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What We're Watching: 5/18/12


At the end of each week, we post a "What We’re Watching" blog as we look ahead to the weekend and recap events from the week. We encourage you to share it with your friends and family, and have a safe weekend. 

Wildfires, warmer temperatures, and droughts
We are closely monitoring the ongoing wildfires in several Rocky Mountain and southwest states, working with our state, local and tribal partners to ensure they have the support they need in fighting the fires. The National Weather Service forecast centers are calling for warmer temperatures and drought conditions to continue in states such as Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas, while the Southeast continues to go through a dry spell as well. As you are out and about this weekend, remember to keep flammable items away from dry foliage and vegetation to cut down on the risk of starting a fire.

New director of the National Hurricane Center
Today, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Dr. Rick Knabb will be the next director of the National Hurricane Center, succeeding outgoing Director Bill Read. Administrator Fugate released this statement on the appointment:

Dr. Rick Knabb’s selection as the next Director of the National Hurricane Center showcases the continued coordination and partnership that FEMA has enjoyed with outgoing Director Bill Read. The Hurricane Center has always been a steadfast partner in promoting a message of preparedness while tracking tropical storms and hurricanes and informing the public on their impact. As everyone here at FEMA wishes Bill the best in his new endeavors, we welcome the new partnership with Rick. As we approach the beginning of the Hurricane Season on June 1st, I’m confident that the employees of FEMA and the new leadership and staff at the Hurricane Center will continue to serve the nation well.

Check out NOAA’s website for more on the appointment.

Joplin tornado one-year anniversary approaches
Next week, May 22, will mark one year since a deadly tornado swept through Joplin, Mo. We continue to support individuals, families, and the community affected by the terrible storm – and the recovery continues to be led by those at the local level. This past week, FEMA Deputy Administrator Rich Serino hosted a call (as part of our monthly FEMA Think Tank series) with civic leaders from Joplin to discuss the ongoing recovery efforts. As the nation continues to reflect on this deadly tornado, we hope the many news stories will serve as a reminder of the importance of getting your family, home, or business prepared before a disaster strikes.

While we cannot control where or when tornadoes will occur, we can all take steps now to lessen their impact on our lives. For more on getting prepared before tornadoes or severe thunderstorms, visit

Last Updated: 
06/02/2017 - 09:27