The summer heat is still in full effect this August - and that means that throughout America, it's peak thunderstorm season. Typically, thunderstorms are the most dangerous in the Midwest throughout the entire summer - and peak season runs from May to late August.
Why are severe thunderstorms so much more common during the summer? During the warm summer months, cold air retreats to the north - and it brings warm, moist air with it.
This creates an unstable atmosphere that's conducive to massive supercells and thunderstorms - creating heavy winds, rain, hail, or even tornadoes, if conditions are right. Severe thunderstorms can be incredibly dangerous - so it's best to have a plan in place to deal with them, and stay safe during peak season!
1. Always Check the Forecast
Checking the weather forecast is probably already part of your daily routine - but it's still important. Major thunderstorms can develop rapidly in only hours. If you're totally unprepared, you could be in danger of getting trapped in a parking lot, road, or other flooded areas. You could also be stuck outside during a dangerous hailstorm.
The first step to staying safe is to be informed - so whether you prefer checking the weather on TV, or using a smartphone app to see the daily forecast, make sure that you do so, especially if you see a large storm system rolling in.
2. Prepare for Power Outages
Large thunderstorms are the single most common cause of power outages. Lightning strikes can damage electrical grids directly, as can severe flooding. Strong winds and driving rain can also knock over electrical poles, smash trees, and render electrical wiring useless.
These power outages can resolve in a few hours - but may also require a few days. So be prepared for power outages - better safe than sorry! You'll want to have:
- Ready-to-eat packaged food
- A source of safe, potable water
- Candles, lanterns, flashlights, and other light sources
- A propane or gas-powered camping stove
- First aid supplies
- Emergency cash (local stores may not be able to run credit cards during an outage)
- Hand-cranked or battery powered emergency radio
Keep all of these things in a readily-accessible place, and it will be much easier to get through a power outage - whether it lasts two hours, or two days.[click to continue...]
In recent years, active mass shootings in the United States have become more and more common.
Both the number of shootings and number of victims have skyrocketed in the last several decades. In 1966, there were 20 fatalities caused by mass shootings. By 2014, that number had quadrupled to 80+.
Your chance of being involved in a mass shooting is still quite small, despite the increasing frequency of active shooter incidents. However, proper preparation is still critical for ensuring your safety, and the safety of those in your organization.
DialMyCalls is a very useful tool for emergency alerts, particularly in active shooter situations. In this article, we'll take a look at how DialMyCalls can be used to communicate during active shootings, and how it can protect you and your organization.
Active Shooter Text Broadcasts
Mass text broadcasts are still one of the most effective ways to communicate with many people at once. Text broadcasts are an effective way to warn students or workers about an active shooter situation - whether they're present, or on their way to the site of a shooting.
Send A Text Broadcast Using DialMyCalls
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90% of people open a text message within 3 minutes of receiving it. This means that text broadcasts from DialMyCalls are an effective, simple way to warn people about dangerous emergency situations, such as an active shooting.[click to continue...]
From the first very first smoke signals created by prehistoric men to the 9-1-1 phone system, the emergency communication industry has vastly matured throughout the ages. Now, in 2017, we're at the peak of the information age. You can access nearly any news, from virtually anywhere in the world, any time. Amber alerts, text message notifications, and phone recordings can inform the masses, instantly, of any crisis. Whether it's to let us know about a school cancellation or a natural disaster, this is the current state of emergency alerts.
How Do Emergency Mass Notification Systems Work?
The need for the ability to send out crisis alerts is steadily increasing. One of the latest trends emerging is the high-volume use of mass notification systems (MNS) across multiple industries. So, how does this kind of system work?
In a nutshell, an MNS sends a one-way message to employees, subscribers, or the public regardingan emergency in real-time by way of telephone, text message, email, television, or radio. These systems make it easy for municipalities, companies, and individuals to let their people know that something is outside of the norm. Where the average response time for the police is 11 minutes, a mass notification system can be sent instantly in a safe, discreet way.
Emergency alerts are still sent out via broadcast television and radio, and phone calls are still used. Today, though, when 77% of people own a smartphone, the trends in technology tell us that it's time to start taking a closer look at email and text message alerts.
Why Are Mass Notifications a Critical Part of Society Today?
When you look at what's going on in the world, it's no wonder legislation is mandating mass notifications and emergency alerts for more than just natural disasters. Take a look at these industry facts and statistics about emergency alerts:[click to continue...]
The winds and rains produced in a hurricane have the potential to do massive destruction in just a few hours. Even though we typically have a couple days' notice on their impending arrival, the force can still take us by surprise. Cities, towns, college campuses, schools, homeowners, and anyone else living at risk of a hurricane need to have a decisive plan in place for dealing with this type of storm.
Hurricane Facts and Information
Your first step in preparing for hurricane season lies in knowing what you are dealing with. Forecasters may be talking about an approaching storm for days, but you won't be able to properly prepare yourself, school, or town unless you know what they are referring to.[click to continue...]
DialMyCalls offers an emergency notification system that is used by tens of thousands of organizations all across the United States and Canada. Customers rely on our emergency service to send various emergency notifications such as employee alerts, evacuation notices, extreme weather alerts, and much more. Let's take a quick look at how The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas utilizes DialMyCalls:
Why Did The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas Need an Emergency Notification System?
In the case of an emergency at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, they wanted the ability to notify approximately 5,000 employees and partners quickly and efficiently.
Why Did The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas Choose DialMyCalls?
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas liked the interface DialMyCalls offers as it was very easy to use. Our site was focused and specific on its functionality for their use.
What Features Do The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas Utilize?
Ease of use has been critical since they have many admins at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas they had to train on our emergency notificaiton system.[click to continue...]
If you live in the United States, spring has sprung, and summer is well on its way. And if you live on the east coast of the United States, that means hurricane season is almost here. Typically recognized as running from June 1 - November 30 in the United States, the peak of Atlantic hurricane season is usually around September 10th of each year.
Approximately 10 storms develop into "named storms" each year - these storms are seen as being significant enough to merit naming by the NOAA. Of these storms, around 6 become hurricanes each year, and around 2.5 become “major” hurricanes of category 3 or greater. Most of these hurricanes are relatively harmless and end up dispersing before doing significant damage.
But every once in awhile, weather conditions are perfect for creating devastating storms that swell in size, intensity, and speed. These storms represent a serious danger to both people and property, and usually require emergency evacuation procedures.
In order to give you an idea of the size, intensity, and damage caused by these storms, we'll take a look at the top 11 most powerful Atlantic hurricanes of all time, and how they have affected the United States over the years.
NOTE: As per NOAA guidelines, these storms have been arranged by pressure - from lowest to highest. While storms are often ranked by wind speed alone, the NOAA prefers to rank storms by pressure.
11. Hurricane Ivan (2004)
Hurricane Ivan was the ninth named storm and the sixth hurricane to occur during the relatively active 2004 hurricane season. The storm system began forming in early September, around the peak of oceanic activity for the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season.
Hurricane Ivan began to form September 2, 2004, southwest of Cape Verde. The system began moving west, and began to strengthen gradually. It became classified as a tropical storm by September 3, 2004, and by September 5, it had reached hurricane status.
By September 9, winds in the hurricane had intensified to 160 mph, as it passed around Jamaica and headed westward towards the United States. Peak strength was reached on September 12, 2004, when the hurricane passed through the Yucatán Channel.
The storm then began to weaken slightly to category 4 strength before making landfall on the Gulf Coast of the United States. In Louisiana and Mississippi, thousands of Americans were evacuated. In Florida, thousands of homes were destroyed, and multiple bridges were heavily damaged by the high winds of Hurricane Ivan.
According to the NOAA, Hurricane Ivan is the 6th costliest hurricane to make landfall in the United States, with damages at $22.8 billion, adjusted for inflation.
10. Hurricane "Cuba" (1924)
Measured before the NOAA began naming storms, Hurricane Cuba is the earliest hurricane to be classified as a category 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale, and its low pressure of 910 hPa places it at tenth on our list of the most intense Atlantic hurricanes.
This hurricane formed on October 141924 in the Caribbean, and began picking up steam as it moved in a northwesterly direction. By October 16, it had officially attained hurricane status.
By October 18, the hurricane had peaked at an intensity of 910 hPa, and sustained winds of over 165 mph. Almost immediately after the hurricane hit peak strength, it made contact with Cuba. To this day, it is the most powerful hurricane to have ever hit the country.
After moving past Cuba, the hurricane weakened quite a bit, reaching Florida with peak winds of around 90mph. Despite the catastrophic damage done to Cuba, Florida was relatively unaffected. There were no reported fatalities, though heavy rainfall occurred all throughout the state.[click to continue...]
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