Storm Reports

At last week’s Hospital Librarians Summit, it was suggested that we link to a site that would show reports of weather-related events.  As a result, we now have a link to NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center’s report of the previous day’s storms.  The link (Yesterday’s Storm Reports) is located on the right column of the Toolkit under the category Alerts and Reports.

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Goodbye winter, hello spring!

As winter bids us farewell with a few inches of snow and sub-freezing temperatures (increasingly rare here in central Virginia), we note that the likelihood of tornadoes will be increasing as the weather turns warmer.  As they say, there is no real tornado “season,” because one can happen any time and in any place, but we see that internet searchers are looking for information on tornado preparedness more often now, so here is some information that we hope will be helpful in preparing for the tumultuous spring weather than can give birth to tornadoes and other severe storms.

As always, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention web site offers excellent information and advice on tornadoes as part of their Emergency Preparedness and Response information, specifically their Natural Disasters and Severe Weather page.   Click on the “Tornado” link for some great information on what you should know and what to do before a tornado, during and afterwards.  For instance, what do you think is the most dangerous aspect of a tornado?  Where is the most dangerous place to be in a tornado?  The answers may surprise you!

Many states will be running tornado preparedness drills in March.  Here’s the Virginia site that lists information about the state-wide drill on March 17, as well as how to run a tornado drill.  Check out the information on the page about how to find the safest place inside your building to shelter from a tornado. 

NOAA weather radios are wonderful to have in your building if you are in an area that is particularly vulnerable to servere storms, or you just want to keep in touch with weather events.  They are available with a range of features and at a price range from $25 and up, from a variety of sources.  (Amazon lists many models and prices.)  Ours has alerted us several times to thunderstorms in the summer, which helped us to be prepared for possible power disruptions and wind/water damage.  The NOAA radios receive information continuously from the National Weather Service, and you can set them to sound an alert to your specific area so that the alarm doesn’t sound more often than necessary.   Best wishes to everyone for a safe and happy spring season!

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Disaster Recovery Info from Heritage Emergency

Heritage Emergency National Task Force, the folks who brought us the “Emergency Response and Salvage Wheel” and lots of other helpful advice and information, has a new page up on their site called Current Disaster Information , which gathers together many resources aimed specifically at dealing with damage from hurricanes and other powerful weather events and natural disasters.  The page also has a section where cultural institutions can submit damage reports and request assistance, along with the capability to view reports/requests already submitted.  Also, look for the free, downloadable “Guide to Navigating FEMA and SBA Disaster Aid for Cultural Institutions,” a little farther down the page.  This is a rich site, and deserves a close look at the many resources they have provided.  Thanks, Heritage Emergency TF!

Severe Weather Procedures

The Mid-Atlantic region is expected to get a good dose of winter weather today. As a result, we are currently reviewing our emergency response procedures for severe weather. Below is a picture I took at 9:40am of the street that runs past our library.

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Defusing the “Deceptive Killer”

Ready.gov is making available a wealth of information about preparation for and strategies for dealing with winter weather.  They have instructions about what to do if you’re trapped in your car during a blizzard, how to recognize and begin treatment for hypothermia, a list of supplies to have on hand at home “just in case.”  Winter storms are called “deceptive killers” because it is their side-effects, the peripheral damage, such as power outages and traffic accidents that cause the most deaths.  The info is helpful to know even if you don’t live in a winter-weather prone area; it might come in handy if you’re travelling, plus power-outages happen everywhere and any time!

Defusing the “Deceptive Killer”

Ready.gov is making available a wealth of information about preparation for and strategies for dealing with winter weather.  They have instructions about what to do if you’re trapped in your car during a blizzard, how to recognize and begin treatment for hypothermia, a list of supplies to have on hand at home “just in case.”  Winter storms are called “deceptive killers” because it is their side-effects, the peripheral damage, such as power outages and traffic accidents that cause the most deaths.  The info is helpful to know even if you don’t live in a winter-weather prone area; it might come in handy if you’re travelling, plus power-outages happen everywhere and any time!

Ice Storms in the Midwest

The severe ice storms in the midwest are a reminder of the crippling effect ice can have on our everyday life. Are your severe weather procedures up-to-date? Can you continue to provide core services to your patrons if library staff were unable to make it to work?

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