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Author: Jessica Stapf
Bravest and finest. Two words you’ve seen associated with police officers and firefighters. (In fact, that’s what they’re referred to in New York City. New York’s bravest are those with the FDNY, the finest are with NYPD.)Those are also two words we’d often use to describe the first responders with know and work with.As floodwaters leftover from Hurricane Matthew continue to rise in some places, we have deployed some of the country’s bravest and finest into those waters to help impacted communities.Over the last several days, the ten teams we’ve...
Posted On: October 10, 2016
Author: Jessica Stapf
It’s officially fall and many people are going pumpkin picking, heading out to apple orchards, and drinking pumpkin spice lattes.But, did you know that the start of fall isn’t the end of hurricane season? It actually doesn’t end until after Thanksgiving.In that vein, we’re quite busy around here because right now we're keeping our eye on Hurricane Matthew in the Atlantic.According to the National Hurricane Center's office in Miami, Matthew is on a course heading straight for Haiti, Cuba, and Jamaica and those areas are already seeing the impact.1,2 His track is...
Posted On: October 4, 2016
Author: Michelle Breeland, Craig Crosby
As several storms have recently swept through the Atlantic and Pacific, it’s hard to believe that it has been a full five years since Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee struck the East Coast. As the director and deputy director of Region III’s Individual Assistance Branch, we deployed to Maryland to work directly with the state and support their efforts in responding to and recovering from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.While the storms brought many tragedies, many were avoided because of everyone’s work, including state and federal agencies, voluntary agencies...
Posted On: September 14, 2016
Author: Jessica Stapf
Walking through a pair of frosted glass doors, you immediately come upon a sea of red and blue vests swarming about a collection of brightly lit computer monitors. A visual treat. A wall of televisions blast the latest weather updates and the "tick-tock" (or "schedule" for folks outside of the agency) for the next round of reporting. Our main role as a coordinating agency is shown best in this room—known as the National Response Coordination Center.Here, where rows upon rows of rolling office chairs sit tucked neatly behind their desks on normal days, is where a lot...
Posted On: September 2, 2016
Author: Jessica Stapf
Labor Day weekend is a time for a lot of people to head out on fun and relaxing vacations and celebrate the last “official” days of summer. Here, it’s historically a time we find ourselves at our busiest. Labor Day lies right smack dab in the middle of peak hurricane season—and if you’re like us and have been following the forecasts, you might know a little bit about what’s on our radars.Right now, we’re following several different storms forecast to hit two vastly different areas: the Big Island of Hawaii and the Big Bend of Florida. (For those of us...
Posted On: August 31, 2016
Author: Jessica Stapf
It only takes one ticket to win the lottery. It only takes one second to tell a friend you made it home safe. It only takes one storm to change a community forever.We’ve seen it time and time again; instances of just one storm making a mark on a community. We know many of those storms and communities by name.Hurricane season is long. On the Atlantic side, it runs from June 1 through the end of November. Some seasons are more active than others; with multiple storms making landfall in one season. Some seasons don’t have any storms make landfall. Some, well, they only have one. And...
Posted On: June 1, 2016
Author: Craig Fugate
Editor's Note: This post first appeared on the White House Blog. Today we released the 2016 National Preparedness Report, an important guidepost in our work to build a stronger, more resilient America. The findings of this year’s report are significant. This vital information is analyzed to gauge the progress that community partners—including all levels of government, private and nonprofit sectors, faith-based organizations, communities, and individuals—are making to prepare for a wide array of threats and hazards.  We should be prepared for all hazards, from...
Posted On: May 31, 2016
Author: Helen Lowman
Unlike most natural disasters, hurricanes rarely take us by surprise. There’s a season (June 1 – November 30) when forecasters can see hurricanes developing off the coast, hundreds of miles away, and  can track them as they move closer to land. However, when they hit, high winds, heavy rainfall, storm surges, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, and even tornadoes are all part of the hurricane package that can really pack a punch. That’s why if you live in an area where hurricanes are a threat, now is the time to prepare. Watch this short animation about hurricane...
Posted On: May 19, 2016
Author: Craig Fugate
Editor's Note: This post originally appeared on the National Hurricane Center's "Inside the Eye" blog. Hurricane season is almost here. The season officially starts June 1 and ends November 30. During these seven months, forecasters watch hurricanes as they develop hundreds of miles off the coast. While we may see a hurricane coming, we won’t know the impact it will have on a community until well after landfall. To ensure the safety of you and your family, don’t wait until it's too late to prepare; know your zone today.   It only takes one...
Posted On: May 16, 2016
Author: Jessica Stapf
The way I see it, the world is kind of like driving in Mario Kart. Some disasters we can see coming with the help of weather forecasts—like hurricanes. They are like Mario Kart bananas—they’re bad, but we have time to prepare for them. Other disasters, like earthquakes, we can’t predict. They are more like blue shells, which are designed to take out whoever is leading the race when they’re least expecting it.This year's hurricane season smashed records in both oceans; the Atlantic for being below-average, the Pacific for being above-average.1In the Pacific...
Posted On: December 18, 2015