Weather Gadgets

March 15, 2011

Weather Disasters -- Are You Prepared?


If a major disaster befalls your area, it likely will be several days at minimum before vital services are restored. Factor #1, the disaster happened to your local emergency crews as well.

Many of the complications begin prior to the disaster, during evacuation. In the recent Japanese earthquake a substantial number of tsunami victims were trapped in traffic jams trying to evacuate. Roads transform into parking lots as people evacuate prior to the event, and they often are impassable afterward -- damaged, blocked by live wires and fallen trees, or dangerously chaotic with no working traffic signals. When the supply trucks can't make it in, food and gas shortages arise and the ports can even be closed.

Electricity is either disabled by the event itself or intentionally shut down by the provider. Stores and homes lose their ability to cool and preserve perishable food. Central water can become polluted, phone lines downed and cell phone towers damaged or their service overwhelmed. Curfews are imposed. Flooding creates life-threatening sanitation issues with both septic and sewer systems.

In a lifetime spent living near the Atlantic Ocean, we have experienced this nightmare several times after hurricanes--mild compared to a Haiti or Japan--and the first time here in sunny Florida were not as well-prepared as we might have been. is a San-Francisco based web-site that will help you to prepare yourself--as well as any elderly, infirm, children and pets in your household--for an emergency. You can also learn what to do in response to a specific disaster, like a tsunami, earthquake, terror attack, evacuation, contagious disease and more. Forewarned is forearmed.

Super Cool Pets Staff at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 11, 2011

Google Launches Person Finder Search Engine in Response to Japanese Disaster


This is fascinating. Engadget reports Google reacts to Japanese tsunami with a Person Finder tool. Always heartening to witness the good in people:

Now this is the sort of activity you'd expect from a true search giant. Instead of sitting on its hands during the tsunami that has stricken Japan today, Google has put together a Person Finder tool where people worried about the plight of their loved ones can look them up by name.

Visit the Japanese Person Finder here. Apparently there is also another Person Finder for the Christchurch earthquake victims.

Here are more videos over at BuzzFeed.

Super Cool Pets Staff at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

WeatherWise -- News and Videos of the 8.9 Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan March 11, 2011


As you have probably heard by now, a massive 8.9 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Japan today, Friday 3/11/11, wreaking havoc and causing widespread fires which are burning out of control. A powerful tsunami spawned by the largest earthquake in Japan's recorded history also devastated the eastern coast today, sweeping away boats, cars, homes and people. Tsunami warnings have been issued for the entire Pacific and more than 50 countries, as far away as South America, Canada, Alaska and the entire U.S. West Coast.

The Japan earthquake was 8,000 times bigger than the one that struck Christchurch last month, according to the UK Telegraph. They report this quake is the biggest since records began 140 years ago. Japan is an area of the world accustomed to earthquakes due to its position on the boundary of the Pacific and Eurasian tectonic plates.

Television networks across the world are carring much dramatic footage, some of it live, of the tsunami spawned by the earthquake.

To watch more videos at, click here.

Super Cool Pets Staff at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 8, 2011

WeatherWise: Google Invests $42 Million in WeatherBill Weather insurance


Even though as a society we cannot seem to agree on the legitimacy of "global warming", most of us accept the notion of "climate change". Google, in partnership with Khosla Ventures, has announced an investment of $42 million into WeatherBill. Using an algorithm to calculate risk, WeatherBill sells insurance online covering business loss due to unpredictable weather.

Increased frequency of inclement or unexpected weather conditions are responsible for over 90% of crop loss, placing more and more agricultural businesses at risk. WeatherBill's flagship product, Total Weather Insurance (TWI), is a the first full-season private pay weather protection program for U.S. farmers to protect their income. It functions as a supplement to their government-subsidized crop insurance.

Not a farmer? WeatherBill also offers policies for other industries such as Travel, Outdoor Events, Snow Removal, Ski Resorts, Energy and more. Unlike the government subsidy program, with a WeatherBill insurance policy there are no claims to file, no adjustment needed--if certain specified bad weather conditions occur, WeatherBill automatically generates and sends a check to the policy holder within 10 days of the end of their policy period.

via CNNMoney--Fortune Tech

Super Cool Pets Staff at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

National Geographic Complete Survival Manual -- Weathering Natural Disasters


You just never know what awaits around the corner in this world. Upon relocation to sunny Florida, we experienced 3 hurricanes within a year, after a *dry spell* of decades -- two within 3 weeks, both direct hits. A relative recently took a dream trip to New Zealand and experienced the 6.3 earthquake within 5 hours of arriving in Christchurch.

If you suddenly found yourself in a natural disaster or survival situation, would you know what steps to take to save yourself and your loved ones? The National Geographic Complete Survival Manual by Michael Sweeney offers essential instructions for weathering eight different natural disasters, from hurricanes and tornadoes to earthquakes and forest fires, including an entire chapter on home-based survival.

It focuses on how to survive in six of the world's most hazardous environments--from building a snow fort if you're lost in a blizzard, to surviving a rattlesnake bite in the desert, to navigating safely through the dense rainforest. Ten National Geographic explorers, photographers, and scientists, candidly share their own near-death stories and how they lived to tell them.

The manual includes 200 color photographs and maps, how-to's, bulleted lists, a glossary, cross-referencing, an appendix, and an index.

Super Cool Pets Staff at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

September 15, 2008

How to Build a Storm Shelter - Survive the Storm


This is a picture of a dust storm in Oregon.

Though we don't recommend sticking it out in any storm if you're told to leave (as in the case of recent residents in Texas during IKE), sometimes you live in an area where it's almost impossible to leave, or you get a ton of smaller storms. You'll need the basics to stick it out and also to construct something in or around you home where you can concentrate your survival. The other thing a storm shelter provides is the ability to react quickly should a lesser storm become a greater one. In the Northeast a Nor'easter as their called can quickly get of hand, and having the supplies, location, and know how to survive with your family brings piece of mind.

Most of us live in areas where storms can become dangerous quickly, whether the great hurricanes on the oceans or the destructive tornadoes that skip across the interior of the country in spring and summer. Most locations in the northern plains can expect a blizzard-type snow storm once a winter and folks in New England fear the howling Nor'easter. Everyone watches when the weather gets bad for severe thunderstorms and high winds. Short of building a complete safe room, an alternative that many Gulf coast residents are choosing after the last few disastrous hurricane seasons, there are plans and sources for temporary to long term storm shelters available from several sources. No matter where you live and what your budget, you can create shelter from the storm to give you and your family a better chance of survival when these powerful weather events come your way.

Read How to Build a Storm Shelter

Jay Brewer at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

August 22, 2008

How to: Avoid Doomsday and Prepare for Earth Changes, Power Outages, Wars & Other Threats


That's right - there doesn't have to be a doomsday on the horizon if you know how to prepare. This book is the definitive text on preparing for any disaster, be it man made of natural. No Such Thing as Doomsday covers water, food, heating, lighting, communications, power generation, fuel storage, emergency medical, underground shelters, nuclear threats, biological threats, disaster psychology, successfully working with groups, air filtration, radiological monitoring, E.M.P. protection, resource directory and much, much more. This is a big book; 8 1/2" X 11" and has 356 pictures, charts and illustrations. This is not a research book but a how to book based on experience. Our motto is some people worry others prepare.

At No Such Thing As Doomsday : How to Prepare for Earth Changes, Power Outages, Wars & Other Threats

Jay Brewer at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

August 18, 2008

National Hurricane Center - Get Your Hurricane Updates


It's that time of the year again, and we want to remind all of our Weather Snob readers about the National Hurricane Center. Founded in 1870 (okay the National Weather Center), it provides you with more data on hurricanes like "Fay" and others to come this Fall. We find going right to the source of the best weather often provides the best insights, and you can't go wrong with the National Hurricane Center.

At National Hurricane Center

Jay Brewer at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 6, 2008

U.S. Severe Weather Map - Hurricanes, Floods, and Severe Weather


The Weather Underground has a pretty amazing feature where you can see all the severe weather across the US. You can even drill down by region to get better details.

At U.S. Severe Weather Map

Jay Brewer at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 7, 2008

Grundig Eton FR1000 Voicelink Survival Radio Hands On

Gizmodo has a hands on sneak peak at the Grundig Eton FR1000 Voicelink Survival Radio. We love the way it looks an the amount of stuff it can do for you in an emergency is staggering. It has AM/FM/NOAA Weather/2-Way GMRS Radio, a Flashlight, siren, and Cellphone charger. It runs off of 4AAs, but has a hand crank as well to power it.

Awesome: The Eton FR1000 Voicelink is maybe one of the most pornograpic survival radios I've ever seen, but functionally so. It has AM/FM/NOAA Weather/2-Way GMRS Radio. And a Flashlight, siren, and Cellphone charger. It runs off of 4AAs, but has a hand crank. The design seems superfluous, but those cutouts actually protect the knobs. There's a large handle on the back. If I were to die stranded in the wilderness, I might be slightly less upset clutching one of these beautiful machines. $150.
The Catch: No word on water resistance, and the recessed knobs seem hard to turn with gloves on.

Via Gizmodo

Jay Brewer at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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