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2016 National Weatherperson of the Year

Now's the Time to Nominate 

The National Weatherperson of the Year (NWP) Award recognizes the essential role that weatherpersons play in helping the public prepare for natural disasters. Each year, weatherpersons from all over the country are nominated and one receives the award in recognition for outstanding dedication to the cause of disaster prevention and safety. The prize is awarded in conjunction with National Weatherperson’s Day, which is annually celebrated on February 5, the birthday of Boston native John Jeffries. 

John Jeffries was a physician, scientist, and military surgeon who lived from 1745 to 1819. Dedicated to intellectual inquiry, he began making daily weather observations in 1774. After 10 years of research on the ground, he took to the skies in a hot air balloon to learn more. A pioneer in weather observation, his work paved the way for many aspects of meteorology today.

Past NWP winners include Jim Cantore of The Weather Channel and former National Hurricane Director/WPLG Hurricane Specialist Max Mayfield. The next winner will be introduced at a dynamic luncheon celebrating all weatherpersons on Thursday, January 28 at the FLASH Annual Conference in Orlando.

For the first time this year, you can nominate your favorite weatherperson for this exciting award. Nominations should highlight how the nominee has leveraged his/her expertise to save lives and protect property from severe weather through accurate disaster safety messaging and other public outreach initiatives.

Visit flash.org/nationalweatherpersonsday before December 18, 2015, and submit your nomination prior to 8 p.m. EST.

Outsmart "Old Man Winter" this Season

“Great Winter Weather Prep” Provides New Online Tools 

Imagine your family huddled together in the freezing temperatures of your home. Icicles creeping in around the windows during the worst winter snowstorm in decades. With power lines down, frozen pipes, no generator, and no safe way to venture from your home, your family is shivering beneath blankets while you wonder what to do next.

This doesn’t have to happen to you. Winter is already menacing communities across the nation, and families are visiting the new FLASH Great Winter Weather Prep campaign to fight back. The new campaign covers preparing your home for a power outage, insulating windows and doors, winter safety on the road, and more. The website offers tips and checklists as well as opportunities to win gift cards from The Home Depot.

“The Great Winter Weather Prep offers clear, reliable information so families can prepare well before freeze watches and warnings are issued,” said FLASH President and CEO Leslie Chapman-Henderson. “Preparing your home for cold weather can help avoid costly problems, like frozen pipes and water damage.”

For more information and resources for winter safety, visit the Great Winter Weather Prep today.

Volusia County Volunteers Prepare to Rebuild Better

FLASH delivers resources to volunteers

Members of the Volusia County Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD) are working hard to promote awareness of new and better materials for rebuilding in the wake of natural disasters. On October 11, FLASH Representative Tim Smail presented “Building Back Better – Helping Survivors after a Disaster” at the Daytona Beach International Airport in conjunction with Volusia County Emergency Management. COAD members Pat White and Deanie Lowe were among the attendees hungry for FLASH Volunteer Resources.

According to Volusia County Emergency Management Coordinator Pat White, "Tim takes what could be a very dry subject and puts it into terms that anyone can understand. His passion to make our homes safer is evident as he talked to our group today, answering questions and explaining not only ways to incorporate mitigation techniques into disaster damaged homes, but how to approach volunteers that come from all over, how to address funding and building code issues, and what FLASH does for the community nationwide. FLASH is an exemplary organization in part because of its top-notch staff like Tim."

Volusia COAD Co-Chair Deanie Lowe agreed. “What a wonderful, powerful presentation,” she commented, adding that she was “looking forward to pulling great resources from the FLASH website” to be better prepared when disaster strikes again.

COAD Member and workshop participant Pastor David Troxler became a believer in the mission of FLASH after his own home was flooded in 2009. Troxler said, “Daytona Beach received 21 inches of rain in 7 days. If I had known about the automatic drain stopper before the 2009 flood, I would have been able to keep sewer water from filling up the shower floor in the master bathroom of my home."

To download tips and resources, visit mitigationmovement.org or contact Tim@flash.org.

Welcome John Zarrella

Award-winning Journalist Joins FLASH as Guest Blogger

FLASH is excited to announce the addition of a new monthly blog series featuring inspiring stories told through the lens of former CNN Correspondent John Zarrella.

While at CNN, John covered every major hurricane to hit Florida and the Gulf Coast as well as many international events including the eruption of the Montserrat volcano and the Cuban and Haitian refugee crises. Honored numerous times for his contributions to the disaster safety movement, John set a new standard for the coverage of natural disasters.

John’s past blog contributions will now be offered each month at Protect Your Home in a FLASH.

Check out John’s December contribution which features a look back at the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season with comments by National Hurricane Center Director Dr. Rick Knabb.

QuakeSmart Returns to the Bay Area By Popular Demand

Business Preparedness Summits Spread Message of Seismic Safety

On November 3 and 4, FLASH joined the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department, Bay Area Earthquake Country Alliance, DRB Toolkit, FEMA, Safe-T-Proof, San Francisco Department of Emergency Management, and Legacy Partner Simpson Strong-Tie to present the QuakeSmart® Business Preparedness Summits in San Francisco and Dublin, CA.

The summits featured presentations from San Francisco Chief Resilience Officer Patrick Otellini, San Francisco Department of Emergency Management Assistant Deputy Director Bijan Karimi, and Alameda County Sheriff’s Department Emergency Manager Paul Hess. Black Rock Financial Services, California Seismic Safety Commission, Cisco, Comerica Bank, Cupertino Electric, and other organizations attended to learn about earthquake risk in the region, and develop mitigation strategies to address that risk.

“The QuakeSmart Summits are a great opportunity for local governments to partner with FEMA, FLASH, and private-sector partners to bring business continuity, mitigation, and preparedness information to the business community in an interactive and informative way,” comments Kristin Hogan, Government Affairs Manager for the San Francisco Division of Emergency Management. 

For more information about the QuakeSmart Community Resilience Program and other FLASH seismic safety outreach initiatives, visit quakesmartcommunity.org or email Barbara@flash.org.

Earthquake Safety Excellence Awards On the Horizon

Nominate Now and Support the 2016 National Earthquake Conference

FLASH and the Western States Seismic Policy Council (WSSPC) are pleased to announce that the National Awards in Excellence nomination period is open now through January 4, 2016.

The awards will be given at the 2016 National Earthquake Conference Awards Luncheon on May 5, 2016 in Long Beach, California at the Long Beach Hilton. Given by WSSPC, in partnership with the Northeast States Emergency Consortium (NESEC), the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC), and the Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup (CREW), the National Awards in Excellence recognize organizations and agencies for implementing exemplary programs, projects, and products that address earthquake risk reduction within the United States.

Awards are considered in the following categories: Mitigation, Response and Recovery, Plans/Materials, Use of New Technology, Innovations, Research, Non-Profit Agency Efforts, Multi-Jurisdictional Planning, and Outreach Programs. The highest ranked award will be given the Overall Award.

Those eligible for nomination include state, provincial, territorial, regional, county, and city governments; non-profit organizations; businesses; and academic institutions. Nominations must be made by someone outside of the nominated agency or organization.

Nominations are due by January 4, 2016. For more information and to apply, visit http://www.wsspc.org/awards/national-awards-in-excellence/.

2016 FLASH Annual Conference

New Speakers and Events Added Weekly

Get ready to join us for a FLASH Back to the Future – The Next Generation of Resilience January 27-29, 2016 at the Wyndham Grand Orlando in Bonnet Creek for the nation’s premier disaster resilience conference.

The 2016 Annual Conference of the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) will feature an “all hazards” agenda that includes the latest research and information from experts on building codes, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires.

In addition to keynote speakers and networking opportunities, this year’s program will include a special tribute luncheon honoring the 2016 National Weatherperson of the Year, an award which celebrates the critical role meteorologists play in advancing disaster safety and resilience. Plans are underway for past distinguished award recipients Jim Cantore of The Weather Channel and former National Hurricane Center Director/WPLG Hurricane Specialist Max Mayfield to present the award this year.

Don’t miss this opportunity to bolster preparedness efforts in your area. Book your hotel room and register today to join experts in the disaster safety and mitigation movement.