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pedestrian almost hit by driver texting
Situational UNawareness -- Photo courtesy of oxda.ru

"Together" usually follows lyrics about stormy weather because it feels better to be with those we care about when weather events impact us - as they are doing across the globe with increasing frequency and severity.

In a disaster, our loss of control can seem overwhelming (except for omnipotent neophytes like those took fans to the beach to blow Hurricane Irma away from Florida.) Developing emergency preparedness and situational awareness will lessen a disaster's impact on us and could even prevent a disaster altogether (photo).

Physical preparedness:  supplies and equipment, shelter, and "muscle memory" - at least a rudimentary familiarity with supplies, equipment, shelter and how to use them, care for them, carry or set up or repair or secure them.

Mental preparedness:  training, reading, practice, thinking it through, and developing situational awareness. All fight panic and promote safety.

Alternatives:  emergencies are times when "normal" doesn't work. Communication is a prime example. Imagine every person in your community calling 911 - or just using their cell phones - simultaneously. What would happen to cell service?  911? What alternatives might work? Exiting a public building like a theater is another example.  Most people will head for the doors they entered through.  Developing "situational awareness" includes looking for alternative exits as you enter.

Building preparedness into one's lifestyle is like growing a garden or preserving and storing food:  It takes some time to develop the skills and especially the mindset/habits. One way to start (in the US) is CERT training. If there's a Community Emergency Response Team - or something similar - in your area, check it out. It's good training, and it's free.

Many people in each article below were not expecting the weather they got. A useful mental exercise is thinking what could be done to prepare in each of the scenarios below if they happened in your area or an area you will be visiting this summer.

Moscow breaks record for May snowfall (VIDEOS)

11 May, 2024 10:37

The temperature in the Russian capital on Thursday lagged 1.5 months behind the normal climate calendar, meteorologists have said

Moscow breaks record for May snowfall (VIDEOS)

Dandelions are covered in snow during rare spring snowfall in Moscow. © Sputnik / Vladimir Astapkovich

The snow that fell in Moscow on May 9 was the first ever recorded on that day of the year in the capital, the scientific director of Russia’s Hydrometeorological Center has said....Moscow’s cold snap follows the warmest April in 23 years, the Gismeteo website said last week. 

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Heat Wave Causes More Than 40 Degrees in 17 States of Mexico

11 May 2024

The demand for electricity from the heat has caused massive blackouts.

Illustrative image of people hydrating face the heat wave.

Photo: X/ @thandojo

The National Meteorological Service (SMN) of Mexico reported that second heat wave of the year in Mexico will leave temperatures above 40 degrees in 17 of the 32 states of the country, although the cold front 50 will bring relief to the north and northeast of the territory....The demand for electricity from the heat has caused massive blackouts, so the National Energy Control Center (Cenace) has declared emergencies in the electrical system on Tuesday and Thursday.

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More Than 300 Dead by Intense Floods in Afghanistan

11 May 2024

In addition to distributing aid and food rescue teams continue to search for the disappeared after the mud and rubble.

Devastating flash floods in Afghanistan.

Devastating flash floods in Afghanistan. | Photo: X/ @TOPXNews 

Authorities declared a state of emergency and rushed to rescue the injured in Afghanistan after flash floods which caused more than 300 deads in several provinces of the Mid East country....The Asian country is one of the world’s most vulnerable to climate change and least prepared to adapt, according to a report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).

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Thousands Escape Raging Wildfire in Canada

13 May 2024

"Wildfires are all around us, from the west to the northeast," Fort Nelson Mayor Fraser said.

WIldfires in the vicinity of Fort Nelson, Canada, May 2024.

WIldfires in the vicinity of Fort Nelson, Canada, May 2024. | Photo: X/ @acadienouvelle

Currently, thousands of people are out of their homes in Canada's western province of British Columbia due to a raging wildfire. The Parker Lake wildfire was first detected in Fort Nelson and the Fort Nelson First Nation in the province on Friday around 5:25 p.m. It ballooned in size from half-a-square km to nearly 17 square km by Saturday morning....So far, the 2023 wildfire season has been the most destructive on record. 

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Brazil: Number of Deaths Due to Floods Rises to 144

 12 May 2024

Given the weather forecast, almost the entire state of Rio Grande do Sul remains on high alert.

Flooding in the Southern Brazilian state Rio Grande do Sul.

Flooding in the Southern Brazilian state Rio Grande do Sul. | Photo: X/ @freedomfiles_

While authorities are forecasting new storms for southern Brazil, the latest Civil Defense report indicates that flooding caused by torrential rains left 144 dead and more than 2.1 million affected....Brazilian authorities describe a "war scenario" in Rio Grande do Sul. A rare combination of factors caused devastating flooding in the Brazilian state and affected more than two million people, and given the weather forecast, almost the entire state remains on high alert.

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