Monday, December 17, 2018

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Share your stories and ideas with the network as you respond to crisis and disaster.
Tag » Natural Disasters

Prayers have been answered for residents of New Orleans as the city itself was spared massive damage largely due to levees having been strengthened after Katrina. Meanwhile, preliminary assessments on the disaster needs in greater New Orleans, MS, and LA are still challenging due to the extensive flooding. The suburbs of New Orleans appears to have taken the largest hit as local levees have been breached and damage to the 26 mile long beach areas of MS. In some areas whole communities are now underwater and in LaPlace LA more than 3100 residents evacuated in a rescue operations because they had not heeded the evacuation order. Isaac has dumped more than 20 inches of rain in three days. Mississippi’s Lake Tangipahoa swelled beyond its banks. Authorities will have to release some of the water to avoid 60,000 people from losing their homes to 17 feet of flooding. Governor Jindall is urging the residents in the area to evacuate. 5,000 people have been moved to shelters and almost one million are without power in the Gulf States.


Isaac has generated twisters and continues as a tropical depression headed for Illinois, Missouri, and the Ohio River Valley and may dump up to ten inches of rain as it moves northward. The rain will arrive as farmers see it as bad timing. After so many years and months of little rain and weakened harvests, the excessive rain may damage what was hoped to be a comeback harvest season.

This week the people of New Orleans and throughout the Gulf Region are once again facing a disastrous storm. The storm has been officially downgraded to a Tropical Storm, however the rain and flooding potential still remains a threat for the area.

To engage in the ReadyNewOrleans Response, here are some action steps:

  1. Commit to Prayer.  Pray for: (1) Citizens to seek God for comfort and protection to all who are in the path of Hurricane Isaac. (2) Citizens not directly affected will offer prayer, compassion and assistance in their community. (3) Hurricane Isaac will be lessened in intensity. (4) First responders. 
  2. Join the Hurricane Isaac Response Group
  3. Let us knowif you are interested in helping stand up ReadyNewOrleans in the area of:
    1. Logistics
    2. Public Information
    3. Operations
    4. Prayer
    5. Care
    6. Share
    7. Safety & Security
    8. Finance

As always one of the best things you can do is prepare yourself and your family to be ready in times of disaster. CEN helps make that easier by providing our FREE ReadyChristian Training which you can download and do as you have time. 

US forecasters expect Tropical Storm Isaac to hit Haiti and Cuba, the National Hurricane Center projected that Isaac would become a hurricane on Thursday and make landfall Saturday near the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay in southern Cuba. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate issued a statement for families to take this seriously and prepare families, homes and businesses according to AP News report. 

Isaac is potentially a very dangerous storm for Haiti, where 400,000 people still live outside underneath tarps in the wake of the 2010 earthquake. Heavy rains from Isaac will begin on Friday morning in Haiti, and last through Sunday. Rainfall amounts of 8 - 12 inches are possible, which will be capable of causing extreme flooding on the vegetation-denuded slopes of Haiti. It will be a major challenge to keep those Haitians living outside safe, if rainfall amounts of 5 - 10 inches occur.

CEN calls on those in the path of the Tropical Storm Isaac to review their ReadyChristian emergency plans with family and friends to prepare for the potential landfall later this week. CEN calls upon churches who have completed their ReadyChurch training to insure they have notified CEN of their availability in the area to respond. Contact CEN with your ReadyChurch updates. And, for Christian networks in cities all across Florida, if you have not completed the ReadyCity assessment and notified CEN of your readiness to respond, we would ask that you contact CEN immediately.

Storm CloudIn the past few weeks we have seen multiple disasters across the nation. We had fires in the West, flooding in the South, and mass power outages coupled with record heat in the East. Each of these events caused death.

I personally lived through the Derecho in the east that caused the power outages. I was fortunate to not have experienced a power outage, but everyone experienced the Derecho (a fast moving storm).  One of the common statements I heard by my friends in the days that followed was, “I had no idea a storm was even coming!” Now, I will admit I am a bit of an extreme weather junky. I blame my job in emergency preparedness and my degree in emergency management! But even before the past few years when I gained more insight into this field, I was the kid who thought it would be “cool” to live through every known natural disaster so long as I knew I would survive…but I digress.

“I had no idea a storm was even coming!”

 

 

TornadoIn a 24 hour period this past weekend, over 100 tornadoes touched down in the Plains states, most of them in Kansas. Most of the deaths and injuries that occurred happened in one rural community. While their loss is in no way inconsequential, the minimal amount of lives lost attests to the success of preparedness and early warning systems.

This particular storm cell, allowed an increase of warning time from a couple hours to a couple days. And, more importantly, people listened! Part of the reasoning given for this is that the alert language used was stronger and more direct in that these tornadoes could be life-threatening. Given the heightened language, the tests seem to be positive that there is a correlation between language used and the response that people give.

Interestingly, the number of storms that occurred so far this tornado season (according to a NY Times article), “the data did not indicate any significant increase in the number or the severity of storms in recent years.” What does seem to have changed is that people are beginning to pay more attention to the “smaller storms” that may have once gone unrecorded. This latest storm developed 122 confirmed tornadoes, 99 of which were in Kansas.