Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Flash Report Feb 24, 2009

Ben's updated on the Wildfire threat in Florida

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

US Seasonal Drought Outlook

PDF Version of Seasonal Drought Outlook Graphic

Latest Seasonal Assessment - Heavy rain and snow during mid-February raised river levels and boosted snow pack in drought-affected areas of California, but major reservoirs remained well below normal. The seasonal drought outlook indicates improving conditions for northern and central parts of the state due to expected above-normal rain and snow into early March. However, it is highly unlikely that water shortages will end before the dry season sets in, given the long-term deficits that have accumulated over nearly three years. Much more precipitation is needed to get the critical snow water content levels up to normal by April, when snow pack typically peaks. Water storage in mid-February ranged from 44 to 83 percent of normal in the largest reservoirs, suggesting that California has a long way to go to see relief from its hydrologic drought. In the southern Plains, moderate to exceptional drought is forecast to continue in Texas and parts of Oklahoma due to forecast below-normal rainfall during March through May. The same dry forecasts also lead to the continued outlook for drought development in southwestern Texas and southeastern New Mexico. Below-normal rainfall expected for March-May also results in a forecast for drought to persist or expand across the Florida Peninsula and into southeastern Georgia and southern South Carolina. Drought affecting parts of Louisiana, Alabama, and North Carolina should also continue. The lingering drought in the southern Appalachians should see improvement toward the northwest in the eastern Tennessee area, but less improvement toward the southeast in the western Carolinas. Areas of drought in Montana and northern Wisconsin are forecast to improve. Lingering drought in parts of Hawaii should also ease.

Forecaster: D. Le Comte

Next Outlook issued: March 5, 2009 at 8:30 AM EDT - A Service of The Council of State Governments for Economic Recovery | State Recovery - A Service of The Council of State Governments for Economic Recovery State Recovery:


The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provides over $300 billion in potential funding for states and state-related programs. In order to deliver the services their citizens need, while also addressing an unprecedented fiscal crisis, states need to access, utilize, and account for stimulus funding as quickly and efficiently as possible. However, the sheer enormity and complexity of the legislation makes this a daunting challenge. is a service of The Council of State Governments (CSG) designed to help states: 1) rapidly decipher potential funding opportunities; and 2) share best practices by tracking how the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of state government are responding to and impacted by this historic legislation"

Friday, February 20, 2009

National Governors' Association workforce planning in preparation for pandemic influenz

The National Governors' Association Center for Best Practices has issued a new brief for State Executives on workforce planning in preparation for pandemic influenza. A link to the report is provided below. The recommendations in the brief are a result of regional workshops conducted by NGA in 2007 and 2008.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Florida's Wildfire Season 2009

Drought + Weather + Humans = Florida's Spring Wildfire Threat.

Not until summer will lightning overtake humans as the primary cause of wildfire starts.

Key Web Sites for Florida's Emergency Managers to monitor the wildfire threat are

Drought -

Florida Keetch-Byram Drought Index Map from the Florida Division of Forestry

Storm Prediction Center's Fire Weather Forecast

National Weather Service Fire Weather Page

your local National Weather Service will have the latest fire weather products for their county warning area.

For more information


Monday, February 16, 2009

2008 Atlantic Hurricane Season Animation

From the National Hurricane Center

NOAA's Environmental Visualization Program is offering a high-resolution satellite animation of the 2008 Atlantic Hurricane Season. You may click the link below to download the file. If you encounter trouble, right-click the link and save file to your computer.

High resolution 2008 Atlantic Hurricane Season Animation  (very large 110MB file in .mp4 format) 

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Nextgov - Feds and YouTube close to reaching a deal to post video

Nextgov - Feds and YouTube close to reaching a deal to post video:

"Feds and YouTube close to reaching a deal to post video
By Gautham Nagesh 02/10/2009

The federal government is on the verge of reaching an agreement with YouTube that would allow agencies to make official use of the popular video-sharing service." more...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Nextgov - Agencies used social media to manage salmonella outbreak

Nextgov - Agencies used social media to manage salmonella outbreak:

"Agencies used social media to manage salmonella outbreak
By Gautham Nagesh 02/09/2009

Federal health agencies relied heavily on social media to inform the public about the recent outbreak of salmonella tainted peanut butter, possibly reducing the number of death and injuries caused by the illness, according to federal health officials.

Officials with Health and Human Services Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said social media helped them spread the word that peanut butter recall. The agencies used widgets, blogs, Twitter, podcasts, mobile alerts and online videos to warn the public that peanut butter manufactured by Peanut Corp. of America for institutional use and for additives in other products such as snacks may be tainted with salmonella. Eight people died and 500 were sickened by the infected peanut butter.
'The response has been really amazing,' said Janice Nall, director of the division of eHealth marketing at CDC, on the public's reaction to her agency's social media campaign. 'We look at social media as additional channels to reach people where they are.'"


Thursday, February 5, 2009


Climate Prediction Center: ENSO Diagnostic Discussion:


issued by

5 February 2009

ENSO Alert System Status: La Niña Advisory

Synopsis: La Niña is expected to continue into Northern Hemisphere Spring 2009.


Monday, February 2, 2009

How GIS Aids Local Government and First Responders in Crises

Public Technology Institute:

"How GIS Aids Local Government and First Responders in Crises"

A new case-study guide illustrates how local government and utility first responders are using geospatial information in large-scale emergencies.
Published by PTI and the Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA), Geospatial Systems That Support Emergency and Disaster Operations: A Case Study Guide for Local Government and Utility First Responders is available until February 28, 2009 at no charge. After that date, the publication will be sold through the PTI Store.

Click for more...