Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Query: Is This Scalable?

I hope you're getting the regular emails from Emergency Management, which today sent out this link about how to create a Storm Ready community.  Since the program's inception, 1,868 communities have partnered with the National Weather Service to become a Storm Ready community.

Reading the article made me wonder - is it possible to scale down the Storm Ready model to fit a neighborhood?

The article details how a community can become Storm Ready.  I revised the checklist in the article to see if it could be scaled smaller for a neighborhood application (requiring no local government resources or involvement).  My suggestion:
To be considered StormReady, a community must:
  • establish a Storm Ready team who monitors alerts via NOAA weather radio 24 hours a day (they don't literally have to have the radio on; they just need to make sure someone is near the radio at all times);
  • have multiple ways to receive severe weather warnings and broadcast alerts to the neighborhood, such as a mass email, social media like Facebook, or mass cell phone texts;
  • create a system that monitors local weather conditions, using home weather stations and, ideally, at least one trained storm spotter with ham radio certification;
  • promote the importance of public alertness through regular emails and social media postings; and
  • encourage others in the neighborhood to get training as severe weather spotters and volunteer emergency responders.
Lest you think I don't practice what I preach, I will tell you I headed up my homeowner association's Traffic and Safety committee a few years back.  Let's just say the HOA wasn't quite ready for full bore preparedness the Paul T. Martin way.  After a couple of years, I hung it up, tired of the people complaining about the fact I'd send out an email letting the 'hood know someone down the street just had an attempted home invasion minutes earlier.  Apparently, ignorance is bliss.

If you have a group in your neighborhood who thinks alike on this subject, it might be a good idea to implement something like this for weather dangers and other perils as well.

POLITICAL LINK - Blue Teamers/Obama Supporters Feel Free To Skip This Story

I don't go political very often on my blog, because there's already a lot of it out there.  But occasionally I will have an Obama supporter tell me Obama isn't anti-gun and won't try to enact anti-gun legislation if he's re-elected.

Then consider the recent comments by Attorney General Eric Holder:

This administration has consistently favored the re institution of the assault weapons ban. It is something that we think was useful in the past with regard to the reduction that we’ve seen in crime, and certainly would have a positive impact on our relationship and the crime situation in Mexico.

Never mind the Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 (AWB) did little if anything to curtail violent crime.  From the Clinton Administration's Justice Department:

The ban’s short-term impact on gun violence has been uncertain, due perhaps to the continuing availability of grandfathered assault weapons, close substitute guns and large capacity magazines, and the relative rarity with which the banned weapons were used in gun violence even before the ban.

(emphasis added).

Obama is anti-gun.  Look for a second term Obama Administration to push the issue. 

SDS Gameball Of The Week Goes To....

....the Austin area suburban dad who fended off a mountain lion out in West Texas.  With a pocket knife.

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