By Autumn Lotze, Office of Response and Restoration Disaster Preparedness Program
As we navigate through peak hurricane season while continuing to deal with the impacts of a catastrophic wildfire season and ongoing public health risks, disaster readiness and response are front and center for many agencies, NOAA included. But preparing for anticipated impacts and responding to immediate needs within the scope of NOAA’s mission areas represent only part of NOAA’s activity when it comes to disasters. NOAA and the National Ocean Service (NOS) also play a critical role in supporting long term recovery.
By Megan Ewald, Office of Response and Restoration
Walking the busy streets of Manhattan, it’s easy to overlook the Hudson River as a living ecosystem, or think about its natural history. The Iroquois people native to the area called the Hudson Muh-he-kun-ne-tuk — "river that flows two ways" — a nod to the twice-daily pulse of the tides. Estuaries, where freshwater rivers meet the saltwater ocean, are some of the most productive, important, and impacted environments on the planet.
By Katie Krushinski, Office of Response and Restoration Disaster Preparedness Program
In times of the disaster, the old adage says, “The first 72 hours are on you.” Sure, we buy non-perishable foods and gallons of water, stock up on batteries, and fill our gas tanks before a potential hurricane landfall. We monitor the weather watches and warnings and relocate to our safe place when tornadoes or wildfires threaten. We know what preparedness measures to take. But, do we understand what it means to have to take care of ourselves for the first 72 hours before professional help can get to us?
Every month our Emergency Response Division provides scientific expertise and services to the U.S. Coast Guard on everything from running oil spill trajectories to model where the spill may spread, to possible effects on wildlife and fisheries and estimates on how long the oil may stay in the environment. This month OR&R responded to 31 incidents, including oil discharges, grounded vessels, and other pollution-related incidents. Here are some of August's notable incidents ...
By Kimberly Page Albins and Alyson Finn, Office of Response and Restoration Disaster Preparedness Program
September is National Preparedness Month, and we at the Disaster Preparedness Program understand that disasters can happen at any time, often without warning. They affect everyone in a community, including children. Children make up roughly a quarter of the U.S. population; and emergency planning, response, and recovery efforts must consider the unique needs of children of all ages. The best way to ensure children and communities are safe during an emergency is to help them prepare before a disaster occurs.