The first prepper on record is the Biblical account of Noah’s Ark. He believed there was a big storm coming and that he would need to protect his family and livestock. Not one person supported him in his efforts. His family did as they were asked because even though they didn’t want to believe something bad was about to happen. They knew Noah better than anyone else and recognized if he said something was about to happen, it would happen. The rains came and those who didn’t believe the warning were too late to get to the ark. Noah just wanted to be prepared for a disaster. He prepared no matter how the towns folk treated him.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) wants the same thing. NOAA gathers information and distributes it globally. The purpose is to provide early warning, sometimes weeks in advance, for impending disasters. It is because of NOAA that the science of meteorology has advanced so much in the last 50 years. NOAA provides information so that military, government, FEMA and other entities can by prepared to leap into action when the calm is restored. They also want us to prepare and be ready to take the appropriate action, whether it be run to the basement or evacuate a region.
Check out the NOAA efforts to educate the public about the various natural disasters.
Having read the NOAA space weather reports for a while, one thing never changes. They are SO boring! For the most part, they boildown to “everything is OK”. Then once in a while it says something like aircraft in certain regions will experience high levels of radiation. Most people know commercial aircraft doesn’t fly in those regions very much.
Nothing illustrates that more than a map of global flight paths like this one found on Crude Oil Peak. The people most at risk are astronauts because they are more likely to be exposed and are outside the protection of the earth’s atmosphere. We just never think about those things, even though we learned them in school, or should have.
But what is most important about the space weather forecasts is that while even in its experimental stages, it works. The reports cover three to seven day outlooks based on what is observed on the solar disk. As the technology improves it might become as important as the weather forecasts. People might even know in advance when to turn off their electronic devices. It’s going to be interesting to watch this technology develop into something we can use as easily as we use the nightly weather report.
“Flight Disruptions in Europe a Foretaste for Period of Oil Decline.” Weblog post. Crude Oil Peak RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2013.
“NOAA / NWS Space Weather Prediction Center.” NOAA / NWS Space Weather Prediction Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2013.