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HURRICANE UPDATE 2011

AUGUST 25, 2011

Protecting Your Business Data By Declan Murphy Before a storm approaches or makes landfall, there are a number of things a business owner can do to protect and secure the critical elements of his or her business. These include: Setting up a call-forwarding service to a predetermined backup location. Set up a hotline number for employees, employees’ families, customers and partners, as ap-

propriate, to call so that all parties know about the business situation and emergency plan. To be more effective, maintain an updated contact list, including mobile and home phone numbers and e-mail addresses for all employees. Protecting your business’ hardware, software, data records, employee records, etc. Routinely back up your important files to an off-site location or secure server pro-

tected from the elements and water damage. Several companies in Deerfield had roof failures and flooding during Wilma and lost all their customer and financial data which almost brought them down. Partner with a business next door and share resources or costs. The worst thing you can do is to do nothing. For more information visit: www.fastteks.com/ northbrowardcounty

Cell Phone Preparedness By Declan Murphy Wireless calls travel over airwaves to another phone, and, just like radios, their signals can be obstructed by bad weather. However, residents can maximize their wireless service during an emergency situation by being prepared and following a few simple tips. Make sure to make the following preparations before a storm: • Program all of your emergency contact numbers (and e-mail addresses) into your cell phone, including the police department, fire station, hospital and family members. This will prevent you from having to search for these important numbers during or after an emergency. • Make sure that everyone who needs your wireless number has it. • Have a family communications plan in place. Designate someone out of the area as a central contact, and be sure all family members know who to contact if they become separated. • Keep your wireless phone and back-up batteries charged at all times. Have an alternate plan to recharge your batteries in case of power outages. (For example, you can charge with a car charger or use a

disposable cell phone battery.) • Keep extra phones and accessories in a sealed plastic bag to avoid water damage. • Have a least one corded phone in your home. Corded phones should still work even if the power goes out. After a storm, cell phones can be extremely useful tools in maintaining communication by sending/receiving critical information. Texting is often the better option to communicate with others after a hurricane. As opposed to voice calls, text messages can be received quicker because they require fewer network resources. Weather updates are also available from most cell phones and, due to modern technology, camera phones can be used to take and store photos of your property “before the storm” so you can facilitate damage assessments with your insurance company. O n e w e b s i t e , www. antennasearch.com, allows you to view every cellular tower located near you and lists the service provider for each. After a storm, you can go on this website and see which towers are down and find the closest one that is operational for your provider.

Making and installing plywood shutters To view an excellent step-by-step video, go to www.observernews paperonline.com/ hurricane-tv

THE OBSERVER

Comfort Meals: with food you have on-hand Returning to normal activities after a hurricane strikes can be comforting. Making an effort to serve real meals will keep spirits up. If you lose power for an extended period, the food in your fridge will have to be eaten or it will go bad.

Meal ideas Stir-fry: Use up any cooked and seasoned foods such as chicken or fish thawing in the freezer. In a heavy-bottomed pan, placed over a camp stove or grill, heat a small amount of vegetable oil. Add any canned and drained vegetables. When heated, add chicken or fish. Coat lightly with

teriyaki sauce or prepare a sauce from a dry gravy mix dissolved with water. If water is in limited supply, use fruit juice mixed with a little cornstarch or flour to create a sauce. Omelets: If you stored your food properly, your eggs will be safe, but they will go bad fast if not refrigerated properly. With a frying pan over a camp stove or grill, cook beaten and seasoned eggs. Add cut-up veggies (fresh or canned) and leftover cold cuts. Flip over once. Grilled meat: Use defrosting meat for this meal. Season and then grill or pan-fry meat on a camp stove or grill. Serve with heated canned vegetables and/or sliced apples. Soup and sandwiches:

Make sandwiches out of cold cuts and sliced bread slathered with any safe condiment. Serve with halved fruit. Canned dinner: Search the cupboard for a heatand-eat meal, such as stew, chili, beans or soup. Bring to serving temperature in a heavy-bottomed pan placed on top of a camp stove or grill. Sandwiches make a good companion to canned dinners. Breakfast and snacks: Canned fruits. Individual cans or boxes of fruit juice. Quick oatmeal or other hot cereal. Grill fried, canned or cured ham slices.

Last call for boat preparedness; local expert offers tips By Wendy D’Alessandro While South Florida braces to feel the effects of Hurricane Irene, Christian Stieker, vice president of Lighthouse Point Marina, is battening down the hatches, and making sure customers’ boats are tied down properly and ready to ride out the storm. He is also taking photographs and video footage of the boats for insurance purposes, just in case. During hurricane season, it’s best to be proactive, Stieker said, and this is what all boat owners should be doing right about now: documenting, preparing, and securing their boats. While hauling a boat out of the water and storing it further inland is ideal, Stieker

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said time, money, and the location and the size of the boat can affect an owner’s decision to leave the boat in the water. When that happens, Stieker suggests the following tips to improve the chances for a boat to survive the storm in tact. Stock up on and use hurricane lines because they are more durable during storms. Use the spider web method when securing your boat. “Have your boat sit in the middle of a spider web of lines,” he explained. “The more lines you have on your boat, the better chance of riding the storm out safely.” Cover tie lines at contact points with rubber to prevent chaffing; install fenders on See Boat, pg 14

r

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12 THE OBSERVER

HURRICANE UPDATE 2011

AUGUST 25, 2011

BROWARD COUNTY:

Where we stand as of August 2011

However, the county has replaced most hanging signals with more sturdy mast-arms. Still, there will be a delay in powering up many lights.

Water supply: City and county water plants are generator equipped and will be able to pump water to homes and businesses following a Power grid: Gas stations: FPL has taken several steps to reduce power outages after a Gas stations are generator equipped and dozens more are storm. However, water lines will be prone to break as a result of uprooted trees, and some customers might lose pressure. storm, including trimming trees near transformers, bolstering wired to hook up generators. (See map, web.) power poles and burying power lines. The utility also has Cell phones/communications: agreed to provide an immediate response to critical areas, such Grocery stores: Wireless companies have erected hundreds of new towers as hospitals, nursing homes and water plants. Dozens of grocery stores are now generator equipped. They should reopen to relieve pressure from the county’s since Wilma to handle capacity increases. The problem: A distribution points and allow powerful storm will knock down many of these structures, while residents to purchase ice, food the call demand likely will increase. To ease capacity problems and pharmacy supplies. (See and increase chances of sending a message, people should text. map, pg. 3) Police and fire: Traffic lights: Although police and fire workforces have shrunk, mainly Less than half of traffic through attrition, manpower levels are adequate. They have signals generally remain in a lot of responsibilities post-disaster, and that is not going to This scale is a categorization based on the hurricane’s intensity at the indicated time. operation after a storm. decrease, even if we have a decreased workforce. Earlier versions incorporated central pressure and storm surge as components. To help reduce public confusion about the impacts, the storm surge ranges, flooding impact and central pressure statements are being removed from the scale. Only peak winds are the focus of this revised version. Below are some examples of damage at each level.

NEW: The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale

Publix website – storm site

Category 1 (Sustained winds 74-95 mph). Some damage. Older mobile homes could be destroyed. Unprotected windows may break. Wellconstructed frame homes could have roof and other damage. Occasional damage to commercial signage, fences and canopies. Large branches of trees will snap and shallow rooted trees can be toppled. Extensive damage to power lines and poles will likely result in power outages that could last a few to several days. Residents should watch for falling debris. Category 2 (Sustained winds 96-110 mph). Extensive damage. There is a substantial risk of injury or death to people and pets due to flying and falling debris. In addition to damage mentioned above, unreinforced masonry walls can collapse. Falling and broken glass will pose a significant danger even after the storm. Near-total power loss is expected with outages that could last from several days to weeks. Potable water could become scarce as filtration systems begin to fail.

As of this year, Publix has devoted a new section on its website entirely to helping people prepare, supply and weather a hurricane or tropical storm. www.publix.com/ storm offers checklists for emergency supplies and non-perishable foods, a store locator and a link to order prescription refills. Publix has also teamed up with OneStorm, a website that provides hurricane information and a free, personalized preparation plan for your family. Also new is www.publix.com/ status, which allows customers to check which stores have been closed in the area after a hurricane.

Category 3 (Sustained winds 111-130 mph). Devastating damage. At this level, the likelihood of injury or death increases. Many mobile homes will be destroyed. Roofs on some homes may collapse and poorly constructed homes could collapse. Many windows will be blown out of high-rise buildings. Broken off trees can block roads. Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to a few weeks after the storm passes. Category 4 (Sustained winds 131-155 mph). Catastrophic damage. In addition to damage and risk listed above, windborne debris damage will break most unprotected windows and penetrate some protected windows. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. There will be long-term water shortages. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

2011 Tropical Storm and Hurricane Names Since 1953, the National Hurricane Center has created a list of tropical storm and hurricane names. They are now maintained and updated by an international committee of the World Meteorological Organization. The original name lists had only female names, but in 1979, men’s names were introduced. Since then, the men’s names alternate with the women’s names. Six lists of potential names are used in rotation. Sometimes, storms can be so destructive that the name is retired, such as Charley (which was replaced by Colin).

This year’s approved list of names:

Category 5 (Sustained winds greater than 155 mph). Catastrophic damage. Almost complete destruction of all mobile homes and many other homes, apartments and industrial areas will be destroyed. Nearly all windows will be blown out of highrise buildings and commercial signage, fences and canopies will be destroyed. Nearly all trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed, isolating residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Long-term water shortages will occur. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

Arlene Bret Cindy Don Emily Franklin Gert Harvey Irene Jose Katia Lee Maria Nate Ophelia Philippe Rina Sean Tammy Vince Whitney

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HURRICANE UPDATE 2011

AUGUST 25, 2011

TV & Radio Communications Before pulling out that portable TV and buying batteries, consider this: It may not work, due to the change from analog to digital. Make sure to test your TV now, before the storm hits. The best bet is to have a portable radio. Check News Radio 610’s WIOD 610 a.m. programming, Broward County’s Emergency Radio Station, which will carry all County announcements and news conferences from the County’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in the event of a hurricane. Also, log on to Observer’s HurricaneTV at www.observernewspaperonline.com/hurricanetv to see us broadcast before and after a storm.

WSVN – Ch. 7 – Fox Network Hot 105 (FM) • 99 Jam (FM) 97.7 Coast (FM) • 93 Rock (FM)

WPLG – Ch. 10 – ABC Network South Florida Classical 89.7 (FM)

WFOR – Ch. 4 – CBS Network WBFS-TV – Ch. 33 • WIOD – 610 (AM) WINZ – 940 (AM) • WLRN-TV – Ch. 2

WTVJ – Ch. 6 – NBC Network Power 96.5 (FM) • KISS – 99.9 (FM) WQAM 560 (AM) • WLRN 91.3 (FM)

THE OBSERVER

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Choosing Between an Inverter and a Generator An engine-powered generator is an easy way to supply your house with emergency power. They are relatively inexpensive (typical price for a 5,000-watt generator ranges between $600 and $1,200), produce clean 120- or 240-volt sine-wave power, and consume only about a gallon of gas every two hours or so (at 1,000-watt output). You can also purchase generators that run off diesel fuel or propane. A 5,000-watt gasolinepowered generator This generator has a 10horsepower engine and a 5,000-watt generator with a surge rating of 6,500 watts. The gas tank (black, mounted across the top of the frame) holds 7 gallons and runs about 12 hours at 1,000-watt usage levels. This generator produces 120-volt or 240-volt output. It is shown with its grounding cable and the 240volt cable that plugs it into the house’s circuit panel. Disadvantages of engine-powered generators include: • Fuel storage • Noise (especially the less-expensive models) • Engine maintenance Fuel storage can be a nuisance — gasoline cannot be stored for more than a month or so unless you use a fuel stabilizing chemical, and even then the shelf-life is relatively short. You need to rotate your inventory on a regular basis to avoid problems. With a 5,000-watt generator, you are able to run just about everything in the house — including the well pump, water heater and refrigerator. Inverter An inverter is an electrical device that converts 12-volt power into 120-volt power. Typically you run an inverter off of your car’s battery or off of a deep-cycle battery you buy specifically to power the inverter. An inverter is a very easy and inexpensive solution if you can keep your power

demands in the 200watt range. If you are willing to build a more elaborate system, inverters can be a good option up to about 2,500 watts, although they tend to get expensive at that point (a 2,500-watt inverter might cost $600 to $1,000, and then you need to buy a number of deepcycle batteries and a charging system). Inverters have two main advantages: • They are silent • They are maintenance-free (when you operate them from your car’s battery — if you build your own deep-cycle battery bank you will have to maintain the batteries). Here are some things to think about when considering an inverter: You can buy a small 150- or 300- watt quasi-sine-wave inverter for about $50 and plug it into your car’s lighter socket. It can operate several light bulbs, a radio, a small TV, etc. • A car’s battery has a reserve capacity rating. A typical rating is 80 minutes, which means the battery can supply 25 amps at 12 volts for 80 minutes. If you consume 120 watts continuously, that means you are draining about 10 amps from your car’s battery continuously. A typical car battery can supply power at that level for perhaps three hours. A deepcycle battery can supply power at that level for six or eight hours. Then, you will need to recharge the battery (which takes awhile). However, if you are running two compact fluorescent bulbs at 15 watts each, total consumption is only 30 watts, or 2.5 amps at 12 volts. A car battery can supply power for about 12 hours at that level. A deep-cycle battery can supply power for a day or two at that level. • A typical car’s alternator can supply only about 700 watts maximum. To run an inverter with a capacity greater than 300 watts from a car, you need to connect it directly to the car’s battery with cables, and you will need to run the car’s engine continuously. At that point, it would be much more efficient to buy a gasoline generator. From this discussion you can see that an inverter only makes sense for very small power loads over relatively short time frames. You can build a large and elaborate battery system to run your inverter if you choose, but that can get expensive.

Hurricane Preparation for Seniors By Declan Murphy Seniors who have a disability or special needs should create an emergency plan that fits their unique circumstances. Seniors should carefully evaluate their shelter options and make evacuation or shelter plans well in advance. Every senior should create a Personal Information Card that contains all of their health information, including their doctor’s information, insurance policies and medications. Seniors should also prepare a small bag packed with several changes of clothes, one month’s supply of medications, important papers and favorite pictures. It is also important for seniors to place identification labels on any medical support equipment they would take to the shelter with them, such as wheelchairs, walkers and nebulizers. Gathering important identification information well in advance of a hurricane can be a lifesaver. Basic identification information can be printed on an armband. More extensive identification should be in a wallet or purse. The following

information should be on hand: • Name, address, phone number • Names, addresses and phone numbers of family and friends. This should include people to contact in case of an emergency. List at least one person who lives locally and another who lives out of state. Local contacts may have home damage and downed phone lines, so an out-of-state contact may be easier to reach by phone. • Medical history • List of medications and prescribing instructions • Extra copies of prescriptions • Names and phone numbers of physicians • Health insurance information including phone numbers and policy numbers • A list of models and serial numbers, as well as suppliers for medical equipment including pacemakers, feeding pumps, home IV units, suction machines, and wheelchairs Some of this information was provided by Broward County’s Hurricane Preparedness Guide.

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THE OBSERVER

HURRICANE UPDATE 2011

AUGUST 25, 2011

Hurricane-Proof Your Garage Doors One inch of floodwater can cause $7,800 worth of damage to your home. Broken garage doors can easily let in that much water and more. In fact, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) identified loss of garage doors as one of the major factors contributing to hurricane storm damage in homes. However, you can take steps to protect your garage door from hurricanes and possibly lower

your insurance premiums in the install braces yourself, if you’re process. handy with a drill. Be sure that the track of your garage door is at least 14-gauge Install garage door weight – check the owner’s bracing kits The surest way to prevent a manual or look for markings on garage door from failing in hur- thetrack–andissecurelymounted ricane-force winds is to brace with screws at all appropriate the door using a garage door screw locations. Replace any bracing kit. A hurricane-resis- loose screws with longer screws. tant retrofit kit for garage doors includes braces and hardware and costs about $500 for a double garage door. You can probably

In Broward County, for example, the annual insurance premium on an older home insured for $150,000 runs between $3,000 and $8,000, assuming no hurricane-mitigation improvements. With improvements, such as storm shutters or hurricane-resistant garage doors, the same home would cost between $1,000 and $3,500 to insure, or about 30 percent less.

Safeguarding Your Food Supply

Boat continued from pg 11 dock. Double all of the lines and attach them high on the pilings to allow for surge. Check bilge pumps are working properly and the cleats and pilings are strong. Be sure batteries are fully charged, the boat has fuel and the generator is working. Secure sails, canvasses, rafts or any other items that might loosen and cause damage. Cover electronics securely. Make sure boater’s insurance is paid up and take pho-

winds of 150 mph. • Impact-resistant garage Purchase new hurricanedoors are made with a steel or proof or wind-resistant fiberglass veneer and are degarage doors signed to withstand the force of First, check your local codes. objects hurled against them. In some hurricane-prone areas, Check the manufacturer’s specicodes require that a garage door fications for wind-resistance. withstand winds up to 130 mph. In Miami-Dade County, Ask your insurer about codes are even stricter, and doors discounts for hurricanemust withstand hurricane-force mitigation improvements

tos and/or video to show your boat was properly secure. Remove valuables and keep copies of registration and insurance in a safe place. Most importantly, Stieker said, “Talk to your neighbors.” Neighbors can work together and use each other’s pilings to securely fasten their boats in the canal. “It only takes one boat to break loose and cause damage, so it’s in everyone’s best interest for their boats to be tied up correctly,” he said.

Maintaining and protecting your food supply is critical in the event of a hurricane. Prior to a storm, you should consider some of these tips for your refrigerator and freezer: First, consider cleaning out the refrigerator. During a hurricane watch, evacuation can be necessary or the power can suddenly go out, so consuming perishables before a storm prevents you from wasting provisions or coming home to rotten food. Refrigerator • Turn your refrigerator to the coolest possible tem-

perature, and open only when necessary. • If the power goes out, many refrigerated foods will last only a couple of hours, but ice may delay spoilage. • Foods that need to be tossed after warming above 40 degrees include: mayonnaise, eggs, opened baby formula, luncheon meat, cooked vegetables, milk, cream, spaghetti sauce, cooked pasta, creamy salad dressings, cream-filled pies or pastries, cooked meat, canned meats that require refrigeration, and soft cheeses, such as cream cheese, cottage cheese and mozzarella.

• Foods that are still safe above 40 degrees include: fresh fruits, raw vegetables, peanut butter, jelly, barbecue sauce, ketchup, olives, fruit pies, bread, butter and margarine, and hard cheeses, such as Cheddar, Swiss and Parmesan. Freezer • Food in a fully-packed freezer will keep one to two days if the power goes out. • Food is safe to re-freeze if it does not get warmer than 40 degrees. If you don’t have a thermometer, the food is safe if it feels as cold as it would if in the refrigerator or still has ice crystals.

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• If frozen food warms above 40 degrees, toss it. • If power goes out, you can try to keep your freezer cold a while longer by covering it with several blankets. • Fill your freezer with extra water jugs or crumpled paper to keep it tightly packed. This will help preserve food for up to two days without electricity. For more information see USDA video on Observer’s HurricaneTV at www.observernews paperonline.com/hurricane-tv


BUSINESS

AUGUST 25, 2011

THE OBSERVER

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After a storm, without power – getting your business back online

By Jim Lusk There are a few things you can do to temporarily restore phone service and Internet access, and power up your equipment until all the services are back. Yes, it is possible to answer your business phones and have Internet access the day after a major hurricane without power.

generators, but it still could take some time to come back on, after an area-wide blackout. If their service is hot, you will need only to supply the modem with power from a generator. T1 and DSL service will most likely stay up, but will require powering the modems with a generator or inverter from a vehicle. If you don’t have a generator but have a laptop with a car charger, you can have Internet service by PHONE SERVICE There are three types of phone service: regular hardwired, using one of the dial-up services that offer a free trial and cable service and VOLP. If you have regular traditional ATT hook up to your office or home phone line. I have confirmed phone lines, they supply their own power and do not require that AOL offers one as well as NetZero. electricity to operate with a portable single or two-line phone. Instructions: You can forward your numbers to a cell phone if you have • Download software from one of the free providers onto call forward remotely, but when the cell tower runs out of fuel, you’re back where you started. Instructions: • First, unplug line 1 and 2 from your phone system box. • Plug the phone wire into a regular home phone. • If you have multiple lines and want 2 lines working, you can pick up a 2-line phone at most stores, and if both lines are on one cable, plug it into the line 1 and 2 jack on the phone. You can also buy or bring two separate old-fashioned phones using one for each line. • Buy a 100’ regular phone extension cord for each phone to let you move the phones to your operating location.

your machine or burn it on a disc and put it in a safe place in case you need it. • Make sure you have a phone cord extension to plug into your machine. • Plug up the phone line to the machine (I used our line 4 after Wilma and had Line 1 and 2 hooked to a Radio Shack 2 line phone so we could answer calls, make calls to find our staff and work online at the same time).

Deerfield Beach Last Thursday’s After Hours event was a special treat because it was hosted by Julian Felder at the Patio Bar/ Restaurant located in the beautiful Wyndham Resort right on the ocean. Most of us working stiffs don’t get down to the beach to enjoy the views and the tropical balmy breezes, but it’s exhilarating when we do. The open air Patio bar is just steps from the sand and gives the feel of a Caribbean island. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. The Members’ Breakfast will be at the Embassy Suites Thursday, Sept. 1 at 7:30 a.m., 950 S. Ocean Dr. Guest speaker will be Congressman Allen West. The next After

INTERNET ACCESS Depending on your provider, you may not have an Internet connection during a power outage at your location. There are several factors that control cable services. Locations that have cable broadband need transfer stations along the route to amplify the signal and keep it strong, so if power is out at any of those stations, it will take out your service. Comcast has made many improvements since Wilma and they have

The Phone Company is a FREE Source of Electric Power

Hours networking event will be in October. Look in the Observer for location and day. Save the date for an upcoming annual celebration gala event you will not want to miss! Please join the members of The Greater Deerfield Beach Chamber of Commerce as we celebrate Global Commerce in Deerfield Beach with the “Voice of the World” Awards at the Hilton Deerfield Beach Hotel, 100 Fairway Dr., Saturday, Sept. 10 at 6:30 p.m. The Chamber is seeking nominations for this prestigious recognition. You may submit it (in 50 words or less) your contact information and why your business should be chosen as one of the “Voice of the World” recipients. They are also accepting applications for vendors to provide their services especially entertainment/music, décor, photographer/ videographer and donations for auction items. For more information, call 954-427-1050.

SUNRIDER BEACH RESORT Formerly Rettger Resorts Beach Club

Need a Break? Weekend Getaway? Company Coming? Why go to the Islands when it’s all right here! (L-R) Patio Bar Manager Nick Clavelli, bartender Joe Duffy and Wyndham Resort Manager Julian Felder.

954-427-7900 100 N.E. 20th Terrace, • Deerfield Beach

All you need is a phone line from the phone company to tap this free hidden source of power. If you have two or more lines, you have that much more power available to you for small nightlights, charging laptops and cellphones. In many cases, the phone company leaves disconnected lines energized with power, figuring that the new tenant or homeowner will need the phone line turned on when they move in. Instead of physically disconnecting the pair to the premises, they simply change the programming at the central office to remove the dial tone and the ability to receive calls. The power is still on the line! If you’re already paying for a phone line, you don’t have to pay anything more to make use of the power. For details, see video on HurricaneTV at www. observernewspaperonline.com/hurricane-tv SUPPORT YOUR COMMUNITY – PATRONIZE OBSERVER ADVERTISERS. LET THEM KNOW YOU SAW THEIR ADS IN THE OBSERVER.

Hurricane Update 2011  

Observer's Annual Hurricane Section