Interesting Information About Tornado Tracks

24 06 2012

This image provides you with an interesting graphical view of tornado tracks across the United States for the last 61 years.  The image was created by IDVsolutions.  The tracks are shown by the F-scale, meaning the more severe storms are represented by the brighter lines.

For even more information on same topic, go to John Nelson’s blog.

His blog is at the following link:

At this blog site you can check out tornado tracks broken out by F-scale.  There you will learn that, relatively speaking, there are not lots and lots of F-4 and F-5 tornadoes. You will also be able to breakdown the tracks by seasonality.  And, you will also be able to view the tornado tracks animated by month or by year.

TAMU System gets $285.6M contract for center to combat terrorism

22 06 2012

From the Texas Government Insider, published Friday, June 22, 2012:

An economic impact of more than $1.3 billion in Texas is expected from the announcement that the Texas A&M University System has been awarded a $285.6 million contract to develop a center whose goal will be to enhance the United States’ ability to counter biological and pandemic threats. The Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing will represent one of the largest research grants to come to Texas since NASA, said TAMU System Chancellor John Sharp.

Of the total contract, $176 million will come from the federal government, with the remainder from academic and commercial partners and the state. The facility is expected to be operational by December 2015.

Sharp said the center will allow the United States to counter biological and pandemic threats with vaccines manufactured in this country. He said <!– –>the need for this capability was identified following a comprehensive review of federal public health emergency medical countermeasures called for by President Barack Obama in his 2010 State of the Union address. The Department of Health and Human Services issued a request for proposals on March 30, 2011 and TAMU was among the applicants. The contract was awarded following a year-long competitive nationwide process.

“The Texas A&M System is the prime contractor for a team of world-class academic, commercial and non-profit institutions. This highly integrated R&D team will utilize state-of-the-art processes for development and testing of new vaccines and therapies,” said Sharp in a written statement.

Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives Brett Giroir noted that securing the project would mean “hundreds of millions of dollars in up front federal investment, and a 25-year potential commitment.”The center will be located on a site of nearly 150 acres owned by the city of Bryan. Upwards of 1,000 jobs are expected to be created by the addition of the center.

EOC Operations and Sports Wristbands

17 06 2012

Rick Tobin, a veteran emergency management professional, outlines an idea for how to use a sports wristband to improve emergency facility operations during drills, exercises, and activations.  Not sure this idea is for everybody working in and Emergency Operations Center of Incident Command Post, but it a low-cost idea that represents good “outside the box” thinking.

Here is the link:

Perhaps, this idea is not for you— but if you have a similar idea or concept, please share.

Katy ISD prepares for hurricane season

10 06 2012

The following is from a Katy Independent School District news release:

The 2012 hurricane season officially begins on June 1, yet there have already been two named storms this year. As such, Katy ISD is preparing for tropical weather hazards and reminds families to prepare as well by making a plan, putting together a hurricane survival kit, and staying informed. The Houston region has many helpful resources to guide students, parents, and school personnel through these three steps.

“In order for Katy ISD to be ready for storms we need our personnel, students, and our students’ families to be prepared,” said John Bremer, Katy ISD emergency management coordinator. “Prepared families help us by allowing us time to close schools and secure the buildings well ahead of the threat. We know our personnel need time to take care of family. We also know our business partners may need to evacuate essential employees and their families. If families are prepared, then we can make better decisions about school operations.”

Katy ISD’s partners at Harris County Homeland Security and Emergency Management have prepared tools for families to use as they prepare for hurricane season. These tools include a brochure on Hurricane Preparedness and a preparedness checklist. The Ready Houston regional preparedness page also has helpful information on how to prepare for disasters, including hurricanes at:

“Make a plan, put together a survival kit, and stay informed are the three steps Katy ISD uses to prepare for hurricane season; these are the same steps students, parents and school personnel can use to be ready,” added Bremer. “Hurricane season is less frightening when you have prepared.”

District preparations include reviewing and updating its tropical weather annex to the emergency operations plan; coordinating its planning with regional partners in Fort Bend, Harris and Waller Counties; and making sure that emergency resources are available and ready should a storm threaten the Texas Gulf Coast. In order to respond ahead of any storm, Katy ISD stays informed by working closely with the National Weather Service, Texas Division of Emergency Management, Harris County Homeland Security and Emergency Management and Fort Bend County Office of Emergency Management.

Hurricane Names for 2012

1 06 2012

Each year the National Hurricane Center generates a list of hurricane names for both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.  For those along the Texas Gulf Coast, we are mostly concerned about those hurricanes that develop in the Atlantic Ocean and head east. Already, 2012 is proving to be an unusual year.  Why you might ask?

Hurricane season starts on June 1st each year. Normally, tropical systems do not develop until sometime after June 1st. However, in 2012, we have already experienced two named storms; one being Alberto and the other being Beryl.  Neither of these two storms have threatened Fort Bend County, but it does make one wonder if we might have an unpredictable hurricane season this year.

So, what are the names of the storms we might be looking out for this year?  The National Hurricane Center has released its pre-approved listing of hurricane names for the Atlantic this year.  The list has been formed by the Center since 1953.  When first generated, the lists consisted of only female names; however, since 1979 the lists alternated between male and female names.  Actually, there are six lists that rotate continuously— containing hurricane names from “A to W;” but excluding “Q” and “U.”  Names on the list only change when a hurricane is very severe and damaging; when that happens, the name is retired and another name replaces it.

So for the year 2012, the names will be:

Alberto, Beryl, Chris, Debby, Ernesto, Florence, Gordon, Helene, Isaac, Joyce, Kirk, Leslie, Michael, Nadine, Patty, Rafael, Sandy, Tony, Valerie, William

There are normally less than 21 named tropical storms in any calendar year.  In the rare years when more than 21 storms are named, the additional storms are given names from the Greek alphabet; such as Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta.