News From Our Blog

If you lost power, find out how to tell if your food is safe once power is restored.

Hurricane Sandy Expected to Make Landfall Within an Hour

Hurricane Sandy is expected to bring life-threatening storm surge flooding to the Mid-Atlantic coast, including Long Island Sound and the New York Harbor. Winds are expected to be near hurricane force at landfall.

If you’re in an area that will be impacted by the storm, follow the instructions from your state and local emergency management officials.

Make an Emergency Kit and Plan

If you haven’t done so already, put together a family emergency plan and emergency kit.  Some of the items in a basic emergency kit include:

  • one gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation,
  • at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food,
  • battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio,
  • flashlight and extra batteries, and
  • First Aid kit.

Learn more about how to prepare for a hurricane.

Follow the Weather Forecast

The National Weather Service is the official source for weather information and severe weather watches and warnings. You can follow the forecast at Weather.gov or on their mobile site.

Get Weather Emergency Alerts On the Go

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is soon launching weather emergency alerts to your mobile devices. Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are emergency messages sent by authorized government authorities through your mobile carrier.

Government partners include local and state public safety agencies, FEMA, the Federal Communications Commission, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Weather Service.

You will be able to sign up for weather-related emergency alerts through your mobile carrier. The alerts will include extreme weather warnings, local emergencies requiring evacuation or immediate action, AMBER alerts and Presidential alerts during a national emergency. The alerts will look like a text message, but will include a special tone and vibration, both repeated twice.

You can also receive alerts based on your phone’s current location. While most older phones are not WEA-capable, new mobile devices are. For information about which mobile devices are WEA-capable, please visit http://www.ctia.org/wea or contact your wireless carrier.

Learn more about Weather Emergency Alerts.

Historic Storm Strikes U.S. East Coast

Video description

From the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:

A week-long heat wave and an upper level disturbance over Chicago combined to spawn an historic storm featuring a rare and destructive phenomenon known as a derecho.

A derecho is a widespread, long-lived wind storm that is associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms. Although a derecho can produce destruction similar to that of tornadoes, the damage typically is directed in one direction along a relatively straight swath. As a result, the term “straight-line wind damage” sometimes is used to describe derecho damage.

By definition, if the wind damage extends more than 240 miles and includes wind gusts of at least 58 mph or greater along most of its length, then the event may be classified as a derecho.

This movie shows imagery from the GOES East satellite starting on June 29 and ending on June 30, 2012.

Summer Weather Dangers: How to Stay Safe

Summertime can bring a range of weather challenges and potential dangers. Some of these threats can occur with little warning, so do what you can to prepare by assembling an emergency kit and forming a plan of action.

Find out what you should do if faced with the following weather dangers:

Lightning

In the U.S., lightning kills more people each year than tornadoes and hurricanes. If you can hear thunder, you are within striking distance and should seek shelter in an enclosed building or vehicle. While indoors, don’t use a corded phone, a computer or other electrical appliances; and avoid contact with plumbing (don’t shower, wash hands, do laundry, etc.). Learn more about lightning safety and get tips on what to do if you’re outdoors during a thunderstorm.

Floods

If you have time, move essential items to an upper floor. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water. Do not walk through moving water that is six inches or higher. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground. Learn more about what to do before, during, and after a flood.

Hurricanes

If you can’t evacuate, get inside and secure external and internal doors. Stay away from windows and doors and take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level. Learn more about what to do before, during, and after a hurricane.

Tornadoes

Storm cellars and basements are the safest locations, but if they aren’t available, go to an interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level. Stay away from windows, doors, outside walls, and corners. If you are in a trailer or mobile home, go to a sturdy, nearby building. Learn more about what to do before, during, and after a tornado.

Extreme Heat

Stay indoors as much as possible. Consider spending the hottest part of the day in an air-conditioned public building, such as a library or shopping mall. Never leave children or pets alone in vehicles. Learn more about what to do in extreme heat.

Wildfires

If your home is threatened by a wildfire, you must evacuate. If you have time, bring an emergency kit that includes copies of important documents. Learn more about what to do before, during, and after a wildfire.

Earthquakes

If you are indoors, stay away from windows, doors, and outside walls and get under a sturdy table or desk. If you are outside, keep away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires. If you’re in a moving vehicle, safely stop the vehicle in an open area and stay inside. Learn more about what to do before, during, and after an earthquake.