There are some things I have never understood. The snow in New York recently shows a prime example –
Why, (certainly after the Katrina debacle of people sitting in a room without a television to see the news everyone else was seeing) – would our mayor’s offices, FEMA command centers and other decision-makers in government not have a television with cable in their offices somewhere with the news running during an event? At least they could have that information available to them.
As my daughter just said, and it bears repeating, “With all the money that our government has, you’d think they could buy a few tv’s for these offices to see the news when something happens.” I know decisions have to be made. And, every available source of information and coordinating information and resources should be available to our decision makers when events happen. She is right. There is enough money to have cable run to the mayor’s office and a television for it.
They would’ve seen the pictures on the internet too – at multiple places around the city which just weren’t getting things tackled very fast – and they wouldn’t have been caught by that fact in surprise. If people had been told to stay home and a state of emergency called, because the snow wasn’t being cleared fast enough for it to be safe, the outcome of many dangerous and difficult situations would’ve been different. But that would’ve required a different type of real time information than what seems to currently be available to government, city, state, local and FEMA command centers.
The other thing that would definitely help would be for airports to have the weather channel showing in the lounges and/or at the gates and in the main concourse where passengers wait or somewhere that decisions are being made to get on those airplanes or to re-route or change the flight to another date. People that are going to end up sitting on the tarmac in a plane for eleven hours – could have the information before getting on the plane (at the airport) of those weather conditions so they can change flights, or flight times if they want – before getting on the plane going to an area having a blizzard, tornadoes, floods, an ice storm, volcanic ash or whatever else it might be.
Pilots apparently can see the weather within a hundred miles of where they are going once they are in that area. But, why on God’s green earth in this day and age, are they unable to see the three or four simple charts from the national weather service as I can on my computer or laptop that show the current windspeeds and direction where they are and where they are going, the dopplar radar, the current weather conditions with ice, snow, extreme wind gusts, tornadoes, ice storms and flooding, along with the cloud tops heights and storms (lightning) where they are going, along with where they are flying between the two places? Why is it that I can see all that on my laptop with the wifi back in the passenger cabin or at home – but the pilot, co-pilot and flight engineer flying the plane don’t have that information available to them as they make decisions?
How could that be that stupid?
When the mayor of Newark was handling the snow situation / blizzard recently using all the technology available to him in real-time including twitter to get things done, it shows the level of possibility to manage resources during an event in a more effective way than many of these situations have shown. The American people throughout the country, along with people from around the world – can see online and through cable news broadcasting – information about events in detail and real-time that even the decision-makers having to make decisions in the event, do not have. But they do have it available and could be using it.
I don’t necessarily want my pilot to be a meteorologist. But I do want him or her and their flight team to know the real-time weather has gusts of 75 mph and a tornado coming into the area where we are supposed to be landing in the next little bit – before we get there. I don’t want my mayor to be glued to the tv set watching the news instead of handling things, but I do want them to see CNN just showed somebody up to their elbows in water where a bridge or dam just failed so they can respond to that right now.
They are flying in real time. I want them to have the real-time information that is available to any of the rest of us on the plane with our laptops on – and in an event, I want our decision-makers who are managing resources to know the same things (and more) that any of us can see the news reporting live or the live cams showing online.
On November 30, when I flew back from New York – the pilot told us after we were all sitting on the plane, buckled to our seats, that there was a storm system coming into Atlanta about the time we would get there. I thought he had the same weather information I would have at home from the national weather system charts – there are about three pages to flip through which show all the really pertinent stuff, very simple to use and takes about three minutes to see all of it (in durn near real-time). And, we flew to Atlanta – I took a lot of really great pictures out the window of the massive storm systems below us. But, when we got to Atlanta – our plane and at least twenty others couldn’t land. And, I thought – first, why didn’t they tell us that before boarding the plane.
And, second – why didn’t they simply adjust their airspeed a little to come in either before it or after it. No, we flew around in circles with twenty or so other planes over Atlanta for two hours until the pilot announced we would be going to Augusta to refuel – at one point, he said there were tornadoes in the area and the Hartsfield-Jackson airport in Atlanta was shutdown completely, not allowing any planes to land. Okay – but I was on a two-hour flight. It is well within what our current weather information can do, for those pilots to have that precise current real-time information available to them. And, they didn’t.
So, I asked around to find out what they are using . . .
Now, that is just wrong. They can only see the radar weather stuff for about a 100 mile radius from wherever they are and I don’t know if it looks anything different than some WWII radar screen – but its just wrong.
Whether it is for the command center on the ground in some event happening that is dangerous or a disaster, a flood, a tornado system, a blizzard, a hurricane’s aftermath, a chemical plant fire or whatever – I want the pilots overhead or on my plane I’m flying in – and the people making decisions from the command center during a disaster to have the real-time information that can be found online about the weather and all the real information about things that are occurring as they are occurring. The pilots don’t need cable tv news but the decision-makers in any FEMA command center or mayor’s office do. And they all need those three or four pages of the national weather service charts available to check every once in a while when it matters. And, I would say that on any air flight on any air plane – the weather matters.
Don’t tell me there aren’t problems to be solved. There are.
I’m not sure what it would take to get the national weather service online with those three or four pages to flip through for all our planes and pilots to have onboard with all their other instruments, but I do know it is possible and its much needed.
It wouldn’t take much beyond a change of attitude to put a damn television with cable news and a remote in the offices of the mayors and city command centers where stuff happens. And, they have to turn it on to the news when events are occurring. Surely, they can channel surf like any of the rest of us. It would only a take a few minutes to get all of it.
On the night of the blizzard, I watched several Times’ Square live webcams and with that many cameras all over the city, I know there was real-time information available that could’ve been streaming live to see every now and then at any command center trying to adjust resources throughout the city. I’m sure they are using them in some respect, but why didn’t they know the snow wasn’t being cleared as fast as usual? Hmmmm……..
It doesn’t take someone glued to the tv or the internet to see a few live shots over Brooklyn taken from news choppers or to see the people working to clear the streets moving slower than expected. And, what if it was because they needed more clothing to protect against the cold which could’ve been offered right then and there – in real time, that could’ve been solved. In real time where an emergency vehicle was trying to respond to a call in a specific place, the snow could’ve been cleared for it to get through and then gone on to something else. I know it is a lot happening at once but the difference in what can be done is partly based on the knowledge in real time and information in real time of what is happening and precisely where. Calls can be made, questions asked, twitters sent out to move resources around, whatever it takes. Somebody could be sent to ask the snowplow drivers why they have a beer instead of a coca-cola – you know, that would not have been that hard if someone had seen the possibility that was happening.
I don’t know what happened in New York, except the little I’ve seen on the news and it indicates the difference between when the city and its special team of work crews to respond to a snow event were proud of what they could do to challenge it and resolve it compared to just being afraid their opportunities to work at all were being diminished by budget cuts. That much I can see. The greatest tools that can help them may be a city and city team leaders that are proud of them, supports them and acknowledges their amazing efforts because they can move mountains when they have that. And, maybe the mayor needs to be able to twitter them and say “get on with it already” or “is there a problem” when an event is ongoing.
And, yes – I’m still trying to raise money and no, nothing has worked yet. I’m a moron when it comes to that. If I knew the right way to make a business right quick out of placing those internet sources from the national weather service on the planes for the pilots, I’d do it.
Here are the charts I was describing from the National Weather Service –
There is another one – I’ll have to find it, which shows the windspeeds and directions in real-time. Airports could provide the weather channel on monitors. The European weather group has similar information. At the very least, the national weather services info can be onboard at the point of decision-making where pilots are making choices that affect lives.
They need to know more than the 100-mile radius that their current info gives them because they are moving through vast systems every time they get in the air and have to land sooner or later – far from their initial 100-mile radius viewpoint.
These are the current windspeed charts – click on any area and a more precise set of information for a region is available.
Planes have all kinds of great things – but most of the problems at airports recently and weather related could have had an entire range of solutions available had the pilots and flight team had this information in front of them as they were making those decisions.
There is no good reason our pilots in commercial airliners shouldn’t have these three charts in front of them in real time along with the ability to click on a region and see it just as any of us can on our home computers or laptops.
The other chart that is available which could be very handy shows the cloud tops heights, the degree of precipitation and activity in a visual map similar in scale to the others with the function to click on a region and see it in more detail. They could use that one too.
Donald Trump is announcing right now on John King that he is going to run for President (maybe). Please do Mr. Trump. Please do. Let’s get something done right in the mess we are facing globally and domestically. (7.27 pm 01-06-11 CNN, John King show)
I do believe something that Mr. Trump said a while back which was that the diplomats making decisions for us need to have a better understanding of good business deals than they seem to have. He is right. That would make a world of difference for America.
And, Mr. John King – There is a man in Mr. Donald Trump that is far more than an “expert in marketing,” as you described along with your smug guests commenting on it in their snide remarks. Too long our Presidency has been used as a political platform to shove a way of doing things or looking at things down the throats of the American people. It is not appropriate for our Presidency to be used that way. It is not what the office was designed to accomplish for us.
The Presidency is a place of leadership, guidance, strength, executive decision-making intended to be appropriate to the needs of the nation and the benefit of the American people, as well as setting the future course for America’s prosperity, wealth, opportunity, democracy, freedom, equality and well-being. The Presidency sets the helm and mantel against the world’s pressing efforts to get advantage over us and remove those opportunities from us. I think Mr. Trump understands that better than anyone since he has accomplished those things where he stands in his own businesses.
We have had enough “policy makers” running this country into the ground. It is the reason that President Eisenhower did such a tremendous job as the President. He had already done the job of leadership and found the ways practical answers are derived and enacted from leading the war efforts in the military as a General. It takes real world experience with these things to do the job well – either from experiences in the real world of business or in the real world of war – both of which have become nearly the same thing.