Weather Gadgets

Emergency Weather

November 14, 2011

DeLorme inReach Two-Way Satellite Communicator

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Stay connected from anywhere and add reliable communication to all your favorite activities. The DeLorme inReach Two-Way Satellite Communicator is a rugged, waterproof communication lifeline. By itself, it can send pre-loaded text messages and SOS alerts (with delivery confirmation), and enable remote tracking, all via pushbutton.

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When paired an Android smartphone or tablet, you enable the inReach's exclusive 2-way satellite messaging. Stay in touch with home, office, or colleagues in the field, and get help if you need it, in all the places where cell phones and one-way satellite messengers can't get a signal.

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Check Out This Week's Wind & Weather Deal of the Week

August 31, 2011

Our Amazing Planet Infographic -- North Atlantic Basin Major Hurricanes 1851 - 2010

Major hurricanes tend to form in the Atlantic Ocean, the Carribean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico anywhere from June 1 to November 30. This infographic Storm Season! How, When & Where Hurricanes Form | Our Amazing Planet tells the tale of major hurricanes in the region from 1851 - 2010:

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More info at Our Amazing Planet

[via DVICE]

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August 30, 2011

Power Out? Stock Up on Essential Items and Stay Sane

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It doesn't take a Hurricane Irene to create a power outage, but the recent storm scare on the US eastern coast has reminded many of us of the misery of being instantly transported back to the 19th century. Coffee, entertainment, connectivity--all our toys are dependent upon electricity.

Hurricane season is far from over and the weather seems to have gone a little crazy these days. 20 Things to Have on Hand for Power Outages | WiseBread has created an affordable list of items that will help make recovery from a weather disaster a little more comfortable the next time the power goes out. To keep our spirits up and stay connected, must-haves are:

What's on your list?

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August 29, 2011

Etón American Red Cross Self-Powered AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio

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During weather emergencies it is easy to feel cut off from the world due to power outages. Stay connected with this Etón American Red Cross ARCFR160R Microlink Self-Powered AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio with flashlight, solar power and cell phone charger.

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This ultra portable unit is perfect for your car or home and a necessity for any weather emergency.

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When you buy an American Red Cross by Etón product, a portion of your purchase goes to help rebuild communities that have been hit by natural disasters.


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August 8, 2011

Plan for Weather Emergencies at FloridaDistaster.org

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Once a weather emergency strikes, chaos usually ensues, unless you have a plan. Preparation is key for enduring and even surviving any disaster. The Florida Division of Emergency Management in Tallahassee has instituted a fabulous interactive web-site to help us make our emergency plans now.

At FloridaDisaster.org anyone, anywhere can customize a plan for their own situation--a Family Plan, Business Plan, Plans for Kids, How to Strengthen Your Home and Disability Disaster Information. The site is naturally geared for Florida, but has helpful tips for anyone who may face a disaster, and who should know better than Floridians? Here's a sample of the Family Plan:

In a major disaster, emergency workers may not be able to reach everyone right away, and in some cases it may take 3 or more days for help to arrive. What would you do if you had no electricity, no gas, no water and no telephone service? Having a plan for your family and their needs will help ensure their safety and comfort during these difficult times.

Over the next few minutes, you will be asked to provide information about your home, family, and pets. Using the information you provide, this website will create a personalized Family Disaster Plan that you can print out and save for future emergencies. Included in your plan will be:

  • Recommended amounts of food and water based on your family information.
  • Contact information for your local emergency responders and maps of your local Evacuation Zones
  • Checklists of important steps to take before, during, and after a disaster!

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August 2, 2011

In August the East Coast Tropical Storm Season Heats Up

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A low pressure system moving through the southeastern Caribbean has a 90 percent chance of becoming a tropical storm by today,Tuesday. And so it begins. If you are one of the thousands of Americans planning an east coast vacation or honeymoon, you know that August weather near the Atlantic Ocean can be dicey due to hurricane season.

In June and July storm formation is limited due to strong wind shear and the simple fact that the ocean hasn't really warmed up yet. August is when conditions become optimal for tropical storm and hurricane development, as this fabulous graphic from Eye on the Storm | Palm Beach Post illustrates:

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Live in hurricane territory? Prepare yourself with the 2011 Essential Guide to Hurricane Survival, Safety, and Preparedness: Practical Emergency Plans and Protective Measures, Plus Complete Information on Hurricanes and Tropical Storms

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July 21, 2011

MyWeather Desktop and Mobile App for iPhone and Android

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Today's US weather map above indicates that excessive heat warnings and advisories are in effect across much of the country, affecting some 100 million of us.

Weather apps are critically important to anyone outside for an extended period of time, whether working, swimming, hiking, boating, playing sports, walking the dog. An intriguing new free app MyWeather.com provides instantly updated weather for all the places that matter to you.

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Save as many locations as you'd like: home, vacation and recreational spots, relatives' homes, work sites.

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You can also send yourself SMS alerts.

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Details:

  • Touch the arrow next to any of your locations to view detailed current conditions: heat index/wind chill, dew point, humidity, precipitation amount, pressure (mb or inches), and wind speed/direction.
  • Plan ahead: get the 10-day forecast for any location, with a visual summary of the sky condition, high/low temperature and chance of rain.
  • View the hourly forecast on an easy-to-understand graph, and instantly see the weather trend for your location. Turn your iPhone sideways and the graph fills your screen. Touch any point along the graph to see that hour's forecasted sky condition and temperature.
  • A full-color radar map centers in on your selected location. Turn your iPhone sideways for a full-screen, interactive map. Choose a display mode (road map or terrain view) and see lightning, storm cells, temperatures, wind speed and more. Zoom in and view the weather over your favorite golf course, sports arena, or beach.
  • Want to read about the weather? The News tab gives you national forecast summaries, weather safety tips, and other helpful information.

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June 30, 2011

Extreme Weather -- Forty-Seven Fabulous Photos at Boston.com's The Big Picture

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At our Weather Snob workstation, we are officially experiencing "extreme drought conditions", one reason we recommend rain barrels. Elsewhere people and animals are enduring wildfires, tornadoes, floods, and severe thunderstorms.

Whether this strangeness can be attributed to global warming of human intervention or climate change outside of human control, it is strangely different these days. Check out forty-seven fabulous and frightening photos on the subject at Is weather becoming more extreme? |The Big Picture | Boston.com.

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June 29, 2011

Bathtubs Provide Shelter from High Winds and Tornadoes

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After all the weird weather this past spring, we are hoping summer calms down a bit. The frenzied tornado activity, even as far north as Springfield, MA, was among the weirdest, not to mention the saddest.

Smaller, less dramatic tornadoes can crop up during any severe storm, including hurricanes. A safe room (see instructions here) or the basement is still the best place to seek refuge upon hearing a tornado warning, if you have one that is. If not, seek shelter in your bathtub during a tornado, advise the good folks over at Accuweather.

The bathroom has strong framing and the pipes in the walls could help hold them together. The bathtub and toilet are directly anchored to the ground (unless your bathtub is the old claw-footed style). They are often the only things left intact after a tornado passes. Once in the bathtub, cover yourself with a couch cushion to help protect you from falling and flying debris. And be sure to remember to grab your Voyager Solar/Dynamo Emergency Radio that has all the features you will need in an emergency weather situation.

tvc.jpgFor more on tornadoes, check out these Tornado Video Classics.

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June 23, 2011

Extreme Winds -- How to Build a Safe Room

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Many of us live in areas subject to dangerous, destructive extreme winds generated by hurricanes and tornadoes and worry about the risky of injury to ourselves, our loved ones and our animals.

Thumbnail image for fema320_cvr_2008.gifFEMA issues a publication, FEMA 320 - Taking Shelter From the Storm: Building a Safe Room For Your Home or Small Business, that will help you decide how best to provide "near-absolute protection" for yourself, your family, or employees:

Near-absolute protection means that, based on our current knowledge of tornadoes and hurricanes, there is a very high probability that the occupants of a safe room built according to this guidance will avoid injury or death.
FEMA provides a free manual, Safe Room Construction Plans and Specifications, which provides safe room designs that will show you and your builder/contractor how to construct a safe room inside and outside your home or small business. Download it from the site or order a hard copy or CD-ROM from the FEMA Distribution Center.

Graphic: Photographic Poster Print by John Dominis, Residents Trying Out Newly Built Community Storm Shelter, After Tornado Devastated the Area

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June 20, 2011

Climate Changes May Increase Health Problems Related to Indoor Air Quality

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Heat waves, floods, and other extreme weather not only affect what's going on outside but likely affect the quality of your indoor air and raise your risk of health problems, according to a new report issued by the Institute of Medicine.

Dampness and poor ventilation contribute to indoor mold and allergens. Emissions from building materials also affect air quality, and misuse of electric generators result in sometimes catastrophic carbon monoxide poisonings.

jeffmayhomehealthtips.jpgJeffrey May, principal scientist at May Indoor Air Investigations in Tyngsborough, MA, and author of several books, including Jeff May's Healthy Home Tips explains: "If you cool air, you get water. You have moisture in the coil of the air conditioner and if you don't have a good filtration system, the dust builds up, and wet dust turns into mold.

Minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) ratings are used to rate how well an air conditioning filter removes dust from the air as it passes through the filter. To minimize allergens in your home, you want an air conditioner filter with a rating of MERV-8 or a MERV-11.

[via WebMD]

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June 8, 2011

Safety Maps -- Design a Meeting Place After a Weather Disaster

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With the start of the 2011 hurricane season we got to thinking how hard it had been to find and stay in touch with relatives and friends during the last few we endured in 2004 and 2005. First comes that depressing moment when the power dies and electrical activity grinds to a halt. Then cell towers are overloaded or even go down and landlines are flooded out. Where is everyone and are they okay?

Earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes. Have you ever thought about how you'd stay in touch with your loved ones if you experienced a natural disaster or other emergency? Safety Maps is a free online tool that helps you plan for this situation. You can use it to choose a safe meeting place, print a customized map that specifies where it is, and share this map with your loved ones.

[via The Consumerist]

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May 19, 2011

WeatherWise: NOAA 2011 Hurricane Season Forecast

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The National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released its forecast for the 2011 storm season, with a prediction of an above-normal hurricane season this year across the entire Atlantic Basin:

12 to 18 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which:

6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including:

3 to 6 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher)

Each of these ranges has a 70 percent likelihood, and indicate that activity will exceed the seasonal average of 11 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes.


The six-month Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30. The East Pacific hurricane season began May 15th. Download the NOAA 2011 Hurricane Preparedness Guide

Photo: Hurricane Earl, September 1, 2010/NOAA

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May 17, 2011

WeatherWise: Tuscaloosa AL Tornado -- Scariest Video Yet

The massive tornado outbreak that hit Tuscaloosa, Alabama on April 27 was sadly responsible for 238 deaths according to authorities. It was Alabama's worst natural disaster since tornadoes killed over 300 people in 1932.

This video is from YouTube user MrEverduarte who recorded the funnel storm as it terrifyingly passed over the top of his home.

[via DailyWhat]

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