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Presidential Daily Brief: Major hurricane determined to strike in US in 2007

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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-05-07 08:54 PM
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Presidential Daily Brief: Major hurricane determined to strike in US in 2007
OK... so it's probably not in George Bush's PDB today but it really ought to be.

This year's hurricane season forecast is out and it calls for 17 named storms of which 5 will be major hurricanes.

There is a 74% chance that the United States will be hit by at least one major (category 3 or greater) hurricane in the 2007 season which begins in June and ends in November.

Will YOU personally be ready?

Have YOU thought about what a hurricane striking your town will mean?

I want you to know as a survivor of four hurricanes that calling 911 in a hurricane may well be useless. EMS won't be able to rescue you until the winds are below 45 mph and the roads are passable again.

Are YOU prepared to handle family members who need immediate medical attention? Are YOU prepared for the streets to flood, the lights to go out, the refrigerator to stop working, the phone to go dead, and the roof to come off?

A major hurricane is not an excuse for a party. It is a imminently life threatening situation. If you are not prepared and if you fail to treat it with due respect and humility it is entitled to - it can kill you in a matter of minutes.

New Orleans is not the only coastal city with desperately poor people living in it. Mobile, Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville, Charleston, Washington D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, and Boston among others, all have their own parallels to the trapped poor of New Orleans.

Will your town and county be ready to respond?

Is your state government ready?

Is the Federal government really ready to address this year's hurricane season?

Based on DHS and FEMA performance in 2005, the last busy season, it seems doubtful they will be paying attention unless the National Weather Service starts naming hurricanes after al Qaeda operatives.

I urge you to learn all you can about hurricanes from www.redcross.org, www.fema.gov, www.nhc.noaa.gov and other sources and prepare yourself, your families, your neighbors, and your business.

You can take courses on first aid and emergency preparedness and disaster response (many of them free) from your local Red Cross chapter. I urge you to volunteer while you're there.

You can also take many free disaster preparedness and response courses on-line at fema.gov and become a "CERT" volunteer for FEMA.

I urge you to contact your elected representatives at every level of government from the local, state, and Federal levels and let them know that you think it is a top priority for them to truly be prepared this year to provide a quick, competent, and compassionate response when a hurricane hits.

Next, I want to be a "mythbuster" for a moment.

Many of you think that you are immune to hurricanes because you live in the northeast - Boston, New York, Providence, Long Island, Philadelphia, etc.

Well, you would be wrong, wrong, wrong. It's not "if" but rather "when".

You only think that you are safe because these cities haven't had a direct hit in quite a while.

It turns out you guys in the Northeast are about due for "the big one" - the last "big one" was in 1938.

About once every 75 years a major hurricane (category 3 or greater) directly strikes the New England area. The New England Hurricane of 1938 killed 680 people at a time when the area was much less populated than it is today.

Worse yet, many people today have a false sense of security because of modern technology. They think they will get a warning from the radio or TV in time to self-evacuate.

In reality they may have as little as 6 hours warning because hurricanes rapidly accelerate their forward motion as they turn northwards and get caught in the jetstream.

These storms can be travelling as fast as 60 miles an hour in forward speed, leaving only about 6 hours of travel time from Cape Hatteras, North Carolina to New York City, Long Island or Providence, Rhode Island. The government and the media will be powerless to provide you with the necessary warning in time to evacuate much less help you to do so.

Many people who witnessed the New Orleans disaster live on TV day after day do not realize that there is another nightmare disaster scenario every bit as bad, probably even worse.

That scenario is a category 2, 3, 4, or 5 hurricane slamming into New York City at high tide with 6 hours notice.

The storm surge would become trapped in the Hudson River estuary where its effect would be greatly magnified. A category two storm surge in NYC would actually resemble a category four storm surge along the central East Coast Florida.

Much of Manhattan would rapidly flood becaue the storm surge would be trapped in the Hudson River Estuary. The tunnels between Manhattan and other buroughs or New Jersey and the subway tunnels would quickly flood killing hundreds or even thousands.

Major suspension bridges like the George Washington and Brooklyn Bridges would quickly become impassable hours before the storm actually arrives because of high winds hours up at their high above the ground road deck levels.

Ferry service to Staten Island and other islands would also have quickly to be suspended under the dangerous wave conditions.

The G.W. and Brooklyn bridges would then quite possibly collapse under the windloads when the storm does hit the city.

Many buildings in Manhattan simply not designed for these kinds of windloads and would quickly fail sending dangerous glass and other debris flying and killing anyone inside of them. Winds would be even faster when forced between the buildings in Manhattan's skyscraper canyons.

There would be few safe places to be in Manhattan and no way to escape in such a storm. After the storm, the island would largely be cut off from rescuers with its tunnels and bridges down.

For the first responders, in many ways, the destruction in a post storm Manhattan would resemble flooded New Orleans in terms of the tremendous obsctacles posed to rescue and recover. Indeed in some ways the problems would be far greater.

Remember only 450,000 people lived in "The Big Easy" prior to hurricane Katrina - 8 million live in "The Big Apple" and 15 million live in the metro tri-state area.

The City of London has huge flood gates on the Thames River Estuary that can be rapidly closed to protect it against storm surges if it is threatened by a North Sea gale traveling south down between England and Scandanavia.

The Netherlands has similar flood gate systems that could have easily stopped Hurricane Katrina's storm surge dead in its tracks. They were built after catastrophic flooding in the 1950's flooded much of that country.

What is our government doing to be better prepared here in the United States?

Will President Bush, DHS, and FEMA be once again caught unprepared as they were on September 11th and when Hurricane Katrina struck?

We need to find out now not in late September after the storm has hit.

Doug De Clue,
Survivor,
Hurricanes Opel (1995), Charley (2004), Frances (2004), Jeanne (2004)
Orlando, FL
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HeeBGBz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-06-07 08:46 AM
Response to Original message
1. I'm not ready
I'm not in a very good location if we get hit. I will be frequenting all my weather sites once the season starts.
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