Biloxi, MS, April 29, 2010 -- Administrator Fugate sits in the co-pilot seat in a Hurricane Hunter aircraft alongside Major Jeff Ragusa during his visit with the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron (Hurricane Hunters) at Keesler Air Force Base. The Hurricane Hunters provide valuable weather data used by FEMA and other partners to evaluate active weather situations.
This week is National Hurricane Preparedness Week, and we’ve been teaming up with our partners at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to emphasize getting prepared for hurricane season, which starts June 1.
We’ve looked back at various hazards that hurricanes cause, such as storm surge, inland flooding and wind damage. Today, we wanted talk about the full team effort that’s involved in keeping the public informed as severe tropical weather develops or threatens the U.S.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC), in Miami Florida, is the official source for the latest updates on severe tropical weather, and works closely with several office across NOAA. Here’s a quick view of the center’s role, according to Daniel Brown, National Hurricane Center senior hurricane specialist:
The NHC mission is to save lives, mitigate property loss, and improve economic efficiency by issuing the best watches, warnings, forecasts, and analyses of hazardous tropical weather and by increasing understanding of these hazards. The NHC vision is to be America's calm, clear, and trusted voice in the eye of the storm and, with its partners, enable communities to be safe from tropical weather threats.
By using advanced technology such as fully equipped hurricane hunter aircraft, satellites, computer models, and Doppler radar, the NHC works to have most accurate forecast available.
At FEMA, we coordinate closely with NOAA and the NHC to make sure we have the most up to date information so we can be prepared to support American citizens and the rest of the emergency management team. Should a hurricane or tropical storm approach the U.S. or one of its territories, we will take the necessary steps to ensure we’re ready.
FEMA and the NHC are just two members of the team that help citizens, state and local governments, businesses, and faith-based and community groups get prepared for severe tropical weather. As hurricane season progresses, be sure to check back on this blog for more stories about this team in action.
For more information on NOAA’s National Hurricane Center, check out this video, or visit their website. You can stay up to date with the latest forecast from the NHC at http://www.hurricanes.gov/ or on your phone at http://hurricanes.gov/mobile.