Route Fifty: A New Tech Tool to Help Communities Confront Climate Risks

Route Fifty: A New Tech Tool to Help Communities Confront Climate Risks . “The Climate Mapping for Resilience and Adaptation portal is an online dashboard that provides real-time and location-specific information about extreme weather threats. It features an interactive map that offers hazard-specific information, such as how many personnel are responding to a particular wildfire or what kinds of flood alerts have been issued in a certain community.”

UGA Today: Leveraging social media during a disaster

UGA Today: Leveraging social media during a disaster. “During a disaster, many people turn to social media seeking information. But communicating during disasters is challenging, especially using an interactive environment like social media where misinformation can spread easily. Now, University of Georgia researchers have developed a social media tool to better help local emergency managers disperse information to community members during a disaster.”

NOAA: New NOAA tool pinpoints natural disaster risk down to county level

NOAA: New NOAA tool pinpoints natural disaster risk down to county level. “Developed by NCEI with data from NOAA, FEMA and academic institutions, this interactive NOAA mapping tool provides detailed information on a location’s susceptibility to weather and climate hazards that can lead to billion-dollar disasters—such as wildfires, floods, drought and heat waves, tornado outbreaks, and hurricanes. The tool expands upon FEMA’s National Risk Index to provide a view of a location’s risk for, and vulnerability to, single or multiple combinations of weather and climate hazards for every county and county-equivalent in all 50 states, and the District of Columbia.”

University of California Riverside: Wildfire dataset could help firefighters save lives and property

University of California Riverside: Wildfire dataset could help firefighters save lives and property. “The dataset can be used to simulate the spread of wildfires to help firefighters plan emergency response and conduct evacuation. It can also help simulate how fires might spread in the near future under the effects of deforestation and climate change, and aid risk assessment and planning of new infrastructure development. The open-source dataset, named WildfireDB, contains over 17 million data points that capture how fires have spread in the contiguous United States over the last decade. The dataset can be used to train machine learning models to predict the spread of wildfires.”

FEMA Releases National Risk Index: New Online Data Shows Natural Hazards Risks for Communities (FEMA)

FEMA: FEMA Releases National Risk Index: New Online Data Shows Natural Hazards Risks for Communities. “FEMA announced the Phase 1 rollout of the National Risk Index, a new online resource that helps illustrate communities most at risk from natural hazards. This online mapping application analyzes risk factors from 18 natural hazards. Additionally, to provide a holistic view of community risk, the application includes expected annual losses, social vulnerability and community resilience layers.”

Texas Advanced Computing Center: Disaster Database Is Go-To Hub For Natural Hazard Information

New-to-me, from Texas Advanced Computing Center: Disaster Database Is Go-To Hub For Natural Hazard Information. “The Seattle mega-quake scenario is one of hundreds of data sets published on DesignSafe, a database for natural disaster information created by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin that has changed how planners, builders, policymakers and engineers prepare for and respond to hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and more. The data repository gives researchers the ability to formally publish data sets related to natural disaster studies in the same way research papers are published in journals, giving them an accessible digital home.”

I Was a Military COVID Planner. Trust Me: Texas Is in Deep, Deep Trouble (The Daily Beast)

The Daily Beast: I Was a Military COVID Planner. Trust Me: Texas Is in Deep, Deep Trouble. “The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is calling for an above-average Atlantic Hurricane Season this year with a possibility of 19 named storms. We based some of our planning off Hurricane Harvey, which struck Cruz’s hometown of Houston in 2017. Typically, the National Guard and some active duty forces respond to hurricanes to provide things like search and rescue, engineering, and medical support. Rooftop helicopter rescues make for dramatic footage, but the truth is that the military does not do the bulk of the work. Instead, volunteer organizations like the Red Cross lead the effort by managing shelters, feeding the hungry, and processing displaced families. My team looked at how COVID-19 might impact volunteers. What we found was scary.”

Imperial College London: Pandemic planning tool could help hospitals meet surges in critical care demand

Imperial College London: Pandemic planning tool could help hospitals meet surges in critical care demand. “A new planning tool could help hospitals to plan critical capacity more effectively, enabling them to meet increased demand from COVID-19. Developed by researchers at Imperial College London, the tool can calculate the capacity of beds, staff and ventilator equipment when implementing a number of healthcare provision interventions – such as cancelling elective surgeries and converting operating theatres to critical care wards.”

Exclusive: The Military Knew Years Ago That a Coronavirus Was Coming (The Nation)

The Nation: Exclusive: The Military Knew Years Ago That a Coronavirus Was Coming. “Despite President Trump’s repeated assertions that the Covid-19 epidemic was ‘unforeseen’ and ‘came out of nowhere,’ the Pentagon was well aware of not just the threat of a novel influenza, but even anticipated the consequent scarcity of ventilators, face masks, and hospital beds, according to a 2017 Pentagon plan obtained by The Nation.”

HHS Launches Site of Resources for Health During Emergencies

The US Department of Health and Human Services has launched an online compendium of resources for mitigating the health impacts of emergencies. “The compendium offers an easy-to-navigate, comprehensive, web-based repository of HHS products, services and capabilities available to state, state, tribal, territorial, and local agencies before, during, and after public health and medical incidents. The information spans 24 categories, and each category showcases the relevant disaster resources available from HHS and partner agencies, a brief description of each resource and information on accessing each one.” Categories include Patient Movement, Mass Care, Vector Control, and Blood Products and Services.

Using Twitter to Detect Earthquakes

Interesting: using Twitter to detect earthquakes. “The Tweet Earthquake Dispatch (TED) system uses an API that compiles tweets based on keywords such as “earthquake” and its equivalent in multiple languages. Specifically, the API searches for significant increases in tweets containing the keywords. In addition to searching for keywords, the API has parameters to remove tweets that are more than 7 words, contain numbers, the ‘@’ symbol and words such as ‘http,’ ‘predict,’ ‘drill,’ and ‘song’ to eliminate tweets that are not related to an actual earthquake.” There’s also a Twitter account you can follow to get earthquake information.

US HHS Releases Map of Electricity-Dependent Medicare Beneficiaries

The US Department of Health and Human Services has launched a new tool that maps out community residents who are dependent on electricity for assistance or lifesaving devices – ventilators, wheelchairs, etc. The maps can be overlaid with radar/alert information to quickly identify citizens at risk from severe weather. “The HHS emPOWER Map shows the monthly total number of Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries’ claims for electricity-dependent equipment at the national, state, territory, county, and zip code levels. The tool incorporates these data with real-time severe weather tracking services from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in a Geographic Information System (GIS).” When I first read about this I was worried that it might be a privacy issue, but the information does not descend to residence-level (that information is extant, of course, but not available to the general public.) The closest zoom it does is zip code level.