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The One, Two Punch…first the earthquake and then Irene…what sources did you use to track the storm information?

August 28, 2011

North Carolina boards up in preparation for Hurricane Irene with a sense of humor!

In the world of fast moving information, I was surprised at how difficult it was to find specific damage information on the storm damage.  There was lots of general information but nothing that drilled down to specifics.  Twitter, county websites and local newspapers were actually slower than I imagined, or perhaps it was a reflection of my impatience.

In the world of general storm data, I was relying on three primary sites.

Google Crisis Response

Google Map from Google Crisis Response

If found some of the best information on the general storm data from the Google Crisis Response Hurricane page. Using Google Maps and a lot of the data from the National Hurricane Center, Google has put together a simple, easy-to-use dashboard for tracking the storm. You can add all sorts of layers to the map, including watches and warnings, storm surge potential, and (most useful of all) evacuation routes.

Mobile Apps

Apps like the one from the Weather Channel and Hurricane Tracker HD provide on-the-go storm tracking and just about as much information as you can find on the traditional Web, so long as cell phone service remains available when the storm draws closer.

The National Hurricane Center

The National Weather Service’s official hurricane site has tons of up-to-date information and data. Maps show where storm surges and hurricane-force winds are most likely to hit, and the NWS constantly updates watches and warnings at an impressive level of detail–right down to the zip code. This site is also the source of the data that many other sites and apps post.

Where did you go for information?  I would love to hear about them!

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