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Date:10/5/2009

ailto:ffadm@uaf.edu">ffadm@uaf.edu or (907) 474-6242.

STORY SEEDS: (points to ponder or investigate)

Don't Blow Off Hurricane Sensors

It's still hurricane season do you know where your storm sensors will be installed? The USGS does. Twelve bridges along the South Carolina coast are now the permanent homes of brackets that will house USGS storm sensors. This is good news for emergency responders: The sensors can be installed quickly in advance of a hurricane to track water level and barometric pressure as storms approach. This makes it easier to determine the timing and magnitude of storm surge. This work is done in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the S.C. Department of Transportation. For more information about South Carolina storm-surge monitoring techniques, listen to a podcast at http://sc.water.usgs.gov/podcasts/, or contact Paul Conrads at pconrads@usgs.gov or (803) 750-6140.

Fighting Fire with Minerals

Fire Prevention Week (Oct. 4-10) means it's time to learn your evacuation route and locate the nearest fire extinguisher. When it comes to fire prevention, minerals play a big role in helping to keep you safe. The "plug" in the automatic sprinklers you see on the ceiling of many buildings is formed by a combination of bismuth, indium and tin. This combination has the perfect melting point to quickly release water when it gets too hot. Aluminum trihydrate in carpet backing is a flame retardant, and gypsum is a fire-resistant material for drywall. Soda ash is used in fire extinguishers, and ground mica helps keep it free flowing. The USGS has been an authoritative source for U.S. and global nonfuel mineral production and consumption data for these and about 80 other mineral commodities for more than 130 years. For more on minerals in workplace safety, check out the USGS Minerals site at '/>"/>

Contact: Kara Capelli
kcapelli@usgs.gov
703-648-5086
United States Geological Survey
Source:Eurekalert

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