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Severe wind storms pose a significant risk to life and property in the region by creating conditions that disrupt essential systems such as public utilities, telecommunications, and transportation routes. Based on local history, most incidents of high wind in the City of West Covina are the result of the Santa Ana wind conditions. These regional winds typically occur from October to March, and, according to most accounts are named either for the Santa Ana River Valley where they originate or for the Santa Ana Canyon, southeast of Los Angeles, where they pick up speed.
Tornadoes are spawned when there is warm, moist air near the ground, cool air aloft, and winds that speed up and change direction. Unlike tornados, microbursts, are strong, damaging winds which strike the ground and often give the impression a tornado has struck. University of Chicago storm researcher Dr Ted Fujita first coined the term "downburst" to describe strong, downdraft winds flowing out of a thunderstorm cell that he believed were responsible for the crash of Eastern Airlines Flight 66 in June of 1975.
A downburst is a straight-direction surface wind in excess of 39 mph caused by a small-scale, strong downdraft from the base of convective thundershowers and thunderstorms. Macrobursts are downbursts with winds up to 117 mph which spread across a path greater than 2.5 miles wide at the surface and which last from 5 to 30 minutes.
When the microburst wind hits an object on the ground such as a house, garage or tree, it can flatten the buildings and strip limbs and branches from the tree.
Tornados, like those that occur every year in the Midwest and Southeast parts of the United States, are a rare phenomenon in most of California, with most tornado-like activity coming from micro-bursts.
While the effects of Santa Ana Winds are often overlooked, it should be noted that in 2003, two deaths in Southern California were directly related to the fierce condition. A windstorm event in the region can range from short term microburst activity lasting only minutes to a long duration Santa Ana wind condition that can last for several days as in the case of the January 2003 Santa Ana wind event.
The map shows clearly the direction of the Santa Ana winds as they travel from the stable, high-pressure weather system called the Great Basin High through the canyons and towards the low-pressure system off the Pacific. With an analysis of the high wind and tornado events depicted in the "Local History" section, we can deduce the common windstorm impact areas including impacts on life, property, utilities, infrastructure and transportation. The prevailing wind in West Covina is a result of the Southern California onshore breeze that usually occurs every afternoon. Although West Covina is not located in a hazardous wind zone or special wind region, the City has experienced wind damage in the past. On November 30, 1982 storm winds as high as 75 mph along with heavy rains swept through the area. Based on the history of the region, windstorm events can be expected, perhaps annually, across widespread areas of the region which can be adversely impacted during a windstorm event. Debris carried along by extreme winds can directly contribute to loss of life and indirectly to the failure of protective building envelopes, siding, or walls. Windstorms can damage buildings, power lines, and other property and infrastructure due to falling trees and branches. Windstorms can result in collapsed or damaged buildings or blocked roads and bridges, damaged traffic signals, streetlights, and parks, among others. Windstorm activity can have an impact on local transportation in addition to the problems caused by downed trees and electrical wires blocking streets and highways. One of the strongest and most widespread existing mitigation strategies pertains to tree clearance.
Failure to allow a utility company to comply with the law can result in liability to the homeowner for damages or injuries resulting from a vegetation hazard. The power companies, in compliance with the above regulations, collect data about tree failures and their impact on power lines.
The windstorm mitigation action items provide direction on specific activities that organizations and residents in City of West Covina can undertake to reduce risk and prevent loss from windstorm events. Constraints: To be addressed as new projects are brought through the city planning process.
Work with Maintenance Department to develop tree-trimming schedule for optimum effectiveness to maintain healthy trees.
Determine tree planting plan to include type of trees to plant, when to plant, where easement trees will be planted, and how and when they will be maintained.
Constraints: Incorporation into the current process, data entry and programming to track inventory of trees.
This Special Report by The Heritage Foundation Emergency Preparedness Working Group focuses on the lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy in 2012. FEMA must no longer be made to respond to all manner of routine disasters, so that when truly catastrophic disasters stike, such as Hurricane Sandy, FEMA and its pocketbook are prepared. Where FEMA failed in its response efforts and overall preparedness, the National Guard and Coast Guard excelled. Particularly for disaster response, State Defense Forces offer their states important, low-cost force multipliers. More responsibility should be returned to the states in terms of disaster response and recovery.
These lessons should have been learned before—from Hurricane Katrina to the Gulf oil spill—yet the nation continues to fall short in terms of planning for catastrophic disaster response and recovery.
Hurricane Sandy lived up to expectations in October 2012, delivering a powerful punch with heavy rains, strong winds, and significant storm surges.
Amid the disaster, however, Americans came together to help family, friends, and neighbors.
The American Red Cross initially mobilized more than 1,000 disaster workers in communities up and down the East Coast.
Meanwhile, the Salvation Army deployed dozens of mobile feeding units in seven states to serve thousands of meals.
In addition to the Red Cross and Salvation Army, local faith-based and community organizations played vital roles in the emergency response to Sandy.[4] Sandy was certainly a severe storm that will not soon be forgotten. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the federal government responded by doling out more than $60 billion in total emergency spending, an appropriation process driven strongly by politics.
When the influence of 24-hour news channels carrying images of suffering citizens is married with politicians eager to squeeze as much out of the federal government as possible, the ability of fiscally responsible politicians to stem the tide of more spending is washed away like the houses built too near the unpredictable ocean.
Modify the Stafford Act to establish clear requirements that limit the situations in which FEMA can issue declarations. Nothing typifies the extent to which states rely on the federal government for disaster spending like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s (R) demand that the federal government essentially give him a blank check to deal with Hurricane Sandy.[8] With his charge that Congress’s refusal to give him that blank check was a “dereliction of duty,” Governor Christie fails to appreciate that Congress has an obligation to ensure that precious taxpayers funds are appropriated responsibly. In some ways, it is hard to criticize Governor Christie too much for his expectation that the federal government should pick up the tab for Hurricane Sandy. Governor Christie’s position reveals, however, just how dependent states have become on federal funding. Yet, with the federal government’s increasing fiscal crisis, including the $17 trillion national debt, the ability of FEMA to continue to pay for routine disasters across the United States will become harder to justify. Without a return of responsibility to the states, the federalization of routine disasters will continue to require FEMA to become involved with a new disaster somewhere in the United States at the current pace of every 2.5 days. As FEMA and the state leaderships of New Jersey and New York continue their shift to long-term recovery, fulfilling these key requirements must be the primary focus of the political leadership and their staffs.
The fact is that FEMA spends too much time responding to routine natural disasters, such as small-scale tornadoes and snowstorms, and not enough time preparing for catastrophic natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions, which have wide regional impacts. Congress should reduce the federal share for all FEMA declarations to a maximum of 25 percent of the costs. FEMA’s operational tempo and lack of preparedness can be contrasted with that of the National Guard and Coast Guard before and after Sandy made landfall. Having learned in recent catastrophes, such as Hurricane Katrina, the value of “dual-status commanders”—generals that can have both state and federal authority—they were appointed by the governors of Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, and New Jersey prior to Sandy’s landfall. The initiative for dual-status commanders emerged after insufficient direction and coordination between state and federal forces during Hurricane Katrina hampered response efforts. This command structure, as well as the general state of readiness of the National Guard, allowed it to put 60,000 guardsmen on alert status nationwide as Hurricane Sandy approached the U.S. In Massachusetts, for example, a National Guard Civil Support Team (CST), a unit for emergency preparedness support, was activated to respond to a possible hazardous material threat, but local response forces determined that they had control of the situation.[27] CSTs do not solely respond to hazardous material threats, however. Overall, the National Guard has proven to be a robust amplifier of local response efforts by virtue of its consistently trained force and federal funding stream. Like the National Guard, the Coast Guard also served a number of critical roles in restoring order and security during and after Hurricane Sandy. While the Spencer, Willow, Elm, and Gallatin performed admirably during Sandy, these cutters cannot remain in the fleet forever. The National Guard should continue building on lessons learned from Sandy and previous natural disasters. Nothing can be more detrimental to the response to a catastrophe than if first responders must waste vital time and resources taking care of those who could have taken care of themselves. Once all elements of the community that are capable of doing so have taken care of themselves, then, and only then, can those elements engage with first responders to lend a hand and become part of the broader community response. It is the person whose family is safe and secure who is able to volunteer at a disaster relief center. Americans must, however, take a more realistic and pragmatic view on which actions community members should take based on the likelihood of various risks they may face. When it comes to natural disasters, geography largely determines the relative risk to a community. One of the biggest issues arising after Hurricane Sandy was that many individuals who failed to evacuate did not have enough supplies on hand to survive[33] It did not help that, as was the case during Hurricane Katrina, the evacuation order for New York City came very late in the process. While many people rely on the Internet for information, the best method for conveying information to individuals is through a trusted community actor, such as a popular news personality or community leader. With individuals taking action to prepare themselves and their families, and engaging in community-based efforts so that the ‘‘do no harm’’ principle is followed, a community’s resiliency will be high. Change the current American mindset of disaster response and relief from overfederalization to civil society.
Like the National Guard, State Defense Forces (SDFs) played an important role in the response to Hurricane Sandy. SDFs also have the advantage of being from, and thus understanding, the local area and culture. Perhaps what is most important, though, is that each state can tailor its SDF to meet specific needs. While not authorized to deploy outside their home states except under special circumstances, SDFs in some of the hardest-hit states, such as Maryland, New York, Virginia, and Connecticut, were activated to assist in the Sandy recovery efforts. The Maryland Defense Force (MDDF) deployed one Disaster Assessment Team (DAT) in Salisbury ahead of the storm, and had two more DATs and four medical teams on standby that were never required to activate. State and federal policymakers should integrate SDF units into state and federal emergency management planning. Another key lesson that can be learned from Hurricane Sandy is the importance of a vibrant civil society to disaster relief efforts. Nongovernmental organizations such as the American Red Cross, United Way, New York Cares, and countless others quickly responded to the needs of those affected.
Similarly, churches and faith-based organizations have a unique role to play in disaster relief. In addition to physical relief, religious organizations also meet the spiritual and psychological needs of those who have experienced great loss.
Heroism and generosity from individuals, NGOs, and religious organizations indicate all too clearly the importance of civil society in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. NGOs, such as the United Way and the Red Cross, for example, were also invested in the long-term relief effort. Businesses also provide the necessary capital and expertise to repair damaged critical infrastructure networks. Incorporate NGOs, faith-based organizations, and businesses into federal and local disaster plans before disaster strikes.
This is the kind of spending that helps unravel coherent budgeting and contributes to chronic trillion-dollar deficits. Congress should enact legislation that restricts the items for which the federal government can provide emergency funds post-disaster. Rather than simply throwing money at the issue, a better and more honest federal approach to global warming right now is to encourage economic health—precisely what global warming energy subsidies do not accomplish. The nuclear facilities in Hurricane Sandy’s path were designed and built to withstand floods above predicted storm surges and other natural disasters long before Sandy was ever a threat. Beyond plant design, federal law also requires nuclear plants to have preparedness and emergency response plans with local, state, and federal groups approved by FEMA and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) before an operating license is granted. The week prior to Sandy’s landfall on the evening of October 29, nuclear facilities were entirely re-inspected and tested.
Before and during the storm, the NRC monitored Sandy’s progress from the Incident Response Center from its Region I office in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, as well as from the Operations Center at headquarters in Rockville, Maryland. As part of standard NRC policy, reactors must shut down two hours before hurricane winds are forecast to reach the plants, though operators have the prerogative to shut down the reactors earlier as a precaution.
One plant, Oyster Creek Generating Station, issued an “unusual event” declaration and then an “alert”—the two lowest of four emergency alert levels—during the course of the storm. Oyster Creek had been closed since October 22 for scheduled maintenance, eliminating many of the safety concerns that faced other facilities.[64] During the storm, high waters caused a partial loss of power and several of the cooling water pumps shut down.
On November 13, 2012, the NRC began a special inspection of the plant’s preparation and management during the storm. The successful weathering of Sandy is yet one more addition to the American nuclear industry’s proven track record to prepare and withstand severe weather. Of the Atlantic states in Sandy’s path, nuclear energy provides the majority of electricity in South Carolina, Virginia, New Jersey, and Vermont and a close second in North Carolina, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.[70] The nuclear facilities in these states were prepared and proved resilient against Sandy’s force. While uproar over the nuclear energy sector was misguided, concern over the electrical infrastructure was very realistic.
As with most hurricanes, the largest cause of outages from Sandy was due to damage to distribution systems. When a distribution line short-circuits, the sudden change in power flow can damage transformers located along the line, or at a substation.
With this in mind, a common reaction to outages caused by hurricanes is often to call for burying distribution lines underground.
For utility customers, waiting for power to be restored can be a long and frustrating experience. After a hurricane, power restoration requires clearing away debris, rebuilding distribution circuits, and replacing faulty equipment. Promote contingency planning and training programs that help utilities respond more quickly and efficiently. Training repair crews and utility personnel to modify their responses as circumstances change.
Incentives that reward utilities for improved system reliability and restoration of power to customers as quickly as possible. Incentive regulation offers utilities a balanced “carrot and stick” approach for not meeting established regulatory requirements.
In addition to natural and technological disasters, many homeland security issues are also coordinated through this office. There are several uses for the canvas tarps and they now became the most popular type available on the market. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. The York County Office of Emergency Management (OEM), a division of the York County Department of Emergency Services (DES), administers the Emergency Management Program (EMP). It is the vision of the York County Office of Emergency Management to be recognized as the most professional, well respected, proactive, community and customer oriented municipal emergency management agency in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. York County Office of Emergency Management is charged with protecting the community by coordinating and integrating all activities necessary to build, sustain and improve the capability to prevent, mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from threatened or actual natural disasters, acts of terrorism or other man-made disasters. StormReady communities are better prepared to save lives from the onslaught of severe weather through advanced planning, education and awareness. High winds can and do occasionally cause tornado-like damage to local homes and businesses. While high impact wind incidents are not frequent in the area, significant Santa Ana Wind events and sporadic tornado activity have been known to negatively impact the local community. These winds occur below the passes and canyons of the coastal ranges of Southern California and in the Los Angeles basin. In later investigations into the phenomena he defined two sub-categories of downbursts: the larger macrobursts and small microbursts.


The microburst, on the other hand is confined to an even smaller area, less than 2.5 miles in diameter from the initial point of downdraft impact.
When the rapidly descending air strikes the ground, it spreads outward in all directions, like a fast-running faucet stream hitting the sink bottom. After striking the ground, the powerful outward running gust can wreak further havoc along its path. Windstorms in the City of West Covina area can cause extensive damage including heavy tree stands, exposed coastal properties, road and highway infrastructure, and critical utility facilities. Clearly the area of the City of West Covina is in the direct path of the ocean-bound Santa Ana winds.
Additionally, if a windstorm disrupts power to local residential communities, the American Red Cross and City resources might be called upon for care and shelter duties. The force of this wind is influenced by the differential temperatures over the ocean and inland areas.
Most wind damage in the City of West Covina has been the result of combination storms of wind and rain.
With these types of winds there is no particular area of the City that is more susceptible than another. The Maintenance Department lists damage to over 2000 trees in the City, 600 of these city-owned trees.
This can result in the involvement of City of West Covina emergency response personnel during a wide-ranging windstorm or microburst tornadic activity.
When severe windstorms strike a community, downed trees, power lines, and damaged property can be major hindrances to emergency response and disaster recovery.
Windstorms such as strong microbursts and Santa Ana Wind conditions can cause flying debris and downed utility lines.
During wet winters, saturated soils cause trees to become less stable and more vulnerable to uprooting from high winds. Roads blocked by fallen trees during a windstorm may have severe consequences to people who need access to emergency services.
With the Santa Ana winds driving the flames, the speed and reach of the flames is even greater than in times of calm wind conditions. During periods of extremely strong Santa Ana winds, major highways can be temporarily closed to truck and recreational vehicle traffic.
High winds commonly occur during winter storms, and can cause trees to bend, sag, or fail (tree limbs or entire trees), coming into contact with nearby distribution power lines.
Currently, California State Law requires utility companies to maintain specific clearances (depending on the type of voltage running through the line) between electric power lines and all vegetation. Many insurance companies do not cover these types of damages if the policy owner has refused to allow the hazard to be eliminated.
Each action item is followed by ideas for implementation, which can be used by the Hazard Mitigation Planning Committee and local decision makers in pursuing strategies for implementation. Relocate overhead utilities to conduits placed underground along Amar Road from Azusa Avenue to Temple Avenue. Materials can be distributed at City Council Meetings, Commission Meetings, City Hall, Parks and Recreation Centers, Fire Departments, Police Departments, Chamber of Commerce Meetings, School Administration Offices and other appropriate venues. Utilize presentation at future City Council Meetings or other public events as appropriate. Ensuring that such success continues in the future requires that both Guards receive the resources they need. Given this fact, and building on the success seen during Hurricane Sandy, more states at high risk of natural disaster should look to establish these forces. So too, the vital role of the local community, civil society, and the private sector must not be overlooked. Part of the problem driving the need for emergency spending is the increasing volume of disaster declarations issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) over the past two decades.
Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act of 1988 (Stafford Act), the controlling federal statute for disasters.
As the litmus test for federal disaster dollars, the Stafford Act fails to clearly establish which disasters meet the federal requirements and which do not. He has watched for years as FEMA paid for disasters all over America that were far less damaging than what New Jersey experienced after Hurricane Sandy. That means that states must begin planning for disasters as they once did from 1787 to 1992, before federal disaster declarations skyrocketed. This high operational tempo is affecting FEMA’s overall preparedness because it keeps FEMA perpetually in a response mode, leaving little time and few resources for catastrophic preparedness. She also made dozens of calls, chased contractors’ trucks through her neighborhood on foot and by car, and one time even tried to block them with her car in order to force a conversation.
This increases the likelihood that the federal response to catastrophic events will be insufficient, as once again demonstrated by the response to Hurricane Sandy. This way at least three-fourths of the costs of a disaster are borne by the taxpayers living in the state or states where the disaster took place. Leading up to the storm’s arrival, the National Guard mobilized with great efficiency and competence. In Katrina, active duty and National Guard operations, even those that were seemingly identical in practice, were directed by two separate chains of command. However, due to the nature of the incident, and the evidently robust state force responses from New York and New Jersey, only 12,000 of the 60,000 guard personnel were activated for Hurricane Sandy. Indeed, the New Jersey National Guard’s 21st CST was deployed to Brick Township, New Jersey, during the incident to enhance the local responders’ communications systems.[28] This type of support illustrates a critical benefit provided by CSTs. Most notably, the Coast Guard was responsible for rescuing 14 people stranded aboard the distressed HMS Bounty, a tall ship replica that was caught in the storm off the coast of North Carolina. The Coast Guard’s aging fleet can no longer keep up with the increased mission-set of the service, including disaster response and recovery. Continuing to understand how the National Guard transitions between state and federal duty is vital to maintaining the guard’s success as a response force in the future. Since the guard’s structure was generally successful in making response efforts more efficient and defined, governors affected by future incidents should feel encouraged in its use. When it comes to preparing for disasters like Hurricane Sandy, it takes on profound importance.
It is a not-for-profit community food bank whose supplies are protected that can resume its delivery of meals to those who cannot leave their homes. Many Americans struggle to meet their basic needs, particularly during tough economic times. Over the past 57 years, FEMA has compiled data on all of the larger natural disasters that have occurred in the United States. The information communicated should be as specific as possible and tailored to the particular disaster. As Hurricane Sandy showed, America’s communities are far from prepared to deal with the major events.
President Obama said it well: “But no matter how much money we invest or how sensibly we design our policies, the change that Americans are looking for will not come from government alone. Unlike the National Guard, however, these forces are largely made up of volunteers from local and state communities and are often composed of retired service members and reservists, along with other professionals, such as doctors, lawyers, and engineers, seeking to give back.
Additionally, they report to the governor of the state, and are generally under the command of the adjutant general, so they do not face the legal barriers that national forces sometimes face in deploying to states. While New York needed a naval militia to assist with its homeland security needs, New Mexico, for example, can focus its SDF on state needs such as border security and forest fire response. As with the National Guard, many more militia troops were prepared and ready to serve their communities than were actually needed, but this is exactly the problem a state would want to have during a crisis. The MDDF 121st Engineer Regiment was deployed to Salisbury as well as a medical team from the MDDF 10th Medical Regiment, which assisted a Maryland National Guard transportation team.
Its coordination in providing generators, light towers, fork lifts, cables, and other heavy operating materials out of Citi Field ballpark in Queens prevented immeasurable potential damages and losses for the state. Presently, 28 states have chosen not to authorize an SDF, including several states at high risk of natural disasters or terror attacks. States, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Homeland Security should integrate SDFs into existing and future emergency management plans to ensure that all players in state emergency response are aware of the resources provided by each state’s SDF.
Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), faith-based organizations and churches, and businesses all play roles that governments cannot fulfill on their own. Local volunteers like “Safety Sue” Marticek from the Red Cross could be found across the region doing what they could in the immediate aftermath of the storm. Religious organizations are knit into their local communities, while also being part of a regional or national group of like-minded adherents. When dealing with the loss of homes, friends, and family, known and respected clergy are often viewed as the best source of counsel and advice. Any disaster response must include such organizations, since they are often the greatest source of relief in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. Both organizations are still working to meet the ongoing material needs of Sandy’s victims. Perhaps one of the most important elements to restoring a community after a disaster is ensuring business involvement. Energy, information technology, communications, and other sectors of critical infrastructure are largely owned by the private sector. While President Obama created the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and continued the Department of Homeland Security’s Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, these offices need to be leveraged more.
While some regulations have legitimate functions in maintaining safety, others hold back rebuilding efforts by hamstringing businesses, NGOs, and other agencies with various restrictions and litigation. It is quite clear from the emergency spending doled out after both Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy that the absolute worst time for Congress to appropriate funds is right after a disaster has occurred.
It also lures states and localities into greater dependence on federal funds, further undermining the principle of federalism. With this restriction on the federal government’s appetite to engage in emergency spending, Americans should see a bit more responsible treatment of their tax dollars.
In the wake of such devastation, it is reasonable to look for a cause and explanation for suffering. Nevertheless, politicians and pundits took advantage of Hurricane Sandy’s devastation to advance global warming policies and projects.[55] Their proclamations captured much media attention and helped mobilize the passage of a relief package laced with global warming gestures. Federal programs like cap and trade, efficiency mandates, and fuel economy standards will not significantly affect global temperature, especially considering the efforts of developing nations to provide electricity to millions of people currently without it.
As with those who blamed global warming for Hurricane Sandy, many infrastructure concerns turned out to be misguided. Even in the case of serious damage caused by weather, nuclear plants are built with layered safety systems to mitigate and control emergency situations.
Nuclear facilities participate in full emergency exercises with state and local first responders at least once every two years. Of the 34 reactors expected to be in Sandy’s path, 18 continued to operate at 100 percent power, six reduced power output at the request of regional grid operators or in response to the storm, seven were previously shut down for refueling or maintenance, and three successfully shut down manually in response to the storm.
As the nation’s oldest operating nuclear reactor, it became a focal point for anti-nuclear sentiment and misinformation before and after the storm.
Although Hurricane Sandy damaged much of the Northeast’s coastal infrastructure, the nuclear non-event attests to what those in the industry already knew: that America has the best nuclear safety system in the world. Department of Energy’s application to construct the used nuclear fuel repository at Yucca Mountain. Though today’s reactors are very safe, new reactors have the potential to bring Americans even safer, clean, abundant, and affordable energy.
Hurricanes generally cause widespread power outages, particularly in highly populated areas.
This network of substations, transformers, and distribution lines delivers electricity to individual customers. Although underground distribution lines are immune to the effects of wind, undergrounding has drawbacks. An individual neighborhood, for example, may be without power even though power has been restored on the next block. In some cases, high-voltage transmission lines and generators may be damaged, requiring repair and replacement.
That is, damages can vary significantly from storm to storm, depending on the storm’s characteristics.
Having contingency plans in place in the event of a hurricane is a low-cost, straightforward exercise.
Although it might be possible to build an electric system that is hurricane-proof, the cost would be prohibitive. Rather than identifying power system weaknesses as a means of punishing electric utilities, state utility regulators should use an incentive-based approach to reward utilities for superior performance. Such economic incentives have proven highly effective in improving overall utility reliability by allowing utilities to profit from superior performance, just as competitive firms do. Indeed, FEMA’s lack of preparedness will come as a surprise to no one, nor will the sometimes-tenuous nature of the U.S. The Sibley County Department of Emergency Management works continually to engage emergency planning and preparedness for our entire community, and to promote technical skills development of all emergency first responders and support service personnel. Canvas canopies are now more popular as poly canopies became more expensive due to the spillage. The stronger types are most suitable during storm season as they protect against wind and extreme weather conditions. Knowing how to deal with them helps to reduce loss of life and property now and in the future.
Severe windstorms can present a very destabilizing effect on the dry brush that covers local hillsides and urban wildland interface areas. Santa Ana winds often blow with exceptional speed in the Santa Ana Canyon (the canyon from which it derives its name). This change increases pressure on parts of the house, and the combination of increased pressures and fluctuating wind speeds creates stresses that frequently cause structural failures. Damage associated with a microburst is often mistaken for the work of a tornado, particularly directly under the microburst. The second death occurred when a passenger in a vehicle was hit by a flying pickup truck cover launched by the Santa Ana Winds. Displacing residents and utilizing City resources for shelter staffing and disaster cleanup can cause an economic hardship on the community.
West Covina does experience Santa Ana conditions and the resulting high winds during this dry period.
Over 1000 calls for service were taken by the Communications Department, the City's 911 center. Both residential and commercial structures with weak reinforcement are susceptible to damage. Emergency response operations can be complicated when roads are blocked or when power supplies are interrupted. However, typically these disruptions are not long lasting, nor do they carry a severe long term economic impact on the region. From the collection of this data, the power company can advise residents as to the most appropriate vegetative planting and pruning procedures. Each declaration issued by FEMA drains the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF), a fund intended for emergencies that overwhelm state resources.[5] The more declarations issued, the faster the DRF needs replenishing. Under this act, the federal government pays 75 percent to 100 percent of disaster response bills as long as FEMA has issued a disaster declaration. Congress should correct this ambiguity by establishing clear requirements that limit the types of situations in which declarations can be issued. The first step is for states to allocate money to disaster relief funds that will give them the ability to fund their own disaster response and recovery operations directly. Through the use of relatively new command structures, streamlining direction and information gathering, and use of specialized units, the National Guard, in conjunction with other state forces as well as active duty military personnel, was poised to respond to Hurricane Sandy well in advance.
The dual-status structure of the National Guard during Hurricane Sandy, however, enabled state and federal military responders to receive the instructions from the same personnel and operate in a more streamlined fashion. Operations performed by the guard included search and rescue on land (the Coast Guard operates search and rescue at sea), food and water distribution, debris removal and route clearance, traffic control, fuel distribution for response vehicles, power generation support, and assistance in maintaining civil order.
These teams have resources not necessarily available in local regions threatened by a storm, but work under the direction of the governors.


While the Administration has said that the recent round of defense cuts will not lower the number of personnel in the guard or affect guardsmen’s compensation or benefits, secondary effects could be felt in the future. The Navy supported Coast Guard efforts, such as conducting hydrographic surveys to assess damage, resupplying Coast Guard vessels that were maintaining aids to navigation, and clearing debris.
This includes the nascent “offshore patrol cutter” class, which will replace all medium-endurance cutters. Whether it is the individual, family, community organizations, or the private sector, the primary role is to do no harm. Typically, the vulnerable population consists of the mentally and physically disabled, the elderly, non-English-speaking immigrants, and children. It is the big-box retailer whose employees are accounted for and whose stores are assessed for damage that can donate bottled water and clothing to the victims of a disaster and reopen rapidly to serve its battered community.
For most businesses, money spent on preparing for disasters directly impacts their profits. The information is publicly available, searchable by state or year, and contains details, such as impacted counties, and news articles related to the disaster. Many members, therefore, have high levels of training and professionalism stemming from past experience that makes them invaluable for high-risk states, acting as force multipliers for response efforts in the aftermath of natural disasters or domestic attacks. Other MDDF personnel served in support roles at the State Emergency Operations Center and the Joint Operations Center at Camp Fretterd. There was no system for keeping track of all of this state-owned and leased equipment used for the response effort before activation of the NYG. The hesitation of many states to create an SDF makes little sense, given that SDFs offer near-zero-cost force multipliers for homeland security.
Further, emergency management plans and exercises will provide the SDF with greater guidance on its role in state response in the event of a disaster. Due to the bureaucratic nature of government responses, these organizations play a crucial role in reaching out to the victims of disaster in a rapid, responsive, and adaptive manner. As such, religious organizations already have the local knowledge and infrastructure needed to respond immediately as well as having the backing of their larger religious denomination which can provide resources and personnel quickly and consistently. Faith-based organizations can similarly meet the needs of local firefighters, police, medical officials, and other caregivers, ensuring they are able to undertake other relief efforts. And, with roots in local communities, these organizations are not there merely to provide relief, but also to rebuild. The United Way has collaborated with organizations, including MTV and NBC, to continue to bring attention to the needs of ravaged communities. While basic supplies can be provided by government and nonprofits in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, only businesses can efficiently meet the various needs and demands of a community. This infrastructure must be rebuilt for true recovery to begin, and only the private sector has the resources and capability to make that happen. Specifically, the roles, responsibilities, and resources of all stakeholders need to be established before a disaster strikes. After a disaster, the government should make it easier for homes, businesses, and infrastructure to be rebuilt by temporarily suspending requirements like those in the Davis–Bacon statute, which effectively mandates wage premiums for those hired to work on federal construction projects. The decision to appropriate additional funds is driven almost entirely by politics, not by good public policy. Some, however, have incorrectly blamed global warming for an increase in disasters like Sandy, as well as the resulting increase in emergency declarations. Before Hurricane Sandy made landfall, nuclear skeptics and opponents were already likening the storm to the Fukushima disaster in Japan and raising alarm about flooding, power outages, and overheating spent fuel pools. For example, should power to the reactors be significantly disrupted during a storm, reactors will automatically shut down and diesel generators will kick in to maintain safe operations and conditions. Operators also regularly undergo training and are tested for recertification every six years.
Of those three, New York’s Nine Mile Point 1 and Indian Point 3 shut down because of grid disruption, and New Jersey’s Salem 1 shut down because rough waters battered the housing structure for several of the plant’s pumps. Finishing the permit application as required by law would allow the nation to move forward on developing a workable nuclear waste management policy.[71] If the NRC determines that the repository does not meet safety standards, the nuclear industry can begin searching for alternatives. One of the obstacles to nuclear investment, however, is an antiquated system for nuclear regulations.
Above-ground distribution systems are especially vulnerable to widespread outages because high winds and heavy rain combine to cause branches, and often entire trees, to fall onto the lines. In addition to the high cost, underground distribution lines are especially vulnerable to flooding. For utilities, restoring power requires extensive coordination and care, so as not to endanger their workers or customers.
Utility crews coordinate their repair efforts to restore the maximum number of customers in the least possible time, as well as giving priority to restoring power for critical users, such as hospitals.
For example, had Sandy’s landfall taken place several hours later or earlier, at low tide, rather than at high tide, the storm surge and subsequent flood damage to lower Manhattan would have been much less. Utilities can, however, undertake cost-effective actions to reduce potential outages and speed up power restoration in the event of catastrophic disasters, such as performing rigorous testing and analysis of aging transmission and distribution system assets to determine when various assets should be repaired or replaced, and the lowest-cost approaches for doing so. Until the oil leakage has stopped, no one will know when the discounted prices will come back again. High winds can have destructive impacts, especially to trees, power lines, and utility services.
Forecasters at the National Weather Service offices in Oxnard and San Diego usually place speed minimums on these winds and reserve the use of "Santa Ana" for winds greater than 25 knots." These winds accelerate to speeds of 35 knots as they move through canyons and passes, with gusts to 50 or even 60 knots.
This scale compares the estimated wind velocity with the corresponding amount of suspected damage. This afternoon breeze is a southwest wind, meaning that it blows from the southwest to the northwest. Wind conditions may add to the destruction associated with other natural hazards; such as wind driven wildfires, or as mentioned before the combination of rain saturated ground and the additional forces caused by the wind.
This storm caused numerous utility wires to drop, with the West Covina Fire Department responding out to twelve calls of wires down, two tree fires, and a structure fire possibly caused by the surge in power as lines went down.
Complicating communications the repeater for Fire and Police communications was blown out of alignment, and both Public Safety agencies religned on the Maintenance Department channel to communicate via radio. Wind pressure can create a direct and frontal assault on a structure, pushing walls, doors, and windows inward.
Industry and commerce can suffer losses from interruptions in electric services and from extended road closures. Wind-induced damage to the power system causes power outages to customers, incurs cost to make repairs, and in some cases can lead to ignitions that start wild land fires. State and local governments took a leading role to prepare their communities for the disaster and mobilize once the storm hit.
If FEMA reserved the DRF and its resources for nationally catastrophic disasters, the need for emergency spending would drop significantly.
After two decades of an increasingly active and generous FEMA, governors have slashed preparedness budgets and drained any disaster rainy day funds over the past 13 years. In the case of the New Jersey 21st CST, the guard implemented a Joint Incident Site Communications Capability (JISCC).[29] The JISCC essentially creates a command and control center by which federal, state, and local forces can all communicate with each other regardless of which devices they employ to do so.
Much of the equipment that the guard uses, for example, could be subject to improper modernization.
Congress should continue to make sure that this and other modernization programs mature consistently and efficiently to ensure that the fleet remains capable and competent in future disaster relief. Instead, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) should work with Congress to fully dedicate the resources needed to complete the development of the National Security Cutter, the Offshore Patrol Cutter, and the Fast Response Cutter fleets, and meet stated requirement levels.
As was demonstrated during Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy, a society fails when it fails those most in need. Given these competing needs for individuals and businesses, it becomes even more critical to assess risk realistically.
Community members can use this actuarial data to develop a better understanding of the natural disasters likely to occur in their area and, therefore, make better decisions about how to prepare. It is an expression of faith, this yearning to give back, this hungering for a purpose larger than our own, that reveals itself not simply in places of worship, but in senior centers and shelters, schools and hospitals, and any place an American decides.”[35] This includes in the aftermath of a disaster. Almost 70 MDDF personnel contributed 2,430 man hours to recovery efforts in the state of Maryland. George Gibson, Deputy Incident Commander of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services for Citi Field operations, stated: “I can’t begin to come up with a number of what our possible losses could have been without this system. There are, as outlined in this Special Report, a number of vibrant SDFs that can serve as models for new ones throughout the states, and whose command and staff elements could act as valuable advisers in the start-up process. It is essential that all SDF personnel be drilled in National Incident Management System–Incident Command System (NIMS–ICS) protocols upon entry into service—and on a continuing basis.
Furthermore, these organizations are often not only the first responders, but they are also central to long-term relief and rebuilding efforts.
The United Way Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund continues to provide essential supplies to those affected by Sandy. Grocery stores, construction companies, and gas stations are just a few important examples. Instead of stimulus spending, the government can encourage these investments by suspending and streamlining unnecessary regulations following a disaster. These offices, together with state and local agencies, should work closely with civil society organizations to create disaster response plans that assign roles and responsibilities to best take advantage of all the resources and capabilities that civil society possesses.
Additionally, Congress should repeal or waive environmental regulations that allow various environmental organizations to block or delay rebuilding efforts or much-needed improvements that could help mitigate disasters in the future. The storm that hit the Northeast was an infamous combination of a hurricane and a cold front coming across Canada during high tide—a horrendous storm, but according to historical tables not an unprecedented one.[51] Science cannot yet show a connection between Hurricane Sandy (and other severe weather events) and global warming.
Instead of diverting federal dollars to these programs, Congress should pursue greater reform within the energy sector, where much of this spending takes place. However, the feared impact of Sandy on the 34 nuclear reactors in its path turned out to be a non-event. NRC resident inspectors always staff each reactor facility in America, and independent groups like the Institution of Nuclear Power Operators and the World Association of Nuclear Reactors train, evaluate, and circulate best practices.[59] Because of these preparations and routine refreshing of emergency plans, America’s nuclear reactors are among the world’s safest. Staff at nuclear facilities in Sandy’s path went through routine preparations for severe weather and plants were overstaffed around the clock.[60] The NRC also notified potentially affected reactors and augmented personnel at plants to verify that proper precautions were being made. Should the NRC determine that the repository can be safely built and operated, however, the Department of Energy should then transfer control of the permit to a Nevada-based entity that could negotiate directly with the nuclear industry the conditions under which the repository could be built. The nation needs a regulatory system that allows the introduction of new technologies into the marketplace. The widespread outages caused by Hurricane Sandy along the New Jersey coast and Long Island impacted all three parts of the power system—generation, transmission, and local distribution.
Even lines that are not snapped by falling branches or trees can still short-circuit when the electric line comes into contact with branches.
Thus, when a hurricane like Sandy causes significant flooding, underground distribution systems can suffer extensive damage.
Some of the more than eight million homes that lost power as a result of Sandy remained in the dark for weeks.
Power may not be restored in certain areas even after local repairs are completed because of the interconnected nature of the power system. Because of the uniqueness of storm characteristics and damages, a standardized “one-storm-fits-all” set of recommendations to improve the reliability and resilience of the power grid is difficult. From Hurricane Katrina to the Gulf oil spill Americans have been taught these lessons before, yet the nation continues to fall short in terms of planning for catastrophic disaster response and recovery. They are useful for providing shelter in the event of a natural disaster, such as an earthquake, hurricane or flood.
You could search on the Internet for the size of tarp you need or you could look through different retail shops. Plastic products could just spell additional expenses for the future, as they be less protective than the proper product. The scale measures six classifications of tornadoes with increasing magnitude from an "F0" tornado to a "F6+" tornado.
Conversely, passing currents can create lift suction forces that pull building components and surfaces outward. Falling trees can bring electric power lines down to the pavement, creating the possibility of lethal electric shock. One way to accomplish this is to align declarations with the various scales used for disasters (such as the Saffir–Simpson Scale, the Richter Scale, and the Fujita Scale). This enables response efforts to run more efficiently as the JISCC quickly establishes a chain of command and enables the various capabilities to work in concert.
It means that the system cannot erode the ability of people to first take care of themselves, so that first responders can focus on those who are endangered, injured, and cannot care for themselves. Unfortunately, politicians often feel that they and the federal government must be seen in control after a disaster, even if government control is ultimately detrimental to true relief. Their work has truly kept us ahead.”[37] The New York Naval Militia also assisted the Coast Guard with six patrol boats in New York Harbor.
Along with selling critical goods and services, businesses also provide jobs, without which no community would ever recover. By rebuilding infrastructure, employing local residents, and selling goods and services, businesses are instrumental in the long-term rebuilding efforts and must be integrated into government recovery plans.
Similarly, financial regulations that prevent businesses and individuals from obtaining resources or investing in improvements should be suspended or repealed. In order for Congress to fund items outside the permissible list, it would need to secure two-thirds majorities in the House and Senate.
Any program or policy should be eliminated that does not provide clear environmental benefits which outweigh total cost.
Rather than try to fix this fundamentally flawed system, the United States needs broad reform in the area of nuclear waste management, which at its basis requires giving nuclear waste producers responsibility for nuclear waste management.
By being largely capable of regulating only one reactor type, the NRC essentially blocks new technologies from competing with existing ones. Inland, the impact was almost entirely on the local distribution system, as wind and rain combined to down hundreds of individual power lines. Moreover, in some cases, the wind and rain combine to knock down the distribution poles themselves.
In Lower Manhattan, for example, some underground transformers flooded with corrosive sea water, rendering them nonfunctional. Nevertheless, utilities can implement measures to improve the resilience of the electric grid. Due to global warming, these events are occurring on a more regular basis and are set to continue to do so. This could be kept along with your disaster emergency kit in a place which is easily accessible in the event of a disaster. Post-storm recovery required $18,364.00 in crew time to handle 250 requests for removal of hazardous trees and limbs. With extreme wind forces, the roof or entire building can fail causing considerable damage.
Rising population growth and new infrastructure in the region creates a higher probability for damage to occur from windstorms as more life and property are exposed to risk. There are direct consequences to the local economy resulting from windstorms related to both physical damages and interrupted services. In 2011 alone, President Obama issued more FEMA declarations than President Reagan did in eight years and President George H. Employment allows individuals and families to return to their communities and rebuild what they have lost. This was only aggravated by the fact that Hurricane Sandy made landfall at high tide, causing its particularly destructive storm surge, and resulting in even more significant flooding. Doubling the per capita threshold to a minimum of $5 million (and a maximum threshold of $50 million) would significantly reduce the number of events that would warrant a federal disaster declaration. Is it any surprise that the DRF keeps running out of funds, thereby requiring emergency appropriations?



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