Alerting Dictionary

 

 
       
Air Quality An elevated particulate count in the atmosphere which adversely affects visibility or health. 
Aircraft Crash A sudden, unexpected event involving aircraft resulting in fuselage damage, bodily injury, death and/or the disruption of transportation service; prompting emergency landing procedures or uncontrolled impact with the ground.
  Airport Closure A closure of an airport or helicopter landing site.
  AMBER Alert A child abduction bulletin or notice.
  Animal Health An incident affecting the health of wild or domesticated animal populations.
  Animal Disease A diagnosed disease affecting the health of wild or domesticated animal populations.
  Animal Feed An issue affecting animal feed or supply.
Avalanche A large mass of snow, ice, soil, or rock, or mixtures of these materials, falling, sliding, or flowing very rapidly under the force of gravity.
Biological Hazard Uncontrolled or potentially dangerous presence of a poisonous substance that is a specific product of the metabolic activities of a living organism and is usually very unstable and can easily be transferred between organisms.
Blizzard A severe storm condition characterized by low temperatures, strong winds, and heavy snow. By definition, the difference between blizzard and a snowstorm is the strength of the wind.
Blowing Snow Snow lifted from the surface by the wind, at a height of 8 feet (2 meters) or more, that will reduce visibility. Blowing snow can come from falling snow or snow that already accumulated on the ground but is picked up and blown about by strong winds.
  Bridge Closure A closure of a bridge due to natural or man-made causes.
Chemical Hazard A chemical substance, which is intended for use in military operations to kill, resulting in psychological disorientation, serious injury, incapacitation or death.
Civil Emergency An emergency that disrupts normal civilian activities.
  Cold Wave A rapid fall in temperature within a 24 hour period requiring substantially increased protection to agriculture, industry, commerce, and social activities. The precise criterion for a cold wave is determined by the rate at which the temperature falls, and the minimum to which it falls. This minimum temperature is dependent on the geographical region and time of year.
Dam Overflow An overflowing or failure of a dam or reservoir.
Dangerous Animal A dangerous or threatening animal, wild or domesticated.
Dust Storm A meteorological phenomenon common in arid and semi-arid regions. Dust storms arise when a gust front blows loose sand and dust from a dry surface. Particles are transported by saltation and suspension, causing soil erosion from one place and deposition in another.
Earthquake A sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves.
Emergency Support Facility An incident or event involving publicly available support facilities.
Emergency Support Service An incident or event involving publicly available support services.
Explosive Hazard Uncontrolled or potentially dangerous presence of any substance or article, including a device, which is designed to function by explosion (i.e., an extremely rapid release of gas and heat) or which, by chemical reaction within itself, is able to function in a similar manner even if not designed to function by explosion.
Falling Object A situation where an unstable object poses a threat to persons or property below.
Fire The destructive act of something burning; caused either by electrical or technological malfunction, lightning, arson, human error or human negligence.  May include Forest Fire, Urban Fire, Industrial Fire, and/or Wildfire.
Flash Freeze When significant ice is expected to form rapidly on road surfaces over much of a region because of a combination of weather conditions. Such conditions typically include temperatures which are expected to fall quickly from above 0°C to well below freezing while precipitation is occurring.
Flash Flood A rapid flooding of geomorphic low-lying areas - washes, rivers, dry lakes and basins.
Flood A relatively high stream flow that overtops the stream banks in any part of its course, covering land that is not normally under water or when water overflows the natural or artificial confines of a stream or other body of water, or accumulates by drainage over low-lying areas.
Forest Fire An uncontrolled fire in a forested area.
Freezing Drizzle Drizzle that freezes on contact with the ground or an object at or near the surface.
Freezing Rain The name given to rain that falls when surface temperatures are below freezing. The raindrops become supercooled while passing through a sub-freezing layer of air, many hundred feet (or meters), just above the surface, and then freeze upon impact with any object they encounter.
Frost The solid deposition of water vapor from saturated air. It is formed when solid surfaces are cooled to below the dew point of the adjacent air.
Storm Any disturbed state of an astronomical body's atmosphere, especially affecting its surface, and strongly implying severe weather. It may be marked by strong wind, thunder and lightning (a thunderstorm), heavy precipitation, such as ice (ice storm), or wind transporting some substance through the atmosphere (as in a dust storm, snowstorm, hailstorm, etc).
Hazardous Material An incident involving a hazardous material (chemical, biological, radiological, explosive, poisonous gas or other).
  Hazardous Road Conditions A natural or man-made event that causes roadways to become hazardous.
Health Alert An incident affecting human health.
  Heat Wave A prolonged period of excessively hot weather.
  High Heat and Humidity A prolonged period of excessively hot weather, which is accompanied by high humidity.
High Water The location of high tide on a coastal area or the highest stage of a river.
Ice Alert An event involving surficial or marine ice.
Ice Pressure An ice formation typically found on large frozen lakes or sea ice during the winter. In the most basic sense, a pressure ridge is a long crack in the ice that occurs because of repeated heating and cooling on the surface of the lake.
Ice Special An event involving surficial or marine ice.
Industrial Fire An uncontrolled fire in an industrial building or complex.
Infectious Disease A clinically evident illness resulting from the presence of pathogenic microbial agents, including pathogenic viruses, pathogenic bacteria, fungi, protozoa, multicellular parasites, and aberrant proteins known as prions. These pathogens are able to cause disease in animals and/or plants. Infectious pathologies are also called communicable diseases or transmissible diseases due to their potential of transmission from one person or species to another by a replicating agent (as opposed to a toxin).
Infectious Plant Disease A known disease affecting wild or cultivated vegetation.
Landslide A general term for a wide variety of processes and landforms involving the down slope movement under the force of gravity of masses of soil and rock material.
Magnetic Storm A temporary disturbance of the Earth's magnetosphere caused by a disturbance in space weather. Associated with solar coronal mass ejections (CME), coronal holes, or solar flares, a geomagnetic storm is caused by a solar wind shock wave which typically strikes the Earth's magnetic field 24 to 36 hours after the event.
Marine Alert An incident involving a boat, ship or navigable waterway.
Marine Security An incident of unspecified type affecting the security of marine operations or infrastructures.
  Missing Vulnerable Person A missing, vulnerable person who might be in danger because of a medical condition.
Meteorite A portion of a meteoroid or asteroid that survives its passage through the atmosphere and impact with the ground without being destroyed.
Nautical Accident A sudden, unexpected event involving a boat or ship resulting in vessel submerging, damage, bodily injury, death and/or the disruption of transportation service.
Overland Flow Flood A relatively high stream flow that overtops the stream banks in any part of its course, covering land that is not normally under water or when water overflows the natural or artificial confines of a stream or other body of water, or accumulates by drainage over low-lying areas.
Plant Health An incident affecting wild or cultivated vegetation.
Public Services An incident or event involving public services or facilities.
Railway Alert An incident involving train resulting in damage, bodily injury, death, or the disruption of transportation service.
Rain Fall Liquid precipitation, as opposed to other kinds of precipitation such as snow, hail and sleet.
  Roadway Alert An event involving a wheeled or tracked vehicle resulting in damage, bodily injury, death, or the disruption of transportation service.
  Roadway Closure A closure of a roadway due to natural or man-made causes.
  School Closure A closure of a school.
School Lockdown A lockdown of a school.
Snow Fall Precipitation within the Earth's atmosphere in the form of crystalline water ice, consisting of a multitude of snowflakes that fall from clouds.
Snow Squall A sudden moderately heavy snow fall with blowing snow and strong, gusty surface winds. It is often referred to as a whiteout and is similar to a blizzard but is localized in time or in space and snow accumulations may or may not be significant.
Temperature An event related to extremes in temperature.
Terrorism The systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion.
Thunderstorm A form of weather characterized by the presence of lightning and its acoustic effect on the Earth's atmosphere known as thunder. The meteorologically-assigned cloud type associated with the thunderstorm is the cumulonimbus. Thunderstorms are usually accompanied by strong winds, heavy rain and sometimes snow, hail, or no precipitation at all.
Tornado A violent, dangerous, rotating column of air which is in contact with both the surface of the earth and a cumulonimbus cloud or, in rare cases, the base of a cumulus cloud. The most intense of all atmospheric phenomena, tornadoes come in many shapes and sizes but are typically in the form of a visible condensation funnel, whose narrow end touches the earth and is often encircled by a cloud of debris and dust.
Train Accident A sudden, unexpected event involving a wheeled or tracked vehicle resulting in derailment, damage, bodily injury, death and/or the disruption of transportation service.
Urban Fire An uncontrolled fire in an urban area affecting residential or commercial properties.
Wild Fire An uncontrolled fire in a non-urban area.
Wind Alert An event related to dangerous and damaging winds.
Wind Chill The apparent temperature felt on exposed skin due to wind. The degree of this phenomenon depends on both air temperature and wind speed. The wind chill temperature (often popularly called the wind chill factor) is always lower than the air temperature for values where the wind chill formula is valid.
Winter Storm An event in which the dominant varieties of precipitation are forms that only occur at cold temperatures, such as snow or sleet, or a rainstorm where ground temperatures are cold enough to allow ice to form.
Volcanic Ash Cloud A cloud of volcanic ash consists of small tephra, which are bits of pulverized rock and glass created by volcanic eruptions,[1] less than 2 millimetres (0.079 in) in diameter.