Monthly Archives: August 2013

How Superstorm Sandy has Affected People’s Awareness and Desire for Better Hurricane Protection

People still remember the devastating Superstorm Sandy and the painfully slow Hurricane Isaac. Last year’s hurricanes have cost the US billions of dollars in damages and many lives were lost. Because of the effects of the hurricanes last year, more people are becoming aware of the possible dangers to hit the US this year.

According to surveys, about two out of three residents of the Gulf Coast are concerned about their safety in the event of hurricanes and floods. The poll also revealed that 49% of the coastal residents of New York and New Jersey have taken more steps to protect themselves against hurricane and flood after Superstorm Sandy. However, only 21% of the coastal residents of the Gulf Coast and 22% from the Southern Atlantic coast said that the Superstorm Sandy has encouraged them to take more steps to prepare for hurricanes this year.

Possible Actions to Take

Despite the increase in awareness, the survey reveals that not many people have actually taken safety precautions to prepare themselves in the event of hurricanes. That is why the Red Cross and the Weather Channel reminds everyone to have an emergency evacuation plan, emergency kits and other necessities to prepare for this year’s hurricane season.
Tools and resources are now available to better prepare for disasters. The Red Cross has downloadable mobile apps that enable users to gain easy access to information that can be used in the event of emergencies. Families also need to update their evacuation plans. Take into account what each member of the family should do in the event that one is separated from the family. This will involve coordinating with your child’s school and your office. Be aware also of your community’s emergency plans.

Hurricane and Storm Damage Reduction System

Preparing a hurricane protection system is indeed no easy task. There’s the Levee Information Management System created by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East, for instance. This software program allows anyone to see which gates are open or closed. The idea is that when a storm hits near a region, then all the openings must be closed. But it is not always that simple. The process is complicated as many factors need to be taken into account, including wind speed and direction, changes in tide, storm track and other vital information. A mistake could lead to even bigger problems.

This Hurricane and Storm Damage Reduction System is complicated, but it has proven to be quite effective. Last year, when Hurricane Isaac struck, people outside the system suffered grave damages while those within only suffered minor drawbacks, like power outages.
Major changes are also being implemented by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to provide better hurricane protection. For instance, there has been an improvement in the tropical outlooks. The National Hurricane Center will now extend their tropical outlooks to five days forward instead of the 48 hours in the past. This is a useful change as the tropical outlook will indicate where the weather disturbance is located and determine its potential for tropical development.

Widespread Flooding in South Central Kansas, More Rain in Forecast

Several communities in the state of Kansas were grappling with flooded homes, buildings and streets after weekend storms dumped several inches of rain. Officials in Reno County said Monday that portions of their county got up to seven inches of rain over the weekend and that two extended care facilities had to be evacuated due to water being inside.

The Kansas Div. Of Emergency Management urged state residents Sunday to be very careful if planning to travel in central Kansas
and to listen to weather reports. The DEM also said that flash floods could occur very quickly during any significant rainfall which could affect highways, roadways and city streets.

While the city of Wichita got less rainfall than other communities, residents there were still forced to deal with flooding Sunday as several streets including South Meridian and the intersection of West and Pawnees streets were closed due to flooding.

Much worse off than Wichita was the community of Hutchinson as numerous roads in that town were literally turned into rivers. There were many residential streets across Hutchinson washed out from flooding and several motorists were stranded in their vehicles when they were overcome by floodwater. City workers were busy blocking off roadways Sunday night that were flooded while many homeowners in Hutchinson reported that their basements were filled with flood water. The Red Cross set up an emergency shelter in a local church Sunday evening, reporting that it could accommodate several families.

People in several areas of south central Kansas were being urged to stay at home Sunday if at all possible due to the dangers associated with driving through floodwater. Many roadways were left completely impassible Sunday night, even for emergency vehicles. Residents of a manufactured home community in Hutchinson were trapped inside their homes Sunday night as that area was flooded after nearby Cow Creek overflowed its banks.

The National Weather Service said Monday morning that over four inches of rain came down in Hutchinson Saturday night in just an hour and a half. The NWS also warned that yet another round of heavy rain may come down over parts of Kansas Monday and that dangerous cloud-to-ground lightening and hail as large as baseballs is possible as some of the storms moving into the area could be very severe.