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Author: Jessica Stapf
Erica, Rita, Tina, and Sandra aren’t just four of the names in “Mambo No. 5.” In fact, they’re also four female names that either have been or will be used to name hurricanes or tropical cyclones. After seeing some of the uniquely-named storms this season, I decided to do a little research. Here are the six most interesting tidbits I found:Hurricanes used to be named based on their latitude and longitude. The process switched over to using names in order to make the process easier and more accurate.After much debate and some trial and error, the United States started...
Posted On: October 26, 2015
Author: Rafael Lemaitre
All it takes is one.One hurricane. One tornado. One flood, earthquake, or fire to displace a family, upend a business, destroy a school - or worse.  No one is immune to the threat of disasters, and 2014 was no exception. View in FEMA Multimedia LibraryIn March, we witnessed an entire community wiped away from the mudslide that hit Oso, Washington. In August, an earthquake hit Napa damaging buildings and homes.  And in September, severe weather in Michigan generated significant flooding, affecting thousands of families in Detroit, just to name a few.  But how does 2014...
Posted On: March 12, 2015
Author: Craig Fugate, John Podesta
(Editor's note: This post originally appeared on the White House blog.)When Hurricane Sandy hit New York City, the storm sent water cascading into the South Ferry subway station, pouring into the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, inundating neighborhoods from Staten Island to Queens. At Battery Park in lower Manhattan, water reached more than 9 feet above the average high-tide line.One factor fueling the surge -- New York Harbor, where waters have risen about a foot since 1900. We know that rising sea levels, higher average temperatures, higher ocean temperatures, and other effects of climate...
Posted On: January 30, 2015
Author: Todd Davison
Fifteen years after Hurricane Floyd, the images of overwhelming physical, human and environmental impacts are still vivid. The late 1990s was an unprecedented time for North Carolina: Floyd was the sixth hurricane to hit the state in four years. Hurricane Dennis soaked the landscape a few weeks before, and then Floyd dumped 20+ inches of rain. The impacts were devastating: 51 fatalities, about 100 thousand damaged homes, inundated sewage treatment plants, and millions of lost livestock.On the evening of September 17, the day after Floyd’s landfall, I met with Eric Tolbert and Gavin Smith in...
Posted On: September 19, 2014
Author: Cathy S. Haynes
I don’t remember what it was like to work in emergency management prior to Hurricane Hugo. In a strange way, it was the beginning for us and an experience we still remember today. At 6 a.m. on September 21, 1989, Hurricane Hugo was heading for Charleston County and the evacuation order was in full effect. The Charleston County Emergency Operations Center, located in a small cinder block building with a metal warehouse attached, was fully activated. The actual room where we worked was plain and unhardened, hardly enough to withstand a Category 4 storm. Hugo made landfall at 10 p.m., and just...
Posted On: September 19, 2014
Author: Wayne P. Sallade
The 13th of this month marks the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Charley’s unwelcome visit to my community. Yet in many ways, it seems as though it was only yesterday. The Category 4 storm, with sustained winds of 150 mph and gusts to 190, carved a destructive path through the heart of Charlotte County, Florida late in that afternoon and set us on a course of recovery that continues to this day.Not long after this $3.2 billion hit to our county, including the loss of 11,000 residential units, we began referring to Charley as, “Urban Renewal by Disaster,” and the changes in both appearance and...
Posted On: August 11, 2014
Author: Lars Anderson
A year after Hurricane Sandy, we’ve seen countless stories of communities coming together and neighbors helping neighbors to recover from this storm.  While we still have a long way to go, the signs of recovery can be seen across the region.  We remain committed to standing with those impacted as they continue to build back, and will continue to provide all eligible aid as this effort goes on. Visit the New York and New Jersey disaster pages for more recovery updates.
Posted On: October 29, 2013
Author: LT Stephanie Young
Editor's Note: This blog originally appeared on the U.S. Coast Guard Blog.With contributions from Susanna Marking, Office of External Affairs, Federal Emergency Management Agency.As Hurricane Isaac inched towards the Gulf Coast in August 2012, Petty Officer 2nd Class James Hockenberry was assigned to an aircrew tasked with relocating a Coast Guard helicopter outside of the storm’s path. Left behind were his wife and two boys.A flight mechanic at Air Station Orleans, Hockenberry’s duty to respond doesn’t stop when there is a storm on its way and he ensures his family is prepared well in...
Posted On: June 6, 2013
Author: Lars Anderson
We’re kicking off National Hurricane Preparedness Week! Once again, we’ve teamed up with our partners at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to encourage all Americans to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season, which officially starts this Saturday, June 1 and lasts until November 30. Above all, hurricanes are powerful forces of nature that not only cause damage to coastlines, but also hundreds of miles inland as well because of flooding.  The impact of Hurricane Sandy was felt in Puerto Rico, Florida and other parts of the East Coast, and this video shows just...
Posted On: May 27, 2013
Author: Samantha Shokin
Three months ago, if someone had told me I’d spend my first job out of college being interviewed by a Russian news channel in Manhattan, I’d probably think they were confusing me with somebody else.  But now, as a local hire supporting Hurricane Sandy recovery in New York, I’m fully engaged with media and spreading information about disaster assistance.CAPTION: Samantha Shokin being interviewed by Russian Television International at the Sheepshead Bay disaster recovery center.When Sandy struck Brighton Beach, New York’s Russian enclave where I live with my family, it felt like fate was...
Posted On: March 19, 2013