Tag Archives: Weather

Facts about tornadoes

From FEMA:

Quick facts you should know about tornadoes:
  • They may strike quickly, with little or no warning.
  • They may appear nearly transparent until dust and debris are picked up or a cloud forms in the funnel.
  • The average tornado moves Southwest to Northeast, but tornadoes have been known to move in any direction.
  • The average forward speed of a tornado is 30 mph, but may vary from stationary to 70 mph.
  • Tornadoes can accompany tropical storms and hurricanes as they move onto land.
  • Waterspouts are tornadoes that form over water.
  • Tornadoes are most frequently reported east of the Rocky Mountains during spring and summer months.
  • Peak tornado season in the southern states is March through May; in the northern states, it is late spring through early summer.
  • Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3 pm and 9 pm, but can occur at any time.

You can learn more about tornadoes and how to prepare for them here: http://www.ready.gov/tornadoes

Staying safe in thunderstorms

In my oft occurring indoor moods, I exclaim “Outside is dangerous!”, when I see news stories about folks getting struck by lightning or getting lost in the mountains. OK, I really do love the outdoors but I also believe that some amount of caution should be used.

Frankly, especially when you’re in a first responder role or other emergency function, you just may not have the choice to come in out of the rain. Or it may just be that a storm brewed up unexpectedly, despite the predictions of our brilliant meteorological friends. It happens.

Do you know what to do to stay safe if you get caught out there? Fortunately, the National Weather Service has some guidelines you can follow:


Remember these tips when working or playing because we all want you to stay safe!

Stuff in the news 7/20/2013 – Social Good

Friend Joining Group Showing Friendship And Togetherness.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

Emergency Planning for Vacations

From FEMA….

Its summertime! Kids are out of school, parents and adults are taking advantage of the warm weather and planning vacations locally and outside of their area.  Some people live in areas where there is minimal risk of weather causing a major effect on the planning and excitement of the vacation, so when they move to other parts of the country or outside of the U.S., preparedness needs to be considered.

Vacationers must be aware of their surroundings and ensure proper precautions are made in emergency planning for their vacation.  Below are helpful tips shared on the National Preparedness Coalition discussion board when preparing for vacation.

  • Have copies of your travel documents and passports available with you.  Make electronic copies for back-up purposes.
  • Check weather for your vacation destination.
  • Consider purchasing travel insurance when traveling to areas with known risks such as the Caribbean during hurricane season.  Make sure natural disasters are covered in the travel insurance.
  • Pack an emergency kit that includes first aid supplies and any prescriptions.
  • Heed the warning. Follow the lead of the residents when warning siren or advisories are made.

Illinois Emergency Management Agency has declared June, Vacation Preparedness month, to read more on the initiative and their tips click here.

Stuff in the news 6/24/2013 – 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/

Stuff in the news 6/21/2013 – 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/

  • Santa Fe Opera House was named one of the world’s best opera houses by Four Seasons Resorts. No surprise to any of us here but nice to see: Where Is the World’s Best Opera House?
  • Apparently, the Opera isn’t enough to keep people living here. “Not only does Albuquerque lead the nation in losing jobs, it’s also one of the leaders when it comes to losing people, as in people moving away. It’s a double whammy haunting the state’s deeply troubled economy.” It’s more than job loss, though – people are even leaving to retire.  Record number of people moving away from Albuquerque.
  • New Mexico ranked number 8 in the top ten solar states, based on solar incentives; utility policies; interconnection; and net metering. Interesting that 4 of the top 5 were all eastern ones. Didn’t see that coming.
  • OK, so putting this in the New Mexico post is a bit of a stretch but the question was posed to Outside by someone in Santa Fe and I’m sitting in Hillside Market Cafe again, so there ya go. Q: How much caffeine is too much? 
  • Megafires seem to be expected in NM. “Scientists studying a prolonged and severe drought in the southwestern U.S. say that extensive damage done to trees in that region portends what lies in store as other forests worldwide face rising temperatures, diminished rainfall, and devastating fires.” — Megadrought in U.S. Southwest: A Bad Omen for Forests Globally (Hat tip Jim O’Donnell)
  • If you never got over to The Legal Tender in Lamy before it closed (I’ve blogged about it here), another chance is coming: Judge gives Legal Tender green light to reopen. Is it too much to hope that Santa Fe Southern Railway makes a comeback, as well?

Debunking Tornado Myths

From FEMA:

Several myths about the nature of tornadoes have long existed and serve as a hindrance to preparedness. Help dispel these commons myths in your community and share via Facebook.

Myth: Areas near rivers, lakes and mountains are safe from tornadoes.

Fact: No terrain is safe from tornadoes. For example, a tornado swept through Yellowstone National Park leaving a path of destruction up and down a 10,000 ft. mountain.

Myth: The low pressure with a tornado causes buildings to “explode” as the tornado passes overhead.

Fact: Violent winds and debris slamming into buildings cause most structural damage.

Myth: Windows should be opened before a tornado approaches to equalize pressure and minimize damage.

Fact: Opening windows allows damaging winds to enter a structure. Leave windows alone; instead, immediately go to a basement, interior room or bathroom without windows.

For more information, visit http://www.ready.gov/tornadoes or read NOAA’s Tornado Guide.

Be a Force of Nature during National Severe Weather Preparedness Week

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic Atmospheric  Administration (NOAA) partnered to designate March 3-9, 2013, as National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, and is calling upon all Americans to Be a Force of Nature.

The Red Elm is committed to Being a Force of Nature and pledges to do so by:  knowing our  risk, taking action, and being an example for our families and community by sharing the steps we took. Severe weather can strike anywhere and at any time.

Just last year, there were more than 450 weather-related fatalities and nearly 2,600 injuries. Each time severe weather threatens we hear stories of ordinary Americans who do the extraordinary to save loved ones – a mother protecting her children by shielding them from flying debris, a homeowner opening up his storm shelter to neighbors, neighbors helping a senior in a wheelchair get to a safe shelter, individuals ensuring friends are aware of the current watch or warning in their area.

Tornadoes struck approximately 46 states, caused over $1.6 billion in damage and nearly 70 fatalities. There were more than 935 tornadoes in 2012, with 206 in April alone. While April and May are peak months, tornadoes happen all year round.

Building a Weather-Ready Nation requires that every individual and community take action because severe weather knows no boundaries and affects us all. Be a Force of Nature by making a public pledge to be prepared at ready.gov/severe-weather.

What can you do to Prepare?

Knowing your risk, taking action and being an example by sharing your knowledge and actions through your social network are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared and assist in saving lives.

  • Know Your Risk: The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you and your family. Every state in the United States has experienced tornadoes and severe weather, so everyone is exposed to some degree of risk.
  • Check the weather forecast regularly and visit ready.gov/severe-weather to learn more about how to be better prepared and how you can protect your family during emergencies.
  • Pledge and Take Action: Be Force of Nature by taking the Pledge to Prepare at ready.gov/severe-weather. When you pledge to prepare, you will take the first step to making sure that you and your family are prepared for severe weather. This includes filling out your family communications plan that you can email to yourself, putting an emergency kit together, keeping important papers and valuables in a safe place, and getting involved.
  • Obtain a NOAA Weather Radio, and check to see if your cell phone is equipped to receive  Wireless Emergency Alerts and sign up for localized alerts from emergency management officials.
  • Stay informed by having multiple sources for weather alerts – NOAA Weather Radio, Weather.gov, and Wireless Emergency Alerts. Subscribe to receive alerts at www.weather.gov/subscribe.
  • Be an Example: Once you have taken action and pledged to Be a Force of Nature, share your story with your family and friends. Create a video and post on a video sharing site; post your story on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, comment on a blog, or share through any other social media site. Technology today makes it easier than ever to be a good example and share the steps you took to help us achieve the vision of a Weather-Ready Nation.

Join us today and pledge to prepare for the severe weather in our area.

Information on the different types of severe weather such as tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and flooding is available at www.weather.gov and ready.gov/severe-weather or the Spanish-language web site www.listo.gov.

Should I stay or should I go? Evacuating the elderly during Sandy

It would seem to me that when receiving mixed messages about storm strength, one should err on the side of resident safety. People may second guess your having evacuated but the alternative is this. Just sayin’.

The city health commissioner, Dr. Thomas A. Farley, said he and Dr. Shah believed the storm was weakening and would be no worse than Tropical Storm Irene when they made the initial decision not to evacuate the health care facilities on Friday, Oct. 26, three days before landfall. At that point, there would have been ample time to carry out a full and well-organized evacuation of the nursing homes and adult homes, which would have taken at least two days.

While the National Hurricane Center in Miami had warned of “historic urban flooding” in New York City, local National Weather Service officials issued contradictory public advisories on Friday and early Saturday that said there would be only “moderate flooding.”

Inside the city’s emergency management center, the local weather officials reported that the storm surge would be similar to the one during Tropical Storm Irene — four to eight feet.

An eight-foot surge was an important marker: after Tropical Storm Irene, Dr. Shah and Dr. Farley had said in interviews that they believed many nursing homes and adult homes could not withstand a surge of that level.

But Mr. Bloomberg, at a news conference on Oct. 26, announced: “At this point we are not — let me repeat that, not — recommending evacuations of these facilities.”

By Saturday night, the predictions were growing more dire, but Dr. Shah and Dr. Farley said they reconsidered but did not change their decision.

Photos: San Juan Rx Burn 20121017 #Eldorado #nmfire #nmwx

Smoky Sunset in Eldorado

Smoky Night in Eldorado

Smoky Night in Eldorado

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This work by Mar Reddy-Hjelmfelt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.