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Interesting Geography stuff for InterHigh

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Archive for the ‘Wilma’ Category

Florida much more savy after Wilma?

Posted by Lindy on September 25, 2010

Notice how communication has been updated and how preparation just in case is being encouraged:


Division of Emergency Management (DEM) officials are encouraging Florida residents and visitors to closely monitor the progress of the current tropical system in the Caribbean Sea and to update their family disaster plans and supply kits. No official forecasts place Florida in the path of any tropical systems at this time, but favorable conditions for rapid tropical development and strengthening do exist in the region.

“Though none of the current tropical systems are a threat to Florida, they have the potential to organize and intensify quickly,” said Florida Division of Emergency Management Director David Halstead. “Our team will closely monitor the active tropical situation in the Caribbean Sea and take any necessary preparatory steps to protect Floridians. I strongly encourage everyone to follow this storm closely through the weekend and to take this opportunity to review and update their family and business disaster plans and supply kits.”

Based on historical trends, September is among the most active times in the Atlantic Hurricane Season. Florida already experienced a tropical impact in July, when Tropical Storm Bonnie made landfall in the Florida Keys and parts of South Florida. While no significant injuries or damage to infrastructure were reported as a result of that system, the storm should serve as a reminder that all Floridians should develop a disaster survival plan and maintain an emergency supply kit.

“As September ends, tropical systems are more likely to form and develop quickly in the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, resulting in less preparation time for the Gulf States,” said Deputy State Meteorologist Michelle Palmer. “Floridians should remember the damage caused by Hurricane Wilma in 2005, a late-season system that after gaining Tropical Storm status in the Caribbean reached Category 5 Hurricane strength within 24 hours.”

The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 through November 30. For more information on the Florida Division of Emergency Management and to GET A PLAN!, please visit: Follow us on Twitter at or join our blog at:


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Hurricane Wilma: Martin County has $1 million to help families storm-proof homes

Posted by Lindy on September 22, 2010

Here is example of  relief funding being used to prepare for the next one!

STUART, Fla. – If you’ve been putting off buying hurricane shutters or wind resistant windows, now may be the time to make your move. Martin County has more than $1 million in grant money available to help families improve their homes to make them more storm-safe.

The money comes from the federal government’s community development block grants.  It was originally set aside for victims of Hurricane Wilma, but much of it went unclaimed.  Now it will go to help families protect their homes against future storms.

Alicia Hohsfield bought a spacious home on River Lane in Stuart so she could have extra room for her two children and her mother, but she knew it needed some work, especially when it comes to storm readiness. “The previous homeowner didn’t have any storm shutters and I thought, OK, I’ll buy them eventually.  But eventually never came because they’re expensive,” she said.

Then came a call from Lindstrom and a way to pay for all the projects she’d put off.

She applied for and was accepted by the county’s new grant program.

She will get either storm resistant glass or storm shutters for each of her windows, and a reinforced garage door.  That’s a $10,000-$12,000 investment that will be entirely paid for and arranged by Martin County.

“Oh, it’s going to give me a lot of peace knowing that the kids and I and my mom are going to be safe,” she said.

Eligibility for the program is primarily based on income and family size.  For example, assistance is available for families of eight with a household income of up to $63,000, a family of four with a household income of $47,700 and individuals with an income of up to $33,400.

Posted in Fragile environments, Hazards, IGCSE, Wilma | Leave a Comment »

Florida – after Wilma: Trust Us, We’re Ready for the Next Hurricane

Posted by Lindy on September 14, 2010

Think back to October 24th, 2005, when Hurricane Wilma blew into South Florida. It wasn’t the strongest storm we’ve ever had, but it turned the lights out for a record number of people: 3.2 million Florida Power and Light (FPL) customers were in the dark, left without power, many for more than a week.

In Wilma’s aftermath, the utility company started a major effort to beef up the whole electrical grid. Crews installed new, heavy-duty poles for main transmission lines, and they hardened feeder lines (made the electricity cables stronger) concentrating on critical facilities, like hospitals.

“These lines can withstand wind gusts up to 240km/hr,” said FPL spokesman Mayco Villefana, standing in front of Aventura Medical Centre.

The idea is if they don’t have to worry about hospitals, fire, and police stations, the power company can concentrate on fixing outages (loss of electricity) in residential neighbourhoods after a hurricane. Part of that involves burying power lines whenever possible. Villefana told us FPL has increased the number of underground transmission lines since 2005, up to about 40 percent of its total installations, and not just to hospitals. Gas (petrol) stations and supermarkets are also considered critical needs, so FPL has been giving them priority in strengthening feeder lines. Remember after Wilma, living through the nightmare of trying to gas up your car when hardly any gas stations had electricity? (put petrol in your car when the pumps had no electricity to make them work)

Since 2006, FPL has spent about $100 million a year on improvements. This involves checking cables and polls and cutting back trees from the cables so that they will not be so easily damaged by falling debris.

But they can’t promise no downed power lines, no power-cuts after a hurricane, but Florida Power and Light can promise the grid is in much better shape now than it was in October of 2005

Posted in Hazards, IGCSE, Solution to problems, Weather, Wilma | Leave a Comment »

Wilma Diary 22 August 2010

Posted by Lindy on August 22, 2010

Hurricane Wilma was the twenty-first named storm, twelfth hurricane, and sixth major hurricane of the record-breaking 2005 Atl

Following the epic year of 2005, the Red Cross in America has up its game. The number of trained volunteers has increased from 25,000 to nearly 95,000, with 50,000 of them available to travel to help with disasters around the country. Relief supplies are pre-positioned in areas of the country prone to disasters – enough resources to respond to devastation twice the size of Katrina. Ongoing planning occurs at the local, state and national level to respond to large-scale disasters. The use of technology has expanded – the National Shelter System is easily accessible online, and the “Safe and Well” site has improved in ways that will help families better connect during and after disasters.

Perhaps the biggest lesson learned from five years ago is that the government and the Red Cross will never be big enough to do it all in every disaster. Everyone must play a role. The nation needs communities that are better prepared, with every person, business, school and house of worship ready to take care of themselves and their neighbours. Businesses, schools and organizations need to have proper safety and emergency supplies on hand, as well as staff trained in CPR and first aid. They need to plan on how they will continue to operate in a disaster and work to ensure their employees are prepared at home so they can return to work soon after an emergency.


Posted in Hazards, IGCSE, Weather, Wilma | Leave a Comment »