙂
  • Using the term “scurried” for residents trying to put out this fire may have been a poor choice of words. Flagstaff juveniles burning ants start wildfire
  • Here’s one of those articles that is policy-related and something we all ask from time to time, I think. The topic just came up in casual conversation this past weekend in the context of building in flood-plains. I don’t have an answer but I think these sorts of pieces are important to read and discuss. It’s always important, when doing so, to dig all the way back to the original sources, though, especially given the title of the piece. Why does the government encourage people to build homes in wildfire zones?
  • Ummm, ewwwww….  Firefighters doused with retardant during wildfires at the Black Forest Fire in Colorado.
  • Those of us who live in the West have already pretty much figured this out but… Explosive and expensive wildfires in Colorado becoming `new normal’
  • From our friends at incidentinfo.org: Luke Sheehy was a California Smokejumper. On June 10, 2013 he made his last jump into a fire on the Modoc National Forest. He was killed when a piece of a tree fell on him. He was 28 years old. Here’s how you can help. Please share out this page when you click through.

FEMA: Social Media Affects Disaster Management Playbook

via FEMA….

Twitter and Facebook are growing ever more popular in providing individuals, first responders and the entire emergency management community with the latest disaster information. Social media was definitely a go-to source for major disasters such as Superstorm Sandy and most recently for the tornadoes in Oklahoma.

Recent research shows that the old playbooks on disaster management will need to be revised to include a social media plan.  According to Scientific American, researchers have now begun compiling and publishing data to show the impact that social media has on disasters. Lawmakers and security experts are now assessing the data to see how emergency management can adapt to the trends.  Compiled below are some ways to jumpstart your disaster management playbook to align with social media:

  • Build a social media strategy that is adaptable to a variety of hazard situations;
  • Establish a consistent hashtag on Twitter so people can follow the conversation;
  • Ensure you post accurate, not just quick information; and
  • Follow the conversation on social media to debunk any myths right away.

To read the article in its entirety, visit Scientific American.

Understanding Earthquakes and Volcanoes…with snack foods! (Part 1)

With a hat tip to @gailk on Twitter. This is awesome. Oreos are so versatile as a teaching tool, aren’t they?

Red Cross Talks

We loved this blog from our friends at RedCrossPDX in Oregon, we decided to post it.

There are some easy ways to demonstrate how volcanoes and earthquakes work! Last year I was fortunate to work with Oregon State’s Robert Lillie, a Professor of Geology and Public Interpretation. To help the public understand how earthquakes and volcanoes are created with plate tectonics, he developed some simple visuals using snack foods. The first part in this two part series will discuss plate boundaries using double-stuffed Oreo cookies.

Simulating plate boundaries with Oreo cookies. The upper cookie is the lithosphere, the creamy filling the asthenosphere, and the lower cookie the lower mantle. Carefully remove the upper cookie with a “twisting” motion. Slide the upper cookie over the creamy filling to simulate motion of a rigid lithospheric plate over the softer asthenosphere. Next, break the upper cookie in half. As you do…

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