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October 16, 2013 | 0 comments

Hurricane Isabel was a watershed for Richmond-based Dominion Virginia Power and state emergency managers. "It was transformational in every way for all of us," said Rodney Blevins, Dominion Virginia Power's vice president for distribution operations. In the widespread scope of its impact, the 2003 storm was the worst natural disaster Virginia has ever sustained, said Michael Cline, the state's coordinator of emergency management. Isabel hit Virginia on Sept. 18-19, 2003, and left in its wake more than 2 million electricity customers without power, $1.6 billion in property damage, 36 storm-related fatalities, and more than 10,400 damaged or destroyed homes and businesses. Simply clearing away the debris took 660,000 dump-truck loads.
More at http://www.emergencymgmt.com/disaster/Isabel-Transformational-Virginia-E...

September 26, 2013 | 0 comments

Black smoke from cooking stoves used in many developing countries is not only a serious health hazard that disproportionately affects women, it is also a major contributor to the increasing temperature of the atmosphere, and the subsequent decline of glaciers around the world. As a response to this problem, a new clean stove cooker has been developed in India by a Delhi research institute called TERI. The clean alternative has already been put to use in the town of Tanda in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Capable of reducing smoke by 80%, there are plenty of other features that make this cooker a godsend for people in developing nations. More at http://inhabitat.com/new-cooker-reduces-smoke-by-80-and-safeguards-himal...

September 26, 2013 | 0 comments

The day before Superstorm Sandy struck the Northeast last fall, Sarah Romulo and her family left their home in Rockaway Beach, N.Y. They did not feel comfortable sitting tight, blocks from the boardwalk that faces the Atlantic — not with the warnings they were hearing and with their two kids, a 15-year-old and 2-year-old. With an evacuation order in place, they went to stay with Sarah’s mother-in-law in Queens Village, about 20 kilometers inland. From there, Sandy felt like “just a little windstorm, it seemed like nothing,” Romulo recalls. But television news showed the unfolding devastation, as the storm made landfall on Oct. 30. “We felt so helpless, not knowing what was happening” with the family’s home and business, a martial arts gym a few blocks from their house. When they got back to their property a few days after the storm, they found that the basement in their house had flooded; meanwhile, their gym had been filled with at least two meters of water. More at http://www.earthmagazine.org/article/hurricane-any-other-name-how-sandy-...

September 25, 2013 | 0 comments

Twitter wants to bolster its position as a go-to source of information during emergencies and other crises with a new notifications feature. Twitter Alerts is designed to let credible organizations enhance the visibility of certain tweets when other communications services are not available. It is intended for crises, disaster and emergency communications such as warnings of imminent dangers, preventive instructions, evacuation directions and crowd management. "Twitter Alerts is a new way to get accurate and important information when you need it most," Twitter product manager Gaby Pena said Wednesday. More than 100 nongovernmental organizations and government agencies in the U.S., Japan and Korea are participating in the program. In the U.S., those groups include the American Red Cross, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
More at http://www.pcworld.com/article/2049390/twitter-partners-with-fema-americ...

September 25, 2013 | 0 comments

What would you cook with granola, graham crackers, chili, canned peaches and apple juice? That’s what the Arizona Division of Emergency Management (ADEM) wants to know. Inspired by the foods found in emergency kits and culinary competition shows like Top Chef and Chopped, the state’s Emergency Kit Cook-Off is encouraging people to create recipes using nonperishable ingredients. Started in 2011, the idea for the cook-off came up during a meeting of the division’s public information officers who are self-described foodies, said Ethan Riley, one of the PIOs. “We looked at what the typical outreach programs are. We’ve done poster contests before; we’ve done a video contest before,” he said. “With this we wanted to take a chance and an atypical approach to outreach.”
More at http://www.emergencymgmt.com/training/Emergency-Kit-Cook-Off-Arizona.html