Friday, May 31, 2013


  • If you choose to flee in your car, make certain you are not driving into another storm or putting yourself in more danger!

  • If you choose to flee in your car, plan for and anticipate traffic jams and blocked roads, hail, heavy rain and flooding.

  • If you choose to drive away, let someone know where you are going and that you are not at home.

  • If you choose to drive away, know where you're going before you start your car. Most cities DO NOT have public shelters!

  • Overpasses are death traps in tornadoes, and if you stop under them in a hail storm, you may cause an accident! This is not safe!

  • If you wait til you see the tornado or hear the sirens, it is TOO LATE to drive away!! Plan ahead!

  • If you don't feel safe where you are, and feel the need to drive away, you CANNOT wait until the warning is issued!!!

  • Charge your cell phone now and take it to shelter with you. Remember your drivers license, keys, important papers and meds.

  • Think about your pets now! Find leashes and carriers before the warning. They need food and water, too.

  • Wear long pants, long sleeve shirt and sturdy shoes when you go to shelter. No sandals or flip flops!!

  • Use lots of pillows, couch cushions, sleeping bags, mattress, blankets to cover up. Wear a helmet if you have one.

  • Put as many walls between you and the tornado as you can. Get under a sturdy table or desk if you can.

  • You can survive almost every tornado on the lowest floor of a sturdy building, away from doors, windows and outside walls.

  •  Best option is underground or in a safe room designed to withstand a tornado.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

GRLevel3 Tools

GRlevel3So I have come up with a few tools that I find very useful.

Useful Sites:

Storm smashes through town

[caption id="attachment_626" align="alignleft" width="300"]A power pole lies where it crashed through the fence of a home along Southwest Lee Boulevard near 67th Street Wednesday afternoon following a strong storm front that came crashing through the area. Comanche County Emergency Manager Clint Wagstaff said 12 power poles went down and 12 homes sustained damage due to the poles snapping and falling down under high winds. (Michael Pope) A power pole lies where it crashed through the fence of a home along Southwest Lee Boulevard near 67th Street Wednesday afternoon following a strong storm front that came crashing through the area. Comanche County Emergency Manager Clint Wagstaff said 12 power poles went down and 12 homes sustained damage due to the poles snapping and falling down under high winds. (Michael Pope)[/caption]

Hot on the heels of last week’s stormy weather, spring continues to roar through Southwest Oklahoma as heavy rains and high winds powered through late Wednesday afternoon leaving a wake of damage and electrical outages.

A windy and humid afternoon in Lawton developed into strong gusts of high winds and a short burst of rain which dumped 0.60 inch of rain in the downtown area and three quarters of an inch at the airport. Following the late-afternoon storm barrage, Southwest Oklahomans braced for another round from a front projected to hit the area late Wednesday night. However, with skies clearing and winds shuttered down to a mild breeze by 7:30 p.m., residents were granted a reprieve to clean up and assess the damage. Most of the area remained under a tornado watch into the night, according to the National Weather Service.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Waste of money for Furlough Notices

DoD-Furlough-NoticesSo you may think that this sequestration and government furloughs are saving the government money. Well think again, as many workers are receiving their furlough notices this week, they are reporting copious amounts of waste.  The average furlough letter is three pages or two pieces of paper, so each employee is required to sign a letter that they acknowledge the furloughs may take place and then the employee is given a copy.  So now this is one document is four pieces of paper. This is happening all over the Department of Defense, all 718,000 employees.  While this does not add up to much compared to the multi-million dollar programs that are being cut back, it does show a lack of desire to save money.  Every single one of the letters could have been electronically signed with the employee's Smart Card, saving over $51,000 in paper alone.

While I know that Congress may not care about me personally, I do however care about the waste that I see every day in the government.  Now threatening my way of life because their waste is totally unacceptable.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Furlough notices to Department of Defense civilian workers

government-furloughFurlough notices are set to go out this week to civilian Department of Defense workers, setting the stage for 11 days of unpaid leave to start July 8.

Furlough proposal notices are set to be delivered through June 5 triggering the 30-day notice required by law before leave can begin. The furloughs are part of the Pentagon's efforts to make up $37 billion in cuts from sequestration that kicked in March 1 and led to a $20 billion shortfall in the operations and maintenance accounts that fund civilian employees.

The furloughs are expected to save the Pentagon $1.8 billion this year but, in an interview with American Forces Press Service, two senior defense officials conceded they expect reduced efficiencies across the department.

"These people aren't doing PowerPoint slides in the Pentagon," one official told American Forces Press Service. "They are mostly outside of the Pentagon. They fix our ships, our tanks, our planes. They staff our hospitals. They're teachers in our schools. I think we are going to seriously adversely affect the productivity in almost all support areas of the Department of Defense."

The Pentagon official also said the department recognized the financial impact the furloughs will have, as well as the effect on morale.

"I believe that they (civilian workers) will continue to perform in an admirable manner," the official added, "but I am sure that there will be some morale impact."

Some 650,000 Pentagon workers will be furloughed through the end of the fiscal year. About 150,000 civilian employees, including Navy shipyard and nuclear maintenance workers and those stationed in combat zones, are exempt from furloughs. Department of Defense officials said the percentage of workers not taking furlough could increase based on the number of intelligence personnel that are exempted.

Plans call for workers to be furloughed one day per week through September, but commanders are given some flexibility on determining individual leave schedules.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Lawton, area communities send prayers, aid to Moore

While people from far and wide are anxious to try and help the victims affected by Monday’s disastrous tornado in Moore, some of Lawton’s finest have already been there and are waiting for their call to go back again.

According to various wire reports, the tornado resulted in over 200 injuries or fatalities and left a path of destruction about a mile wide and nearly 20 miles long as it made its trip across the Moore area Monday afternoon. By 5 p.m., 43 firefighters with the Lawton Fire Department were already at the disaster area or enroute with trailers of tools to assist crews with the debris and rubble, which LFD Maj. Daryl Nobis said is unlike anything he has ever seen before.

“You just couldn’t tell where one (house) started and another ended,” Nobis said of the disaster debris.

The assistance teams stayed for about 12-14 hours, returning to Lawton around 5 a.m. Tuesday. Nobis said the firefighters divided up into four smaller groups of about 10 men, when they arrived. When they first arrived , crews were asked to respond to the area of of Southwest 4th Street and Telephone Road in order to clear various buildings near a heavily-damaged area, which included the Warren Theatre, the Moore Medical Center, a bowling alley, post office and bank among the structures.

An image of cars stacked into a small mountain of twisted metal at the medical center was broadcast during evening newscasts across the country. Nobis said Lawton crews helped dig through that pile to ensure nobody was inside.

Nobis said the bowling alley had luckily closed at 3 p.m., but he still was part of a team that crawled through tunnels in the debris to ensure nobody was there. While there always remains a distant possibility some nook or tiny cranny remains unchecked, he said he was fairly confident nobody was inside.

“We worked the ’99 tornado in Moore, the Oklahoma City Bombing, a lot of areas, and just the scale of this disaster is disturbing,” Nobis said. “It just goes on and on and on and on. It was worse than Joplin.”

After their initial responses in the business areas, Nobis said the men divided their resources and sent half the teams to residential areas east of I-40 and west of I-40 to begin searching for survivors. With the help of an industrial digger and lifter, they literally moved from pile to pile, digging down until they found a foundation or dirt and continued to search for those trapped in debris or shelters.
“It was so hard at nighttime, when you’re looking through all that debris,” Nobis recounted. “Everything is the same color, covered in dirt or mud. You don’t always know what you’re coming across right away.”

In their time at Moore, Nobis said the Lawton Fire Department was able to help clear about two square miles of the destruction path, digging to the bottom of probably 100 homes. Nobis said he predicts many disheartening sights for rescue crews continuing excavation efforts in the coming days.

“I was really glad to hear the death toll had dropped throughout the night. At one point we were hearing it was up around 91.”

The firefighter said the neighborhood west of the theatre was completely gone, and many of the people found in coming days might be from that area.

“Cars and trucks in the hospital parking lot were found a half a mile away,” Nobis explained. “All that was there were just slabs where homes and the school were. We know there were supposed to be people there. But there were literally, two to three hundred homes just gone. Those people have to be somewhere.”

The overnight rescue efforts, while accompanied by some disappointing discoveries, primarily ended happily, though.

Nobis said a neat thing that he was able to be a part of was finding one woman’s iPhone. In trying to figure out the owner, he said he began going through the contact list and ended up speaking with the woman’s daughter.

“She said the phone had her grandfather’s last voice mail for her,” Nobis said. “So they had even more reason to want it.”

Nobis said he has been in contact with the woman and will get it back to her as soon as possible.

Lawton fire crews came across many faces of people very happy to see them after they had freed them from barricaded shelters, and they may be called to return in coming weeks.

“Everybody always goes at first to help, but now we have other departments on a list for rotating schedules,” Nobis said. Now, crews from all over the state can continue the rescue through concentrated efforts and assignments as needed.

Following 9/11, the state of Oklahoma was divided into seven FEMA disaster areas, and crews expanded their training in all areas of search and rescue while simultaneously obtaining updated tools and equipment. Firefighters had previously trained in building rescue techniques, and Nobis said LFD firefighters have previously offered help after the Oklahoma City bombing as well as the 1999 tornado in Moore.

The department now has over 60 firefighters who are trained in technical rescue techniques, including trench collapses, swift water rescues and building collapses.

When Monday’s disaster struck, however, the Lawton Fire Department—which is part of FEMA’s task force covering 54 counties south of I-40—was glad to send more firefighters than any other mutual aid response team to help the victims out of shelters and search for people in damaged buildings.

“Kudos really go to our city fathers to be able to send that kind of support,” Nobis said.

Other agencies respond
Volunteer firefighters from Elgin, ‍Cove ‍Acres, Kirk’s Ambulance and Memorial Hospital also accompanied Comanche County Emergency Management to Moore overnight as part of a local search and rescue team. They also worked the business and residential area that Lawton firefighters were in.

Written by: Malinda Rust

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Yahoo redesigns Flickr, adds 1 terabyte of free storage and more!!

2013-05-21-image-2Hot on the heels of Yahoo spending a whopping $1.1 billion on Tumblr, the company has just released a huge update to Flickr. And to go along with the completely redesigned look and feel of the photo service, it is also greatly expanding the storage offered to users, up to a whopping one terabyte.

Yahoo was quick to point out that no other service offers this much free storage. That's enough to store over 500,000 pictures, so even the biggest photography junkies will be hard pressed to actually fill all that space.

Flickr's user interface is much more visual after yesterday's tweak, with a redesigned grid layout and fewer text to keep the focus on images. Overall it makes for a more pleasant experience. Each photo has handy share buttons where users can post them to their favorite social networks, newly purchased Tumblr included.

There's also a new slideshow feature that displays the most spectacular Flickr photos from any user in full-screen, which will help people kill time and do some exploring.

Aside from a visual refresh on desktops, Yahoo has also launched a big update to its Flickr app on Android. The new version essentially brings it up to par with the recent iOS release which has reportedly already prompted a huge jump in uploads.

It remains to be seen just how Flick and Tumblr will work together going forward. Both services are not making Yahoo much in terms of revenue, which is an obvious hurdle for the company to deal with.

10 deadliest tornadoes

Here are the 10 deadliest tornadoes to touch down in the United States, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:

1. The "Tri-State Tornado" killed 695 people and injured 2,027, traveling more than 300 miles through Missouri, Illinois and Indiana on March 18, 1925. It was rated an F5 at the top of the old Fujita scale (with winds of 260-plus mph).

2. The "Natchez Tornado" killed 317 people and injured 109 on May 6, 1840, along the Mississippi River in Louisiana and Mississippi. The official death toll may not have included slaves, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

3. The "St. Louis Tornado" killed 255 people and injured 1,000 on May 27, 1896, in Missouri and Illinois. It had winds of between 207 mph and 260 mph.

4. The "Tupelo Tornado" killed 216 people and injured 700 on April 5, 1936, in the northeastern Mississippi city.

5. The "Gainesville Tornado" was a pair of storms that converged April 6, 1936, in Gainesville, Georgia, killing 203 people and injuring 1,600. The tornado destroyed four blocks and 750 houses in the northern Georgia town.

6. The "Woodward Tornado" wreaked havoc across parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas on April 9, 1947. The storm, which killed 181 people and injured 970, reportedly was more than a mile wide in places.

7. The tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri, on May 22, 2011, killed 158 people and injured more than a thousand. The storm packed winds in excess of 200 mph and was on the ground for more than 22 miles.

8. The "Amite/Pine/Purvis Tornado" killed 143 people and injured 770 on April 24, 1908. The storm left only seven houses intact in Purvis, Mississippi, and also caused damage in Amite, Louisiana.

9. The "New Richmond Tornado" killed 117 people and injured 200 on June 12, 1899, in New Richmond, Wisconsin.

10. The "Flint Tornado" killed 115 people and injured 844 on June 8, 1953, in Flint, Michigan. The tornado was the deadliest twister ever recorded in the state.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Busy Times!

Been busy at work lately with building a Image and Task Sequence for our KIOSK computers.  After four days of building and testing, I finally got everything up and running.  Now all the other techs just have to image them and that's about it.  They don't have to manually configure and set them up, no guess work at all!! Now a co-worker and I are looking to rebuild the other 2 images and bring them into the KIOSK image and make one image for all computers.  I have had a blast being able to grow and branch out here at RACH with freedom to focus my skills into areas that I can actually help!


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