NWS Houston/Galveston Warning Coordination Meteorologist Dan Reilly at the microphone of Houston's News 92-FM radio (Photo: WFO Houston)
(Sept. 7, 2012) - With the peak of the hurricane season just around the corner, National Weather Service forecast offices, media partners and the Insurance Council of Texas launched a week-long tour August 31 to highlight the need for tropical storm and hurricane preparedness.
Through dozens of radio, television and newspaper interviews in English and Spanish, they reached out to coastal communities from the Beaumont/Port Arthur market down to the Rio Grande Valley.
NWS staff from forecast offices Houston/Galveston, Corpus Christi and Brownsville/Rio Grande Valley reminded audiences of the power of hurricanes, the need for awareness and preparedness, where to find local information from the Internet and how to communicate with NWS via social media. Multiple media outlets provided a potential reach to millions of Texas residents.
"The media tour was a great way to reach a large audience with important and timely information on how to prepare for a hurricane landfall and to give them a better understanding of how to interpret hurricane forecasts and warnings," said Dan Reilly, warning coordination meteorologist for the Houston/Galveston office.
The arrival of Hurricane Isaac along the Louisiana Coast provided a backdrop which further emphasized the topics of the day. The array of hurricane hazards, limitations of the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, and an outlook for the rest of the 2012 hurricane season were frequently discussed.
WFO Corpus Christi Forecaster Alina Nieves (far left - red blouse) and Insurance Council of Texas representative Amelia Folkes discuss hurricane preparedness on KSAB radio (Photo: WFO Corpus Christi)
In the Texas Coastal Bend region near Corpus Christi, Puerto Rican-born NWS Forecaster Alina Nieves took advantage of her Spanish Language prowess to reach out to help the Spanish speaking community to better understand the tropical cyclone threat.
"It's important to me because I am part of the Spanish speaking community and I want them to understand and respond to the threat posed by hurricanes", said Nieves.
Media interviews from Rio Grande Valley portion of hurricane tour (Photo: WFO Brownsville)
"The annual tour is another great example of the public/private partnership among the National Weather Service, the Insurance Industry, and local media to remind residents that being prepared includes the family plan, survival kits, home protection, and peace of mind that comes from being fully covered by a variety of insurance policies", noted Goldsmith and Mark Hanna of the Insurance Council of Texas.