Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Fox News Reports Alert Level May Be Raised

Fox News aired an interview today with Scott Weber, a former senior counsel to the Department of Homeland Security and now a terrorism expert, who says that upcoming high profile events -- the Olympics, the Democratic and Republican conventions, and November presidential election-- have heightened the possibility of terrorist attacks both here and abroad. Fox News host Martha MacCallum referenced an unspecified report that says there may soon be a heightened alert status because of these events. For a complete transcript of the interview, click here.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Threat of Anthrax Terror Attack Increasing, Says DHS Doc

The Chief Medical Officer for the Department of Homeland Security, Dr. Jeffrey W. Runge, testified today that the threat of a biological attack, and more specifically one using anthrax, "has been building since well before the attacks of 9/11." Such an attack could kill hundreds of thousands of people and that - using the example of an attack in downtown Providence, Rhode Island - "it would likely go undetected for days, until large numbers of people begin showing up in emergency departments and doctor's offices two to five days after the attack." The only advice I can glean from this report is to become better friends with your doctor or pharmacist, and get treated with antibiotics as quickly as possible after an attack. For a full anthrax treatment FAQ from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention click here. To read the full text of Dr. Runge's testimony click here.

Monday, July 21, 2008

NY Times Article on Preparing for Disasters

This past weekend The New York Times published an article "Meeting Disaster With More Than a Wing and a Prayer" (7/19/08) that provides an overview of how to prepare for disasters, while also emphasizing that most people are not ready for such a possibility. The reporter confesses that she scored a very poor 2 out of 10 on a readiness quotient test. You can also take this test, developed by the Council for Excellence In Government, by clicking here. For the full article click here.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Bertha Not Threat But Dangerous Mystery

National Geographic News yesterday reported that Hurricane Bertha is so far from the coast that it is not a threat to the U.S. coastline, but a little disconcerting is news that the storm didn't behave as expected. By around 3 a.m. EDT Monday, Bertha had barely reached hurricane status with winds of about 75 miles (120 kilometers) an hour. Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami, Florida, predicted that the storm would not intensify much beyond that. But 12 hours later Bertha's strongest winds had ramped up to 115 miles (185 kilometers) an hour, making it a Category Three storm and the first major hurricane of the 2008 season. What happened to the storm during those 12 hours is a mystery. "We haven't come up with any explanations," said Richard Pasch, an NHC hurricane specialist. For the full story click here.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Bertha Now A Hurricane!

This just in from the National Hurricane Center:
...BERTHA BECOMES THE FIRST HURRICANE OF THE 2008 ATLANTIC SEASON...

AT 500 AM AST...0900Z...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE BERTHA WAS LOCATED
NEAR LATITUDE 19.3 NORTH...LONGITUDE 50.2 WEST OR ABOUT 845 MILES...
1365 KM...EAST OF THE NORTHERN LEEWARD ISLANDS.

BERTHA IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR 17 MPH...28 KM/HR.
A CONTINUED WEST-NORTHWESTWARD MOTION WITH A GRADUAL DECREASE IN
FORWARD SPEED IS EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS...AS
BERTHA REMAINS OVER THE WATERS OF THE CENTRAL TROPICAL ATLANTIC.
IT IS STILL TOO EARLY TO DETERMINE IF BERTHA WILL EVENTUALLY AFFECT
ANY LAND AREAS.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Her Name Is Bertha





THE STORM WATCH BEGINS

The National Hurricane Center has just issued an advisory at 5 a.m. this morning for Tropical Depression Two. While it's still far too early to consider this a threat to the Eastern Seaboard (left, see tracking map) it is something this blog will start monitoring. I've also added to the site a JULY 08 STORM UPDATE section featuring a live news feed from the National Hurricane Center. It's just below my home page welcome message. For more hurricane tips and news, click here.