Hurricane Irma

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365 Connect Joins Forces With Habitat for Humanity in Supporting Hurricane Recovery Efforts

Press Release | 365 Connecy | September 16, 2017

365 Connect, a leading provider of award-winning marketing, leasing, and resident technology platforms for the multifamily housing industry, announced today that the company joined forces with Habitat for Humanity to support the Habitat Hammers Back initiative in response to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The catastrophic rampages of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have devastated entire communities, destroying homes and leaving many people displaced and in need.  Harvey dumped 19 trillion gallons of water on Southeast Texas alone, and Hurricane Irma was a 650-mile-wide storm that made landfall in Florida with unprecedented force...

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After Building Apps For Harvey Victims, Houston's Techies Set Their Sights On Irma

Alex Konrad | Forbes | September 6, 2017

After more than two days on a boat rescuing upwards of 50 victims of Hurricane Harvey from flooded houses, Matthew Hager decided to try to help his hometown of Houston the best way he knew how: with tech. Though Hager and his friends looked like a ragtag volunteer rescue squad, he’s a web designer by trade. With other volunteers from his design shop Poetic Systems, he built what has become one of the central hubs for information on Harvey recovery, HarveyNeeds.org. Hager and his crew are hardly alone. As Harvey hit, Houston’s startup community went into overdrive, connecting over a volunteer Slack channel and gathering around impromptu hackathons to build at least 20 new apps and sites designed to provide support to residents, first responders and the city...

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Christians Beat FEMA, and in So Doing, Tame Big Government

Cheryl K. Chumley | The Washington Times | September 12, 2017

Faith-based groups — Christian nonprofits, specifically — have been busy bees of late, providing more aid to hurricane victims than even FEMA, the federal agency that’s supposed to swoop to the scenes of natural disasters, assess the situation and speed the recovery and rebuilding process. Just goes to show: Where charity exists, government is not needed. Look at this, from the Daily Caller: “Faith-based relief groups are responsible for providing nearly 80 percent of the aid delivered thus far to communities with homes devastated by the recent hurricanes”...

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Drones and the Future of Disaster Response

Four continental states and one U.S. territory took a beating this fall as one natural disaster after another rocked communities in Northern California and along the Gulf Coast, spreading disaster relief resources and personnel thin as federal, state, and local governments scrabbled to address the crises. Wildfires in California's wine country claimed at least 42 lives, 8,400 structures, and 245,000 acres of land in October. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma pummeled Louisiana, Texas, and Florida only to be followed by Hurricane Maria, which slammed Puerto Rico on September 20 and left much of the U.S. territory without communications systems, electricity, clean water, or functioning hospitals....

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Drones Are More Helpful than Ever in Hurricane-Ravaged Texas and Florida

Thom Patterson | CNN | September 25, 2017

Unmanned aircraft — small and large — swooped in during the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey to get a glimpse of the devastation. That's why insurance companies have been using drone technology more than ever before to quickly -- and safely -- assess damage from the storm. It's only been fairly recently that commercial drone technology has advanced enough to take on this task on a large economic scale. And the insurance industry is just beginning to fully embrace it...

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Emergency Apps You Can Use Without Wi-Fi During A Disaster

Brandi Neal | Bustle | September 13, 2017

During a national disaster, contacting someone for help can be tricky. Luckily, in the digital age, there are emergency apps you can use without Wi-Fi, or cellular data, during a disaster. While some of these apps are also great hacks for free messaging during international travel, many were actually developed to help people in disaster zones call for help...

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FEMA Chief Brock Long Calls Harvey a "Wake-up Call" for State, Local Officials

Emily Tillett | CBS News | September 3, 2017

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Brock Long called Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey a "wake-up call" for state and local officials when it comes to budgets. "It is a wake-up call for this country for local and state elected officials to give their governors and their emergency management directors, you know, the full budgets that they need to be fully staffed, to design rainy day funds, to have your own standalone individual assistance and public assistance programs," Long said on CBS News' "Face the Nation" Sunday...

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FEMA Director Urges Americans to Develop “a true culture of preparedness” But No One Is Listening

Daisy Luther | The Organic Prepper | September 27, 2017

It looks like preppers aren’t that crazy after all. FEMA’s new director, Brock Long, has repeatedly said that Americans do not have a “culture of preparedness,” something that is much-needed with the startling uptick in natural disasters. Long has only been the director of FEMA since June 20 of this year and already has had to deal with a historic number of disasters in this short period of time. It appears that Mr. Long has a mindset of self-reliance based on a couple of recent statements he has made to the media, but the MSM doesn’t seem too interested in his ideas about fostering a culture of preparedness, despite the practicality and essential nature of his suggestions...

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Flesh-eating Bacteria, Cancer-causing Chemicals, and Mold: Harvey and Irma's Lingering Health Threats

Julia Belluz | Vox | September 28, 2017

In the weeks following Hurricane Irma, parts of Florida have been awash in millions of gallons of sewage. Meanwhile, in Texas, oil refineries and chemical plants have dumped a year’s worth of cancer-causing pollutants into the air following Hurricane Harvey. In both states, doctors are on the lookout for an uptick in respiratory problems, skin infections, and mosquito-borne diseases brought on by the water and mold the storms left behind...

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Florida’s Poop Nightmare Has Come True

Emily Atkin | New Republic | September 14, 2017

In the days and hours before Hurricane Irma slammed into Florida, its residents were treated to copious media speculation about nightmare scenarios. This monster storm, journalists said, could bring a 15-foot storm surge, blow roofs off of buildings, and cause tens of billions of dollars in damage. But perhaps no scenario seemed more dire than the one Quartz warned about the day before Irma made landfall: “Hurricane Irma will likely cover South Florida with a film of poop”...

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HHS Offers Hurricane Guidance to Healthcare Facilities

Greg Slabodkin | Health Data Management | September 13, 2017

With Florida still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Irma, a federal agency within the Department of Health and Human Services has issued draft guidance to help healthcare facilities with disaster planning and recovery for major hurricanes. Based on lessons learned from Hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, Harvey and others, the document—from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response—provides an overview of the “potential significant public health and medical response and recovery needs facing hurricane- and severe storm-affected areas.” Among the topics in the draft are those covering health information management...

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How Open Government Is Helping With Hurricane Relief in Puerto Rico

Just weeks after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, two more "unprecedented" hurricanes made their way to the southeastern United States. Although changes in Hurricane Irma's path spared Florida from the bulk of the damage, both Irma and Maria directly hit Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Hurricane Maria was particularly devastating for the more than 3.5 million American citizens living in these U.S. Caribbean territories. The CEO of Puerto Rico's sole electric company indicated that the grid had been "basically destroyed." Without electricity, communications were severely limited. In the aftermath of a natural disaster, embracing open government principles—such as open data, collaboration between citizens and government, and transparency—can save lives.

Hurricane Irma Just Made a Digital Walkie-Talkie the No. 1 App Online

Peter Holley | Houston Chronicle | September 6, 2017

As Hurricane Harvey dropped anchor over Southeast Texas last week, Zello became the go-to app for rescuers working to save thousands of people trapped by floodwaters. Within days of Harvey's arrival, the app saw a 20-fold increase in usage in Houston, according to Bill Moore, the Austin based startup's the chief executive. As Hurricane Irma hurtles across the Caribbean toward the coast of Florida, Zello continues to boom in popularity. The free Internet "walkie-talkie" app - which relies on cellphone data plans or WiFi and is designed to operate in places where signals are weak - became the top app on iTunes and Google Play Wednesday...

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MIT Map Offers Real-Time, Crowd-Sourced Flood Reporting during Hurricane Irma

Press Release | Massachusetts Institute of Technology | September 8, 2017

As Hurricane Irma bears down on the U.S., the MIT Urban Risk Lab has launched a free, open-source platform that will help residents and government officials track flooding in Broward County, Florida. The platform, RiskMap.us, is being piloted to enable both residents and emergency managers to obtain better information on flooding conditions in near-real time...

Public Health Threats Emerging in Houston in the Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey

Although Hurricane Harvey's floodwaters have largely receded, public health threats are emerging over polluted floodwater and contaminated drinking water. Chemical pollution from damaged industrial sites, flooded toxic waste site, and contamination by infection-causing bacteria have been the main causes of concern. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warned residents and cleanup workers who might be exposed to floodwaters to take precautions due to hazards such as dangerous debris, bacteria, and other contaminants. This article will review some of those public health threats.

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