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July 15, 2009
NOAA satellite image of Hurricane Katrina, taken on Aug. 28, 2005, at 11:45 a.m. EDT.
High resolution (Credit: NOAA)
Emergency management and severe weather contact information for Florida’s Atlantic coast is now available in an easily read tip-sheet. Part of the popular NOAA Extreme Weather Information Sheet series, this one-page document contains critical phone numbers and Web site information residents can use during potentially life-threatening weather emergencies.
With the addition of Florida’s east coast, all coastal residents in the state can access this valuable information. Updated for 2009, the laminated and waterproof tip-sheets, known as NEWIS, also are available for residents in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.
“These weather information sheets have proven to be very effective tools when our emergency management staff help residents prepare their hurricane plans,” said Mack Austin of the Hillsborough County, Florida Emergency Management Agency. “It is very well organized, easy to understand and the lamination is great for using it in the field.”
NEWIS was created by personnel at NOAA’s National Coastal Data Development Center, located at Stennis Space Center on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The idea grew out of the center’s experiences after Hurricane Katrina.
Clearwater Beach, Fla.
High resolution (Credit: NOAA)
“Following Katrina, everyone at the center had pieces of paper with important phone numbers written on them,” said NCDDC Director Russ Beard. “We wanted to create an information sheet for use before and after a storm, and I knew from my experience it had to be waterproof.”
During 2008 more than 143,000 of the documents were distributed in the five Gulf Coast states, mainly through county emergency management agencies and local libraries. Special emphasis was made to get them in the hands of senior citizens, first responders and people who might not have Internet access.
This year’s NEWIS also contains updated information about mobile data links for NOAA’s National Hurricane Center and NOAA’s National Weather Service, and NOAAWatch All Hazard Monitoring Information. Online versions also are available for download at NOAA's National Coastal Data Development Center's Coastal Science, Information and Data for the Ecosystem Web site.
NCDDC annually verifies all contacts, phone numbers, and Web sites listed on NEWIS and continues to monitor the information throughout the hurricane season. Any updates are added to the online versions.
NCDDC urges residents to monitor the official advisories issued by NOAA's National Hurricane Center as well statements and warnings from your local NOAA National Weather Service forecast office. Follow the direction of the local emergency managers or law enforcement.NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.