Lightning Season

Last week was “Lightning Safety Week,” according to FEMA.  Visit the NOAA page here http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/ to learn more about lightning and how to reduce the risk for yourself and those around you of being struck or injured by lightning.  In an average year (which this one is not, due to the recent catastrophic tornado incidents), more people are killed by lightning than by tornadoes or hurricanes.  I didn’t realize that many more people actually survive lightning strikes, then live with severe disabilities for the remainder of their lives.  This information can be important to us at work and at home, and for our library patrons who may be in our space during storms.

A Busy Season for the American Red Cross

Since late March of this year, the American Red Cross (http://www.redcross.org/) has responded to 42 disasters in the U.S., from fires to floods and tornadoes.  They’ve opened 270 shelters, and handed out over 3 million meals.  Take a look at the map linked here  http://www.redcross.org/www-files/Documents/pdf/donation/HowWeAreHelping.pdf  to see the distribution by state of their activities as of June 15, 2011.  I’m struck by the fact that the American Red Cross functions as the good neighbor for the whole country.

Meta-Leadership Summit for Preparedness

Thanks to FEMA for the heads-up about this conference, being held tomorrow, June 15–check out the conference site here:  http://www.meta-leadershipsummit.org/.   Here’s the description from FEMA’s news update: 

Empowering Business, Government and Nonprofit Leaders to Act Together in Times of Crisis
Leadership during large-scale disasters like terrorist attacks, natural disasters and pandemic flu is the focus of the Long Island Meta-Leadership Summit for Preparedness on June 15, where more than 200 leaders will gather to better prepare and respond to public health and safety emergencies.  Offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the CDC Foundation, the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative – Harvard School of Public Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Meta-Leadership Summit for Preparedness fosters greater cross-sector collaboration among business, government and nonprofit leaders during emergencies.  The Long Island Meta-Leadership Summit is the 36th and final in the series of highly-evaluated Summits that have been held to engage leaders across the country. More than 4,700 leaders have attended a Summit to date, and over 2,500 have joined the Meta-Leadership Online Community. Visit the online community to watch a sampling of video soundbites from Summit participants in their own words: Tampa Bay; Nebraska; San Diego County; Greater Los Angeles and Greater Houston.

Missouri’s Monster Tornado

I found this site today, WebProNews, at http://www.webpronews.com/google-maps-joplin-tornado-2011-05, which contains Google maps showing the path of the monster tornado that shredded much of Joplin, MO earlier this week, as well as videos showing the development and movement of the storm from satellite, and from a helicopter just after the storm had dissipated.  Especially, be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page to see an unreal, but real, before-and-after of a residential neighborhood there.

Health Info Partnership in Missouri

Siobhan Champ-Blackwell of NN/LM’s MidContinental Region office, of which Missouri is a part, posts this to the Disaster Outreach listserv:

“The medical library at St John’s hospital is not functioning at this time. The Medical Library at St. John’s Health System in Springfield, MO has stepped up and is working to assist anyone in the area with information needs. They are both part of the Sisters of Mercy Health System, so there is a partnership structure in place for that kind of program.”

Thank you, Siobhan.