Anyone with even a passing knowledge of the weather knows about hurricanes — and in turn, they know just how devastating the wind alone can get. Stopping a hurricane and other inclement weather isn’t exactly possible right now, but steps can still be taken against them. The United Kingdom has taken that to heart, albeit in an unusual way: the first step in their defensive plan is to let the average Joe give storms their names.
If and when a storm makes its approach on the UK and Ireland — and it’s severe enough to cause concern — then the program will go into effect. People will be able to use emails, Facebook, or Twitter to submit names for consideration; once there, the suggestions will be collected into a list. The storm will receive its name based on alphabetical order, as well as alternate between genders each time. Granted the program won’t see full activation until fall and winter, but anyone eager to personalize their weather is in luck.
Even so, it’s more than vanity or goofiness that set the project in motion. The idea is that giving people the chance to name storms will push them to learn more — what those storms entail, and how to stay safe if one hits. It’s an effort to have the people know their enemy; if the name really is the first step, then we can only hope it’ll help save lives.