Today is the last day of Emergency Preparedness Month, but that doesn’t mean preparedness should ever stop. So I’m cracking open my bookmarks folder and sharing some of my favorite websites for information about emergencies.
Many emergencies are weather-related, from extremes of heat and cold to storms of all kinds. In the US the most reliable source is the National Weather Service. It’s always the first site I bookmark on a new computer for everything from knowing what jacket to wear today to getting updates on hurricanes.
On Monday I posted an item about the Ready New York presentation I gave last week, barely an hour after a tornado warning for Brooklyn and Staten Island had been called off. As it turned out, the National Weather Service investigated the weather records and damage and determined that two tornadoes had touched down in New York City–one in Brooklyn and the other in Queens–along with a macroburst.
Tornadoes are rare in New York. At a rough estimate, I’d say we have one about every two or three years and they are usually rather small. Hurricanes are also rare, but even a category 1 storm could do serious damage to a city that is mostly built on islands. Yet at the beginning of the month, right before the Labor Day weekend, hurricane Earl was making his way up the eastern seaboard and the National Hurricane Center was issuing warnings for coastal areas, including New York. What a way to celebrate National Preparedness Month!