Shoring up your incident management capabilities for extreme weather events
“One of the most visible consequences of a warming world is an increase in the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events,” reports the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, adding, “The National Climate Assessment (2018) finds that the number of heat waves, heavy downpours and major hurricanes has increased in the United States, and the strength of these events has increased, too.”
Such extreme weather events (e.g., tornados, tropical systems, heavy snows) can challenge even the most prepared and best-equipped emergency managers and their organizations.
In this article we’ll look at some technology and tools that can aid you and your organization in being better prepared and equipped for extreme weather events. For each technology or tool, I’ve identified where it can be used to make one or more of the sections in the incident commander’s general staff safer, more efficient and more effective.
INCIDENT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE (PLANNING SECTION)
Emergency managers must ensure that the software they choose can be used, not just across the public safety agencies in their community, but also across as many non-public safety organizations as possible (e.g., hospitals, schools, public works, military civil support teams).
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Unprecedented Floods Across The United States Are About To Get Even Worse
It’s already been a rough start to 2019 along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers in places like Nebraska and Iowa, where lots of “bomb cyclone” snow and rain has led to record flooding, but the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts that things are going to get worse and more widespread as spring continues.
“The extensive flooding we’ve seen in the past two weeks will continue through May and become more dire and may be exacerbated in the coming weeks as the water flows downstream,” said Ed Clark, director of NOAA’s National Water Center in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. “This is shaping up to be a potentially unprecedented flood season, with more than 200 million people at risk for flooding in their communities.”
NOAA says there is an elevated risk of flooding in the coming weeks for two-thirds of the states, with 25 likely to see moderate or major flooding. The agency defines both terms as involving some level of inundation of roads and structures and requiring evacuations. Major flooding simply means more extensive inundation and evacuations than at the moderate level.
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