Ernesto, Mi Amigo

[Image of 5-day forecast and coastal areas under a warning or a watch]

He's Developing Faster Than Expected

Well, it's that time of year again for those of us in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast U.S. - Hurricanes are coming.  Ernesto was Tropical Depression 5, and was expected to become a tropical storm this weekend.  He's developed quicker, and looks to be a full blown hurricane by Monday.  He doesn't look like much of a threat to the U.S., but we really won't know if he'll head up through the Gulf until later.

So it's hurricane season... it happens every year.  If you are prepared in general, you really don't need to do anything specific for hurricane season.  If there is a storm heading for your area in a couple of days, you need to do some last minute things such as securing lawn furniture, cleaning gutters, and topping off fuel supplies, but the biggest priority for the whole season is just staying aware.

I check the National Hurricane Center every couple of days until a Tropical Depression forms, then I check daily or more frequently depending on where it is.

I work in a coastal city, and just picked up one of the local TV station's annual giveaway hurricane guide at a grocery store down there. It's a free 20 page magazine with checklists, storm planning and response information, a tracking chart, evacuation routes, flood maps, and advertisements for various businesses that might be of interest to someone prepping for a hurricane.  I'm sure stations in most hurricane areas produce something similar.

My wife found a new app today that looks to be a good thing to have. The Red Cross has developed this Hurricane App for iPhone and Android.  I just tried to download it on my iPhone, but it needs iOS 4.3 and I don't have that.  I need to mess around with the phone to update the iOS.

The Red Cross App has information here... and includes these features
  • One touch “I’m safe” messaging that allows users to broadcast reassurance to family and friends via social media outlets that they are out of harm’s way
  • Location-based NOAA weather alerts for the United States and its territories users can share on social networks
  • Remote monitoring of personalized weather alerts where family and friends reside
  • Locations of open Red Cross shelters
  • Simple steps and checklists people can use to create a family emergency plan
  • Preloaded content that gives users instant access to critical action steps even without mobile connectivity
  • Toolkit with flashlight, strobe light and audible alarm
  • Badges users can earn through interactive quizzes and share on social networks

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