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The National Disaster Medical System and U.S. Public Health Service have been activated in anticipation of the need for medical teams and hospital evacuation support.

       

U. S. Department of Health and Human Services - Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response

Public Health Emergency - Public Health and Medical Emergency Support for a Nation Prepared

Hurricane Irene 2011

August 27, 2011:  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is poised to provide public health and medical support to states along the east coast as Hurricane Irene makes landfall.

State-by-State Developments Related to Hurricane Irene

CNN - August 26, 2011 - 8:44 p.m. EDT

(CNN) -- On Friday, President Barack Obama said of Hurricane Irene that "all indications point to this being a historic hurricane."

Numerous local, state and federal agencies, among other organizations, have taken steps in preparation. Here are some of those measures, for states most affected by Hurricane Irene:

SOUTH CAROLINA

Irene was off the South Carolina coast on Friday, with its outer bands bringing gusty winds, heavy rain and dangerous surf.

No evacuations were ordered, as the storm path appears to be too far east to present serious problems. However, state emergency officials were monitoring Irene and have contingency plans. The state emergency management agency is using its website, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to keep the public informed.

NORTH CAROLINA

Hurricane Irene is expected to make its first contact with the U.S. mainland on Saturday morning near Beaufort, according to CNN meteorologist Sean Morris.

Hurricane Irene Moves North, FEMA Sets Expectations

The Washington Post - August 25, 2011

     

Hurricane Irene appears headed towards the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions this weekend — areas that haven’t endured tropical storm-force winds and rain in years.

And the Federal Emergency Management Agency, panned by Southerners almost six years ago for its inept response to Hurricane Katrina, is reminding Americans up north that they should turn first to local and state authorities in advance of the storm.

“If the public’s seeing FEMA, it’s most likely if we’ve had impacts and we have requests for assistance,” the agency’s administrator, Craig Fugate , told reporters Thursday. “Otherwise, we’re doing things to get ready, but we’re not getting in front of the governor’s teams, we’re there to support them.”

Deepwater Trouble on the Horizon: Oil Discovered Floating Near Source of Gulf of Mexico Spill (Video & Photos)

 al.com - August 24, 2011

       

Oil bubbles to the surface of the Gulf of Mexico within one mile northeast of BP's Macondo well on August 23, 2011. (Press-Register/Jeff Dute)

MOBILE, Alabama -- Oil is once again fouling the Gulf of Mexico around the Deepwater Horizon well, which was capped a little over a year ago.

Tuesday afternoon, hundreds of small, circular patches of oily sheen dotted the surface within a mile of the wellhead. With just a bare sheen present over about a quarter-mile, the scene was a far cry from the massive slick that covered the Gulf last summer.

Floating in a boat near the well site, Press-Register reporters watched blobs of oil rise to the surface and bloom into iridescent yellow patches. Those patches quickly expanded into rainbow sheens 4 to 5 feet across.

Each expanding bloom released a pronounced and pungent petroleum smell. Most of the oil was located in a patch about 50 yards wide and a quarter of a mile long.

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In Wake of Riots, British PM Proposes Social Media Ban

CNN - August 11, 2011

       

Suspected rioter David O'Neill leaves court Thursday in London after posting bail on charges, including aggravated violence.

British Prime Minister David Cameron thinks he's found some culprits to blame in the recent riots that have rocked London and other cities -- Facebook and Twitter.

Saying the "free flow of information" can sometimes be a problem, Cameron's government has summoned those two social-networking sites, as well as Research In Motion, makers of the BlackBerry, for a meeting to discuss their roles during the violent outbreaks.

"Everyone watching these horrific actions will be struck by how they were organized via social media," Cameron said Thursday during an address to Parliament. "Free flow of information can be used for good. But it can also be used for ill. And when people are using social media for violence, we need to stop them."

Cameron said that government officials are working with authorities "to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality."

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What Los Angeles Can Teach the UK on Riot Control

BBC News - August 12, 2011

Widespread violence broke out across Los Angeles in 1992 following the Rodney King trial

Prime Minister David Cameron is to consult US "supercop" Bill Bratton on how to deal with city rioting. Mr Bratton, the former New York and Los Angeles police chief, is credited with dramatically reducing crime after the 1992 riots in LA.

The burning buildings, looting, and clashes with police in Britain this week have brought back some vivid memories in Los Angeles.

In 1992, riots sparked by a row over racism spread across the city and for six days the fires burned and the violence raged.

Until a week ago they were the defining images of urban rioting etched on the public memory here and around the world.

Now David Cameron is turning to the man who is credited with restoring law and order in the city - former LAPD chief Bill Bratton - dubbed a "US Supercop" by the British newspapers.

Mr Bratton, having earlier served as the head of the NYPD in New York, took over the LAPD a decade after the 1992 riots.

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