FEMA is asking residents of Florida and the East Coast to be aware of the progress of Tropical Storm Emily. See the FEMA update: http://www.fema.gov/news/newsrelease.fema?id=57048.
Interesting article on the use of social media to assist in determining disaster response…check here: Crowdsourcing, Disasters, and Trust.
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.
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.