Storm chasers find NOAA's Web site

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Related Links

The current hurricane season has been a challenge for those living in Florida and along the Gulf Coast — and the stiffest test yet for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Web site.

As Hurricane Ivan ravaged the Gulf Coast last week, officials at the Agriculture Department's National Finance Center, which houses the books for government employees' Thrift Savings Plan in New Orleans, mailed their backup databases to safe locations. But they could not save their Web site from a preventive shutdown.

"We expect to be back up no later than Monday," said Tom Trabucco, director of external affairs for the Thrift Investment Board. The plan's 3.3 million participants should be able to access their accounts by Sept. 20.

In anticipation of meteorological havoc, Homeland Security Department officials followed Hurricane Ivan closely. Officials at DHS' Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Directorate are assessing the vulnerabilities and potential impact to critical infrastructure located in the storm's projected path. Based on these assessments, DHS officials will work with private-sector partners and state and local government officials during the recovery phase.

Aircraft from Immigration and Customs Enforcement helped transport Federal Emergency Management Agency officials to and from sites. They also flew over the storm's path after it made landfall to collect high-resolution images for damage assessment. The data allows FEMA officials to better target areas in need of immediate help.

Also collecting up-to-the-minute, high-resolution images, NOAA's Web site has received a record number of hits during this hurricane season. In the first eight days of September, the site received 200 million hits — equivalent to one-third of the total traffic for all of 2003, when the United States was hit by one hurricane, Isabel.

"The hurricanes have put our stats off the charts this year," said Greg Hernandez, NOAA's online editor. "We've been so busy trying to stay on the air."

To free bandwidth after a Sept. 9 hurricane warning, NOAA officials took down their weather Web logs, which represented more than 10G of information. The agency's information technology staff now logs that data manually.

"These ladies and gentlemen have been working 24/7," Hernandez said. "It's nice to know I wasn't alone at two in the morning."

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.

Featured

  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group