Entries by John Mead

How Tsunami Early Warning Systems Work, and Why Indonesia’s System Failed.

Tsunamis are a scary and devastating natural phenomenon. On average, two damaging tsunamis occur globally each year. A major, devastating, ocean-wide tsunami occurs roughly every 15 years. To prevent catastrophic loss of life, many countries have independently or jointly developed tsunami early warning systems. Indonesia was hit with a massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami last […]

Hurricane Florence Starts its Assault on North Carolina

Hurricane Florence Current Situation As of: 2100 UTC, Sep 13nd, 2018 Location: 100 miles ESE of Wilmington, NC Size: Category 2 Maximum Sustained Winds: 100 mph Present Movement: WNW at 5 mph Minimum Central Pressure: 955 mb Impact: Up to 11 feet of storm surge, heavy rain causing flash flooding Incident Page: NHC Public Advisory News Article: WunderBlog […]

2018 California Wildfire Update – Is This The New Normal?

Last Year’s Disaster During the massively destructive 2017 wildfire season in California, certain phrases kept being repeated. “Unprecedented”, “Uncharted territory”, “Historic”, “War zone”, “New normal”, and other descriptive phrases were used to try and give people an understanding of the magnitude and severity of the fires. People hoped 2018 would be different, but “New Normal” […]

It’s Prescribed Fire Season

  In many wildland areas, smoke can often be seen throughout the winter. More than likely, this is not due to uncontrolled wildfire, but rather prescribed fires that are started when the weather is less conducive to catastrophic burns, allowing firefighters and crews to prepare for when wildfire season picks up again.   A Rx fire (controlled pile burning) I helped ignite […]

Social Media Tips for Insurance Agencies During Wildfire Season

If your company isn’t harnessing the power and audience of social media outlets in your disaster plans, you are leaving a huge resource untapped. Today we will be exploring some ways that social media can help insurance agencies stay informed, provide resources and information to customers, improve customer service, and spread the knowledge and professionalism […]

Is Wildfire Modeling Behind the Times?

Wildfires are one of the most difficult natural disasters to model. Some argue wildfire modeling is 20 years behind hurricane modeling — and that’s not necessarily inaccurate. Hurricanes occur frequently, take several days to form and can be monitored via satellite. Hurricanes are also enormous and can be over 50 miles in radius. They are […]

Opera Fire Scorches 1300 Acres in Southern California

Opera Fire Southern California’s first large wildfire of the season kicked off on Sunday afternoon (4/30) near the town of Highgrove in Riverside County. The Opera Fire quickly grew to 30 acres before the first responding fire units arrived on scene. The dry, grassy fuels burned rapidly, driven by gusty afternoon winds. Soon after helicopters arrived […]

Series of Tornadoes Ravage Gulf States

Outbreak of Tornadoes In the early morning hours of January 21st, a band of severe weather moved into the Gulf of Mexico region, producing a number of deadly tornadoes.  More than 20 funnel touchdowns were reported in total. The worst tornado of the day hit near Purvis, Mississippi, and was rated EF3 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale which rates […]