Texas Emergency Management Briefs, Tips and Links
WHEN DISASTER STRIKES, NASA BRINGS THE POWER OF SPACE
By Brian Dunbar, September 7, 2017, NASA
NASA contributed data from satellites and aircraft to track the movement of oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
It's an unsung NASA program that started quietly nearly a decade ago with the promise to save lives and property worldwide.
What if the terabytes of global environmental data streaming down every day from NASA's fleet of Earth-orbiting satellites for researchers studying the intricacies of our planet could be harnessed to aid the people that are hit by major natural disasters whenever and wherever they occur?
It was an ambitious challenge well suited to NASA's strengths – collecting and distributing complex global data from space-based instruments to scientists around the world – but it also pushed the agency outside its comfort zone to work with an unfamiliar community that needed localized information very quickly in ready-to-use products like maps and alerts. At the same time global networks of relevant observing systems were growing, access and sharing of information has increased, and the capacities of users beyond the scientific community to interpret and use the new data to inform decisions has advanced.
HOW TO SURVIVE HURRICANES AND OTHER NATURAL DISASTERS: SURVIVAL TIPS FROM AN EXPERT
By Dr. Chris Reynolds, September 12, 2017, EDM Digest
With only about three months remaining in 2017, this year has proven to be a costly one in terms of natural disasters. So far this year, a total of 85 federal disaster declarations have been issued, dealing with everything from winter storms and flooding to hurricanes and wildfires. The unprecedented scale of these disasters has impacted many in our university community. In a matter of just two weeks, the country was hit by two major hurricanes, resulting in the evacuation of six million people in Texas and another 5.6 million in Florida (where I reside in Tampa). Both Harvey and Irma made landfall as Category 4 storms. And in the west, there are no less than 120 wildfires that have destroyed countless acres of forest and thousands of homes.
MORE THAN $1 BILLION IN FEDERAL FUNDS APPROVED FOR TEXAS SURVIVORS
September 18, 2017, FEMA
Three weeks after the federal disaster declaration for Hurricane Harvey, $1.09 billion in federal funds have been provided directly to Texans to aid in their personal recovery.
The funds include grants to households from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), claims payments from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
HOW H.E.B. TOOK CARE OF ITS COMMUNITIES DURING HARVEY
By Dan Solomon, September 6, 2017, Texas Monthly
As Hurricane Harvey made landfall, organizations, like the Red Cross and Salvation Army, and first responders alike prepared to mobilize to help. And so did another company less known for disaster relief: H-E-B, the supermarket chain out of San Antonio with stores across South and Central Texas. Texans in those parts of the state have a long-remarked-upon fondness for the chain. It's up there with Whataburger and Topo Chico in the hearts of people raised with the supermarket.
But even the staunchest H-E-B enthusiast might have been surprised to see the convoys of trucks, mobile kitchens, and other relief units branded with the store's logos making their way to the affected areas.
EXPERTS SAY 2017-2018 FLU SEASON COULD BE SEVERE
By Dipali Pathak, September 13, 2017, Baylor College of Medicine
If last year's active flu season and this year's severe season in the Southern Hemisphere is any indication of what flu season will look like across the country beginning this fall, then it's important to get vaccinated soon against influenza, according to an expert at Baylor College of Medicine.
The flu vaccine takes about two weeks to provide full protection and is recommended for everyone over the age of 6 months. It is safe for pregnant women to receive the vaccine during any trimester. Pregnant women will pass their antibodies to their unborn child, which will help protect them from the virus during the first six months of their life.
ON EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS: WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED AFTER HARVEY AND IRMA?
By Dan Lohrmann, September 16, 2017, Government Technology
After two monster hurricanes hit the USA within a few weeks, what have we learned about preparing for, responding to and recovering from major disasters? What are governments across America doing now, and what more can be done?
There are many heroes and countless heartwarming stories that will be told for generations, and we can certainly feel good that many lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina have been implemented prior to these 2017 storms.