Tales from Academia: How Did I Get Here?


Have you ever looked in the mirror and thought to yourself, “How did I get here?” That was the exact question I asked myself the first morning I began my career at BSTI. Up until that point, I had spent the last four years at West Chester University (WCU) studying geology and having the time of my life doing it. Although even at a young age all roads pointed towards a career in geology, it wasn’t as obvious as it is now looking back.

 

West Chester, Freshman Year

First semester of my freshmen year, I had every intention of declaring Physics as my major with a minor in astronomy. I spent all my free time in the physics student lounge and doing astronomy research with one of the physics/astronomy professors. My year was spent taking apart computers and rebuilding them into a computer network used to conduct early investigations of the HR 8799 system. It was also during my first year at WCU that I was asked to be a college mentor and teacher for the Women in Aerospace and Technology Program (WATP) through the American Helicopter Museum; sponsored through Boeing and Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation (at the time).

 

collage-photo-nora-wcu-ramDiscovering a Love for Geology

My second year at WCU I was nominated to be the Vice President of the Astronomy Club and run Star Parties out on the Quad. It was also the year I took an Introduction to Geology course and my whole plan of being a Physicist was turned upside down. From the very first day in the Introduction to Geology course, I knew I wanted to be a Geologist. I immediately met with the Geology department chair and switched my major. As soon as I was able, I began lining my Spring semester with Field Geology, Minerology, Geomorphology and every other geology related course being offered. My weekends quickly became filled with class field trips and teaching for WATP.

 

Internship Search

By my junior year at WCU, I was still the Vice President of the Astronomy Club, teaching for WATP and joined Sigma Gamma Epsilon (SGE); the national honor society for the earth sciences. I began assisting multiple professors within the Geology department with their research projects and started researching environmental geology company internships. I took the required geology courses as well as extra math and chemistry courses to fill my love for the sciences. I reached out to my contacts at Boeing, which I made through WATP, and completed a day of shadowing at their Ridley Park location. I was able to walk through and see the assembly of a V-22 Ospray and sit in on multiple conference calls with different project managers. By far the highlight of my junior year.

 

During my senior year I started sending my resume around to local environmental companies. I had multiple interviews, but no luck. I continued my courses at WCU, teaching at WATP and staying active with field trips and research days in the field with my professors. I was asked to give a speech during the annual Boeing gala event at the Springfield Country Club regarding WATP and why it is so important to engage young woman to go into the math and science fields.

 

Jumping into the “Real” Working World

By the end of my first semester of my senior year, I began bugging the geology department’s hydrogeologist for any information on companies who were hiring. I was persistent the entire first semester and would visit him during office hours to work on my resume. At the end of my geology seminar course, I was handed a business card: “Tripp Fischer, Hydrogeologist, Brownfield Science & Technology, Inc.,” and told to email him my resume since BSTI was looking to hire an entry-level geologist. I emailed Tripp my resume, had a phone conversation about my courses at WCU and was asked to meet for a lunch interview. Long story short, I was offered an internship for my senior year spring semester.

 

Along with a full course load, teaching at WATP, participating in SGE and performing research with professors, I started working for BSTI one day a week. During that time, I performed system checks (SVE/AS), sampled groundwater, analyzed analytical data, began GIS mapping and helped write groundwater quarterly reports. By graduation in May 2013, I was offered a full-time position at BSTI. Along with my full-time position at BSTI, I am a corporate mentor for WATP, do public outreach as much as possible, am a part of the Society of Women Environmental Professionals (New Jersey and Greater Philadelphia Area) and began volunteering for the Challenger Learning Center.

 

How Did I Get Here?

To answer my question “how did I get here,” I got to where I am now because of my love for the sciences, hard work and people who believed in my abilities to be a geologist.

 

Return to Blogs >

Share This:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedin

Where Does Your Food Come From?

By and large, most people in the US are quite fortunate to have access to a wide variety of foods from all over the world no matter what the season. Although this is a cultural norm, have you ever stopped to think about where your food is coming from and how your choices impact the environment and your local farmers?

 

It is estimated that the average American meal travels about 1500 miles to get from farm to plate.

market-food-come-fromWhy is this cause for concern?

This long-distance, large-scale transportation of food consumes large quantities of fossil fuels. It is estimated that we currently put almost 10 kcal of fossil fuel energy into our food system for every 1 kcal of energy we get as food. Simply put, that is not an efficient energy exchange.

Transporting food over long distances also generates great quantities of carbon dioxide emissions. Some forms of transport are more polluting than others. Airfreight generates 50 times more CO2 than shipping by boat. Since boats are slow, and in our increasing demand for fresh food, food is increasingly being shipped by faster, more polluting means.

 

 

The Benefits of Eating Local and Seasonal Foods

In an effort to decrease the amount of energy used in food transportation, many Americans have been transitioning to support their local food systems by increasing their spending at local farmers’ markets. We can eat locally and seasonally with very little sacrifice. Still, some crops simply aren’t appropriate for our climate but we can begin to look at imported foods as things that supplement our local foods, rather than supplant them. Rebuilding a local food system doesn’t mean you never eat anything that has flown overseas, it just means that you start with what is fresh, local and seasonal. Shopping at the farmers’ market, maintaining a home garden, or participating in a community-supported agriculture program (CSA) are wonderful ways to support your local food system. At the same time, we help build food security for future generations; feed ourselves and our families food that is delicious, fresh, and nutritious; and support small-scale local farmers as they work each day to steward our land.

 

Return to Blogs >

Share This:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedin

Groundwater and Your Business: Learn Why You Should Be Celebrating Protect Your Groundwater Day

Co-written by:

 

Prezi Screenshot - protect your groundwater day
How can we help? Click the image above to learn more.

September 6, 2016, just happens to be “Protect Your Groundwater Day!” Created by the National Groundwater Association (NGWA), Protect Your Groundwater Day is a day for everyone to celebrate the importance of groundwater and the impact it has on our everyday lives. So just what is groundwater and why is it important to you and more specifically your business?

 

Groundwater is the water found underground within the cracks and crevices of rocks and sand or within the soil. It is common to assume that there is an endless amount of groundwater/freshwater available to us, however only 1% of all the water on Earth is usable by humans. With that in mind, it is important for us not only to conserve water but also protect it from contaminants – especially when impacting groundwater from production can result in a costly cleanup project.

 

 

Why should a business pay attention to groundwater?

 

Like everyday people, industry is also dependent on groundwater. Groundwater provides about 18% of an industry’s fresh water (an economic value estimated at $2.7 billion), so the importance of clean groundwater to businesses is hard to overestimate. Inefficient use of groundwater costs money in terms of energy for pumping it and costs for treating and disposing of it after use. Likewise, accidental contamination of groundwater threatens a vital business resource. Many of our commercial and industrial clients only become aware of groundwater quality issues when they showed up in their own potable wells. When that happens, treatment of potable water becomes an additional expense on top of the environmental liabilities associated with remediation.

 

 

What can you do to protect your groundwater?

 

As noted on the NGWA website, you can protect groundwater by preventing its contamination by human activities and using it wisely. Complying with current State and Federal regulations on use and storage of chemicals, petroleum products and fertilizers goes a long way towards reducing the risk of groundwater contamination. Beyond legal requirements, it’s helpful to develop good housekeeping practices and a workplace culture that avoids shortcuts; especially with chemical handling. Water conservation is a vast topic, but it all starts with tracking your existing usage then developing practical and realistic goals for improvement.

 

Happy Protect Your Groundwater Day!

 

Return to Blogs >

Share This:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedin

Who, What, When, Where & Why: Environmental Forensics

 

Questions regarding environmental forensics will come up at some level in almost every environmental project.

Cross Section Plume Map - Environmental Forensics
Site Conceptual Model – Cross Section of a Plume Map

This can range from drawing conclusions about a release from a UST system to sophisticated analysis of large environmental datasets collected specifically to identify contributions from multiple sources. The purpose of forensic interpretation is to tell a story. The story becomes most interesting when some or all responsibility shifts from one party to another. In many ways, this is a natural extension of developing a site conceptual model (SCM), and much of the data required for telling the story is collected as part of most primary environmental investigations. Do you need forensic data interpretation or interpretation of forensic data?

To get the most value for your dollars spent, it might be helpful to think of forensic techniques as a specialized way in which environmental data is evaluated rather than as a series of analytical techniques. Commonly collected data can have significant forensic implications, boring logs, slug tests, GC chromatograms and tentatively identified compounds (TICs) all have a story to tell. Prior to investing in the collection of dedicated forensic data, a good consultant will fully understand what answers you need and evaluate how close you are to those answers using data you already have. It may be, for example, that the data required to delineate and characterize the basic fate and transport of a chlorinated compound in groundwater, for regulatory purposes, is also sufficient to constrain the potential release date with the required precision. Or, the presence or absence of various gasoline oxygenates in a BTEX plume may be enough to identify the decade in which the release occurred.

 

 

A number of specialized analytical techniques can provide specific data useful for environmental forensics.

Chromatogram - Environmental Forensics
TPH Chromatogram

Only after reviewing existing data in light of the SCM can you start looking at the analytical techniques people usually associate with environmental forensics. The most basic may be petroleum fingerprinting, looking at the composition of LNAPL or petroleum in soil or water to identify the type of product present and degree of weathering. Like everything else in life, this can be done quick and inexpensive with moderate precision or slower and at greater cost for greater precision and defensibility. There are no foolproof analytical methods to date petroleum releases. However, the Christensen and Larsen (1993) method is often used to estimate the date of diesel/#2 fuel oil releases. This method is based on observed changes in the ratio of compounds over time due to biodegradation. While used with success in many cases, the further your site conditions are from those on which the method is based, the greater the caution should be exercised in interpreting results.

 

Moving beyond petroleum, a wide range of forensic techniques are available for different circumstances with an equally wider range in cost. With the right circumstances, specific tools like PCB congener analysis, stable isotope measurements, extended PAH analysis or sediment and groundwater age dating can provide key information to distinguish multiple sources or refine the understanding of contaminant fate and transport. As always, there is a tradeoff between the cost of sample collection and analysis and the need to document results with sufficient certainty to stand up to hostile scrutiny.

 

 

Leveraging existing data can ensure your environmental forensic efforts get you the answers you need.

You hope that you know (and like) what results you get from a forensic investigation. But even starting with a well-developed SCM, expect some surprises when the analysis and data evaluation are performed. The real life messiness of even the best environmental data is, on its own, a good reason to develop specific and realistic goals for a forensic evaluation before data collection. Developing those goals is easier when you are making the best use of the data you already have.

 

 

 

Return to Blogs >

Share This:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedin

The Importance of Reusable Water Bottles

 

How are you hydrating this summer?

It’s hot out. Really hot. And it’s getting hotter with July just around the corner. As a fair-skinned and freckled person, I know some of the major dangers of this hot weather. My daily checklist looks something like this:

checkSunglasses

check50+ Sunscreen

checkGlamorous, yet practical summer hat

 

Now I know not everyone gets the pleasure of wondering “will I look like a lobster today?” after summer fun in the sun, but there is something else on my checklist that everyone should remember to grab:

 

checkFilled reusable water bottle

 

When it comes to necessities, water is pretty high on the list considering we humans can only survive about three days without it. Fortunately for a number of us on this planet, we don’t have to worry about being able to get a drink of water today. We can access water from our sinks at home, through hookups in modern-day fridges or by just popping into the convenience store down the street and picking up a disposable water bottle.

 

However, I have an issue with that last choice. I’ll admit, it is pretty nice to be able to pick up a disposable water bottle in a convenience store because it is just that: convenient. What isn’t so nice and convenient is the cost of disposable water bottles over time to the consumer and the environment.

 

 

 

Just say “No” to disposable.

At a young age, I developed a stigma towards buying water. Why would I buy something that I can get for free out of the sink? Truth be told, it wasn’t quite free considering there’s always a water bill at the end of the month (something I’ve learned now that I’m older and wiser); but it’s still much more affordable than buying bottled water (about 2,000 times cheaper actually according to The Story of Bottled Water).

 

In his piece Message in a Bottle, Charles Fishman points out that the average American goes through about 167 plastic water bottles a year. Last time I checked, water bottles averaged around $2.00 a pop. That’s a lot of money to be wasted on plastic each year. No thanks.

 

What I didn’t realize before I started working at BSTI was the huge impact that plastic water bottles have on something that wasn’t my bank account; the environment is greatly affected by disposable plastic water bottles.

 

The day I started working at BSTI, I was given a gigantic reusable water bottle.

 

reusable water bottle
No joke, it’s a big bottle.

 

Inside the bottle was a handy little fact sheet about why BSTI supports the use of reusable water bottles.

BSTI Waterbottle Insert
Tough to read? Click the image to enlarge it.

 

This fact sheet brings attention to the environmental impact that plastic water bottles create. Not only does it point out that tap water is more regulated than bottled water, the fact sheet also brings to attention that plastic doesn’t degrade naturally. It states, “Less than 15% [of plastic water bottles are] recycled. The rest stay with us forever.”

 

Forever is a long time. With more and more plastic being produced each day due to people purchasing more and more disposable plastic water bottles, it’s sure to get very crowded on our planet in the future. Just look at what it’s already done to our oceans.

 

 

 

Stop, think and choose #refillnotlandfill

Good habits don’t happen right away, so I’m not expecting everyone to do a 180 and use only a reusable water bottle immediately. But next time you go to grab a disposable water bottle at a convenience store, consider your wallet and your planet. Fill up one of those plastic water bottles sitting in your passenger seat, or send me a message and we’ll figure out how to get you a free BSTI water bottle.

 

 

BSTI Bottle Collage 2

 

Return to Blogs >

Share This:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedin

Tales from Academia: Ryan Hupfer on the R/V Roger Revelle

ryan blog filled

Recently, I read about the christening of the R/V (Research Vessel) Neil Armstrong at the famous Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI). In 2010, the U.S. Navy announced the construction of two new research vessels. After working with the scientific community to design the ship, the competition to operate the new vessel began. Later that year, the Navy awarded the job to WHOI. Outfitted with a modern array of oceanographic instruments, the ship is dedicated to studying climate change and the chemistry, physics and biology of our oceans.

 

This news made me reminisce of my own experiences in academia. Before working at BSTI, I attended graduate school at Rutgers University – New Brunswick, an R1 school where the oceanography and geology departments were closely knit. After establishing myself at Rutgers, I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time when an opportunity to sail and sample ocean sediment arose.

 

RV Roger Revelle
The Research Vessel Roger Revelle

The R/V Roger Revelle planned to sail from Alotau, Papua New Guinea, to Manila, Philippines, making stops to collect ocean sediment cores and geophysical data. The cores and data collected from this expedition would later go on to be used to study climate change and ocean dynamics in a region known as the Western Pacific Warm Pool. Not only would I be able to take part in gathering the climate data that many take for granted in textbooks, I would get to go to an exotic location to do so! With the encouragement of my advisor (even though I would miss a month of classes), I applied to take part in a month-long oceanographic cruise in the western Pacific Ocean.

 

I was elated when I found out that I was selected. I packed my bags, and before my first semester of graduate school I boarded my flight from New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport to begin my journey half way around the world.

 

Papua New Guinea Coast - RV Roger Revelle
Coast of Papua New Guinea

 

Alotau, Papua New Guinea – September 4th, 2013

Airport and wallaby - RV Roger Revelle
(Top) The bustling Alotau airport
(Bottom) A wallaby!

I finally arrived in Alotau after what felt like three days. We had two days in Alotau, so I met up with the primary investigators and other graduate students, explored the town, took in the sights, swam at the local beaches and sampled the local suds. I took a liking to South Pacific Lager (aka SP to the locals), a crisp, refreshing lager that will quench your thirst and make you forget about even the muggiest Alotau nights; it had an iconic logo as well. I kept my eyes peeled for wallabies and birds of paradise, but unfortunately I only saw the former. Before I knew it, we boarded the ship and were on our way to Manila.

 

Ocean core extraction - RV Roger Revelle
Core coming up from the abyss

Once we became acquainted with the ship and I got over my initial seasickness, the science began. I was assigned to the night crew, working midnight to noon. This seems like a nightmare when you first think about it, but in hindsight I preferred it to working during the day. With temperatures in the mid 80’s and the humidity being high as can be, sweating through your clothes was common; within an hour it would appear as if you had fallen overboard.
It was much better to be in the cooler temperatures of the night. Adjusting to working at night was easy since the local time was 12 to 13 hours ahead of the U.S. East Coast. This made 1 AM out there the same as 1 PM back home. It also felt pretty cool to say “I’m on the night crew;” but I digress.

 

Over the next four weeks, I helped collect ocean sediment cores, seismic data and surface water samples along with the three other grad students and the post-doctoral researcher on my shift. Obtaining the sediment cores took up most of our time, the process taking all five of us to hoist the sections of the core overboard as they came up from the abyss. Imagine lifting an eight-foot section of PVC pipe filled with wet sand and mud; it was hard and at most times dirty work. Needless to say, my arms were toned by the end of the trip.

 

Retrieving Core and working - RV Roger Revelle
(Top) Team retrieving ocean sediment core
(Bottom) Hard at work on the R/V Revelle
Multicore and core - RV Roger Revelle
(Top) The multi-core
(Bottom) An extracted core

A second method of collecting ocean sediment cores involved loading and unloading a machine called a multi-core. This arachnid-esque device could collect eight 3-foot cores at once. The device was lowered then pulled up with the cores rigged to snap shut and collect a sample at the sediment-water interface. While these were much lighter than the long cores from the ocean floor, they were often half filled with water and therefore much more cumbersome when it came to packing them.

 

Once we had a substantial backlog of cores and started travelling, our focus switched. With the cores aboard, we analyzed the sediment with a gamma logger to quantitatively differentiate clay from sand and silt.

 

We continued collecting seismic data (which only took one person) and spent time splitting the cores in half, describing the contents and photographing them. After the qualitative descriptions, we packaged the cores so they could be shipped back to the U.S. where they would eventually be sampled and analyzed.

 

 

 

 

Manila, Philippines – October 3, 2013

After about a month, the science team departed the R/V Revelle in Manila, Philippines. While Manila was much more urban and developed than Papua New Guinea, it was still an interesting experience. Despite sleeping only a handful of hours, I wandered the streets around the hotel in which I was staying. I ate Filipino food from a roadside shack, which seemed intimidating at first but ended up being delicious. I ordered a chili oil noodle stir fry, which had a good kick to it, and sautéed kangkong (known as water spinach in English) with tofu, which satisfied my umami taste buds and my desire for fresh greens after being restricted to long-lasting boat food for the past month. I also drank coconut water straight from a coconut which was husked right before my eyes, and developed a love for rambutan and lychee while feeling the stares of many Manilans.

 

I stuck out like a sore thumb; I towered over almost all passersby, and my long hair and beard gave me a unique look. Despite the staring, the trip ended with a great dinner for all of the scientists that was hosted by a researcher at the local university. After a few hours of sleep, I woke, gathered my things and made my way to Ninoy Aquino International Airport for the long trip home.

 

Mayon Volcano - RV Roger Revelle
View of the Mayon Volcano

 

Home – September 4th 2013

Going on an oceanographic cruise was a great experience. Not only did I get to visit exotic places, I gained some great skills and learned some great lessons that I still use at BSTI today. Logging so many cores on the ship made me confident in my abilities and helped me realize what is useful to describe in a log. Like scientific investigations, soil boring investigations (which are similar to sediment core investigations except smaller) almost always involve something to be done, whether it be screening the boring with a PID, describing the core, collecting a sample or just taking legible notes and keeping them in order. I realized I must make good use of the time I have in between borings to get everything done, even when the time in between is minutes rather than hours or days. The work on the cruise may have been different from what I do now, but I will always cherish the skills and good habits I developed on that great adventure.

 

 

Return to Blogs >

Share This:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedin

When Guidance Becomes Rule

Guidance Becomes Rule

I outlined before what makes a great guidance document, but that doesn’t automatically make the guidance a rule.

 

Guidance documents which standardize a set of procedures are typically not only relevant, but may even be required by policy or law. Federal law and policies, such as the Office of Management and Budget Circular A-119 (revised January 2016), even require federal agencies to refer to standards by “incorporation by reference” rather than recreating the material in federal code. In such cases, these “Voluntary Consensus Standards (VCS)” become law. A-119 expands not only on the federal government’s reliance on VCSs, but also encourages participation in the development process.  A-119 also requires that VCS’s which are incorporated by reference be developed in an open and balanced system and be considered for the costs associated with accessing the documents. Some standard development organizations, such as ASTM, have made available such referenced standards free to the public.

 

State and local regulatory agencies may also rely on industry guidance documents in their corresponding regulations. Most do not have policies or procedures regarding incorporation by reference, so it is imperative that these documents be reviewed during promulgation or when the public has an opportunity to review and comment. Regardless of the referring agency, complications may rise when these documents are not updated or where references included in those documents are out of date.

 

Finally, industry guidance may be written to support federal, state or local regulation but not necessarily referenced in the regulation. These may be state guidance documents, industry documents, or even peer-reviewed journals. Although not rule by reference, these documents sometimes become the “common law” simply by widespread industry acceptance. Users of these documents should be aware of their limitations, the process in which they were created and the frequency in which they are updated. Although useful for potentially predictive outcomes, these documents may be flexible and or open to challenge.

 

Guidance becomes the rule when either regulatory agencies refer to them in such a way or when widespread acceptance makes them the norm.

 

Return to Blogs >

Share This:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedin

Complete Your Written Hurricane Plan – Hurricane Preparedness Week

Rochelle Brittingham

Storm - Complete Your Written Hurricane Plan - Hurricane Preparedness Week

Preparing for disasters is just as important for business as individuals, as many families’ livelihoods can depend on a business keeping its doors open. Business continuity planning often focuses on IT and data preservation for good reason, but think through all aspects with some of the many resources available online and through emergency management offices in your state.

 

Every business should go through planning steps to be prepared. Investing effort into a preparedness program can save time and money in the long run. But once a plan is in place, don’t forget to test it. Testing identifies crucial gaps in planning as well as determining what just doesn’t work. Because – let’s face it – it’s easier to fix problems and make improvements without a hurricane bearing down on you.

 

Items one should potentially keep in mind while planning:Trim Trees - Complete Your Written Hurricane Plan - Hurricane Preparedness Week

  • Does everyone have everyone else’s contact information?
  • What if people can’t get to the office? Can people work from home in certain instances?
  • Are certain people responsible for securing equipment or doing particular tasks? Do they know it’s their responsibility?
  • Have you done a site search on things that could damage your business or infrastructure (e.g. are tree branches away from the roof and power lines)?
  • Are there supplies available to board up windows or keep water from breaching the structure(s)?
  • Does it make sense to have agreements in place with other companies in order to help your business out if assistance is needed? Power companies come to one another’s aid when damage is extensive. Do you have companies you would rely on to help you get back on your feet?

 

While some environmental planning requirements may touch on natural hazards (e.g. SPCC), best practices can go beyond legal requirements. For instance, EPA has begun to provide guidance on considering climate change in remedial design. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection – Site Remediation Program will shortly be releasing a new guidance document titled Planning for and Response to Catastrophic Events at Contaminated Sites. This guidance (which includes content written and developed by Brownfield Science and Technology’s Nicholas Santella) discusses planning to increase the resilience of operations at remediation sites in the face of catastrophic events.

 

Write a Plan - Complete Your Written Hurricane Plan - Hurricane Preparedness WeekFinally, businesses should encourage their employees to make a plan. Employees should plan on having items that address their specific needs, such as medications or other personal requirements. Going through the process of planning helps people to decide what they need to have with them if they are required to evacuate, as well as if they needed to shelter-in-place. Planning also serves a dual purpose when employees discuss with their families what supplies are needed at home and what needs to be taken to work to prepare for being cut-off from daily services.

 

For more resources on planning for a hurricane, visit NOAA online:

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation/news/160404_hurricane_prepare.html

 

 
Rochelle Brittingham PhD, MPA is an expert in emergency management with a focus on planning for the needs of people with disabilities or access and functional needs during disasters. She has over 10 years of experience in social work, grant writing and community outreach. Currently, she is employed at the University of Delaware Center for Disabilities Studies. She is also a Delaware Community Emergency Response Team instructor.

 

Return to Hurricane Preparedness Week >

Share This:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedin

Identify Your Trusted Sources of Information for a Hurricane Event – Hurricane Preparedness Week

SuperCell - Hurricane Preparedness Week - Trusted Sources of Information

Take simple steps to keep you alerted.

 

Staying aware of developing weather is critical to taking timely action for the safety of personnel and property. Tracking weather may not be high on your list of priorities during a busy workday, so take the time now to make sure that information will come to you when you need it.

 

Text Message Alert - Hurricane Preparedness Week - Trusted Sources of Information
Get emergency alerts sent directly to your phone.

Be sure to activate emergency alerts if available on your phone.

Every phone is different, so there isn’t one simple way to turn on alerts. Refer to the phone’s user manual or use the internet to search how to allow emergency alerts to be sent to your phone.

 

Consider getting a NOAA radio and programming it to receive alarms for your county.

NOAA radios are available online or in many stores. Learn more about NOAA weather radio at: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/

 

Sign up for text and email alerts.

A number of third party services allow you to subscribe to National Weather Service alerts and warnings by email and text message, so consider using the following link to sign up for a service: http://www.weather.gov/subscribe

You can also sign up for alerts based on USGS stream gauge data, a good idea if you have a site vulnerable to inland flooding:  http://water.usgs.gov/wateralert/

 

 

 

For additional sources, check out:

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation/news/160404_hurricane_info.html

Bookmark the links most relevant to you so you can find them easily the next time bad weather threatens.

 

 

Return to Hurricane Preparedness Week >

Share This:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedin

Strengthen Your Business – Hurricane Preparedness Week

Strengthen Your Business - Hurricane Preparedness Week

NOAA mentions the importance of strengthening your home if you plan to ride out a storm, but a business owner needs to remember to prepare a second abode for bad weather: the workplace. It’s important to make sure your building is strong enough to hold up against a natural disaster. Vulnerable businesses and other sites can be retrofitted to be less vulnerable to hurricane damage in similar ways to homes.  An important and relatively inexpensive measure is to elevate critical equipment such as utilities or IT infrastructure above projected flood levels. In highly vulnerable or especially critical structures, installation of flood barriers may be a good investment now to save you in the future.

 

Tank - Strengthen Your Business - Hurricane Preparedness WeekOne hazard often unrecognized in both homes and businesses is the threat from hazardous or flammable materials stored in areas that could flood, most commonly stored heating fuel. Above-ground storage tanks (ASTs), propane tanks of all sizes and other small-scale chemical stores are often lost in flooding events. Even underground storage tanks (USTs) can be vulnerable to buoyancy induced damage or water infiltration during flood events. However, if planned for ahead of time, it is possible to anchor tanks and other storage vessels with cables or tie downs and move small vessels to secure storage areas so they don’t float away.

 

 

For more ideas on how to strengthen your home or business against a hurricane, visit:

http://www.flash.org/peril_hurricanes.php

 

Return to Hurricane Preparedness Week >

Share This:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedin