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info4 Drought Quick links

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Drought
In general, drought is defined as an extended period – a season, a year, or several years – of deficient rainfall relative to the statistical multi-year average for a region. However, dozens of more specific drought definitions are used around the world that are defined according to the lack of rain over various time periods, or measured impacts such as reservoir levels or crop losses. Because of the various ways drought is measured, an objective drought definition has yet to be produced upon which everyone can agree[1].
Source: UNISDR
Characteristics
Drought can be defined according to meteorological, hydrological, and agricultural criteria[2].
– Meteorological.
Drought is usually based on long-term precipitation departures from normal, but there is no consensus regarding the threshold of the deficit or the minimum duration of the lack of precipitation that make a dry spell an official drought.
– Hydrological
Drought refers to deficiencies in surface and subsurface water supplies. It is measured as stream flow, and as lake, reservoir, and ground water levels.
– Agricultural
Drought occurs when there is insufficient soil moisture to meet the needs of a particular crop at a particular time. A deficit of rainfall over cropped areas during critical periods of the growth cycle can result in destroyed or underdeveloped crops with greatly depleted yields. Agricultural drought is typically evident after meteorological drought but before a hydrological drought.
Impacts/damages
Impacts are commonly referred to as direct or indirect. Reduced crop, rangeland, and forest productivity; increased fire hazard; reduced water levels; increased livestock and wildlife mortality rates; and damage to wildlife and fish habitat are a few examples of direct impacts. The consequences of these impacts illustrate indirect impacts. For example, a reduction in crop, rangeland, and forest productivity may result in reduced income for farmers and agribusiness, increased prices for food and timber, unemployment, reduced tax revenues because of reduced expenditures, increased crime, foreclosures on bank loans to farmers and businesses, migration, and disaster relief programs. Direct or primary impacts are usually biophysical. Conceptually speaking, the more removed the impact from the cause, the more complex the link to the cause. In fact, the web of impacts becomes so diffuse that it is very difficult to come up with financial estimates of damages. The impacts of drought can be categorized as economic, environmental, or social.
Many economic impacts occur in agriculture and related sectors, including forestry and fisheries, because of the reliance of these sectors on surface and subsurface water supplies. In addition to obvious losses in yields in crop and livestock production, drought is associated with increases in insect infestations, plant disease, and wind erosion. Droughts also bring increased problems with insects and diseases to forests and reduce growth. The incidence of forest and range fires increases substantially during extended droughts, which in turn places both human and wildlife populations at higher levels of risk[3].
See also an example of the effects of drought on the aquatic ecosystem in Australia and Colorado.
Emergency Action
In order to assess risk and respond to drought, a water supplier may wish to establish a local drought management team. Be sure to include people from all the relevant local water user groups on the team[4] (see more details on the link). A team may:
  • gather all the available drought information for your community,
  • identify information gaps,
  • target water management needs,
  • implement water conservation strategies,
  • provide support to local government in managing community water supplies, and
  • communicate with the public.
See also the action on responding to drought in pastoral areas of Ethiopia and the North Carolina emergency response plan.
Mitigation
The mitigation action identifies both the long and short term activities and actions that can be implemented to prevent and mitigate drought impacts. Such activities and actions are essential in the development of specific drought planning and response efforts. The operational component includes six aspects that need continuous feedback between them[5]:
  • Preparedness, early warning, monitoring systems.
  • Establishing priorities of water use.
  • Defining the conditions and the thresholds to declare drought levels.
  • Establishing the management objectives in each drought level.
  • Defining the actions.
  • Implementation of actions.
Monitoring and preparedness planning is the first essential step for moving from crisis to risk management in response to drought, and can be viewed as permanent measures to cope with drought events. The management actions related to agriculture and water supply systems are presented with a common conceptual framework based on the use of drought indices for evaluating the levels of drought risk (pre-alert, alert, and emergency), that allow linkages to be established between science (risk analysis) and policy (operational component).
See also drought mitigation policy in South Africa in Water Page and drought mitigation strategy for Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh in India.
Further information
Several actions related to drought management plans:
1.    Drought contingency planning for pastoral livelihoods. (click here)
2.    Drought Contingency and Emergency Water Management Plan in Texas. (click here)
3.    Drought management guidelines in Mediterranean countries. (click here)
4.    Information about satellite observation and rainfall forecast to provide earlier warning of African drought by USGS.
 
 
above info4mation is from our friends at the UN

 

DROUGHT
USGS Water Use
UNL Drought Monitor
UNL Drought Monitor Current Conditions
National Drought Mitigation Center
USDA Drought Reports
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
NOAA’s Drought Info

 

[important]PLEASE PUT ANY BROKEN LINKS IN THE COMMENTS BOX. THANK YOU![/important]

Dealing With Disasters

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[important]Dealing With Disasters[/important]

During disasters, it can be hard to know what to do, and how to deal with unimaginable tragedy, destruction and loss… this list has resources available on the Internet, for Adults, Adolescents, Children, with information on traumatic stress, stress in disasters, how to cope, how to talk to your family and children about a disaster.
Soon to be added, tips and resources to help pets, in field, international, and multilingual resources…

Red Cross: Searching for Family Members

During an emergency, letting your family know that you are safe can bring loved ones peace of mind. If you have a loved one in a disaster-affected area and are unable to contact them directly, please visit our Safe and Well service to see if your family member has registered. If no information is available, contact your local Red Cross chapter to request assistance.

Help for Military Families, Active Duty Service Members, Veterans

Find Your Local Red Cross Chapter by Zip Code

[important]Resources on the Web:[/important]

General & Adult Resources

Coping with Traumatic Stress Reactions -from VA Webpage

Fact Sheet on Stress- National Institute of Mental Health -Webpage, and PDF available
PTSD Meetup Groups- Search in your local area
Coping With Traumatic Events- SAMHSHA webpage   
Taking Care of You Coping Guidelines – From American Red Cross  
Red Cross Trauma & Emotional Support – all pdfs, all languages for download  
Trauma Information on Mental Health & Coping- Webpage 
Coping with Traumatic Stress 
Coping With Stress– CDC- Webpage

Adolescent & Children Resources for Parents

Helping Children Cope with Disaster (from FEMA)  
Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Violence and Disasters: For Parents  (From National Institue of Health)
Where to Get Help for PTSD: General, Family, Military -National Center for PTSD
Helping Children Cope in Unsettling Times: Tips for Parents and Teachers– NASP
What Community Members Can Do: Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Violence and Disasters- National Institute of Mental Health -Webpage, and PDF available

[important]National Help Hotlines For USA[/important]

Disaster Distress Helpline

“Feeling stressed? If you or someone you know has been affected by a disaster and needs immediate assistance, please call this toll-free number for information, support, and counseling. You will be connected to the nearest crisis center.”

1-800-985-5990 or
Text TalkWithUs to 66746

TTY for Deaf/Hearing Impaired:
1-800-846-8517

Also you can call:

Samariteens Emotional Support Hotline (For Teens)    800-252-8336

Samaritans Emotional Grief Support & Suicidal Hotline

877-870-4673

24 hours a day: 617-247-0220 and 508-875 4500

Other Resources:

Ready.gov on Recovering from Disasters:

Recovering from a disaster is usually a gradual process. Safety is a primary issue, as are mental and physical well-being. If assistance is available, knowing how to access it makes the process faster and less stressful. This section offers some general advice on steps to take after disaster strikes in order to begin getting your home, your community and your life back to normal.

 

[pullquote align=”left|center|right” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”30%”]This originally started as a spreadsheet and I wanted to make the list more publicly available in wake of the Boston Marathon Bombings, and more recently, the Texas and Oklahoma Tornadoes this month… Tragedies and disasters can be stressful and anxiety provoking. We are all human, we are all breakable. If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it, seek it out!

(Kelli Merritz) [/pullquote]

info4 Severe Weather Quick Links

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[notice]Severe Weather[/notice]

  For detailed info4 Severe Weather, please visit our blog.

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International and US weather reports> GREAT Site!

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