The Hurricane Watch – Preparedness Bulletin #6


 
 
Note: This edition of the Hurricane Watch comes to you courtesy of the public affairs division of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (G.E.M.A.). Special thanks to Lisa Janek-Newman, Ken Davis, Buzz Weiss & Kathy Huggins   

 
Preparedness Bulletin #6
                                                                                       June 24, 2010

That You, Alex?

No. Not just yet. But we’ve been closely watching a turbulent and disturbed Caribbean over the past week. A fairly decent wind shear had prevented a series of low pressure systems and tropical waves from developing into tropical storms. But a wave, dubbed Invest 93, by NHC has spawned heavy thunderstorms over the Greater Antilles, and forecasters say it could become a tropical storm over the next couple of days. They’re giving it a 40 percent chance. The storm would be named Alex, but you’ve probably guessed that already. We’ll keep watch.

How Can I Be Overdrawn?  I Still Have Checks

America’s economic woes are being fueled by the rash of natural disasters that have plagued us in recent years. That – according to Dr. J. David Rogers, Hasselman Chair of Geological Engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology. And with a title like that you know he’s got to be credible.

In a recent speech to Federal Reserve Bank officials, Rogers noted the uptick in hurricanes, flooding and earthquakes over the past two decades, which he attributes to natural cycles. Rogers, quoted in the Insurance Journal, says more money has been spent on natural disasters in the last 20 years than the total amount spent in all the years before that.

“The National Flood insurance Program was bankrupted by Katrina and Rita,” says Rogers, “We are underwater in debt from hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters.”

I’ll Exercise, But You Can’t Make Me Watch Richard Simmons!

Approximately 400 personnel from state, local and volunteer agencies will take part in GEMA’s third biennial HURREX exercise next week. The full-scale exercise will evaluate the ability of these agencies and organizations to effectively respond to the needs of those individuals and jurisdictions in the event of a major hurricane landfall along the Georgia coast.

The exercise, which will run June 28-30, will simulate pre-landfall, post-landfall and demobilization phases, and will incorporate all 15 emergency support functions (ESFs). The State Operations Center at Atlanta will be activated along with other support sites in Savannah, Forsyth and Dublin.

The exercise is particularly timely as weather experts are forecasting one of the most active hurricane seasons in recorded history.

So, Define “Active”

AccuWeather’s Joe Bastardi is already re-calculating his predictions – as meteorologists seem inclined to do. He now predicts 18-21 named storms this hurricane season. That’s up from the 16-18 he augured as the season began. Bastardi crawls a little further out on the limb to forecast four named storms in July, with one or two striking the U.S. coast. But remember – it’s all about preparedness and not about the numbers and guesstimates. It only takes one hurricane or tropical storm to spoil the day.

Happy Birthday 

This week marks the 150thanniversary of the formation of the U.S. Army Signal Corps. Now why, exactly, are we celebrating this? Other than the fact that G-mites like cake and ice cream, it’s because the Signal Corps was the forerunner of the modern-day National Weather Service.

Question

Last week we asked what is the average distance that a tropical storm or hurricane travels in the Atlantic Basin? The answer is 1,620 miles. Today’s question – what do Hurricanes Georges, Ivan, Jeanne and Karl have in common?

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