PSY 724e Final
To the Citizens of Snyder, Oklahoma, KFOR Meteorologists and staff, the University of Oklahoma National Weather Center, and Oklahoma State Univeristy Engineering and Technology Department, and Oklahoma State University Architect Department
On May 10th, 1905, a tornado over a mile wide destroyed the town and community of Snyder, Oklahoma. (National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office) Only two buildings (hotel and dry goods store) remained standing but had extensive damage. (National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office) The tornado left officially 97 dead, but historians unofficially estimate 120 to 130 dead or missing. (National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office) The Snyder Tornado has been included in documentaries about United States tornados but no documentary was dedicated until 2013. Mike Morgan, meteorologist for KFOR, his staff, the University of Oklahoma National Weather Center, and I scripted and produced “The Monster that Swallowed Snyder,” the first documentary dedicated to the 1905 tornado. “The Monster that Swallowed Snyder” was a historical depiction of the event that included the days prior, during, and aftermath of the climatic event. The documentary created tornado awareness throughout the US and internationally. It also laid the foundation needed to gain support for the first Augmented Reality museum in Oklahoma. The Snyder Discovery Center was opened in 2015.
The Snyder hotel and dry goods store by the 1905 tornado were designated as historical buildings and houses The Snyder Discovery Center. Snyder’s rural and topographical location did not support the infrastructure required for the museum. Towers and satellites were emplaced to support the museum but also provided additional infrastructure for communities in Kiowa County, Fort Sill Army Post and Altus Air Force Base. The communication systems gave local and rural citizens access to telenet, phones, and other resources at affordable prices, unlimited uses, and created new employment in the area. Snyder’s population in 2012 was about 1600 citizens. This was only about 600 more people than in 1905. Snyder’s population today is over 15,000 serving Fort Sill, Altus Air Force, and the State of Oklahoma. Historically, homes located outside city limits had difficulty or were unable to receive television, internet, radio, or telephone services. This was particularly true if there was inclement weather like snow, ice, hail, or heavy rains. The additional infrastructure has enabled extremely rural Oklahoma families to be a part of the digital age.
Augmented and Virtual Reality processes were used to bring the tornado, weather effects, and people to life in The Snyder Discovery Center. The fortunate part of this process is the technology and data used to re-create the 1905 tornado in conjunction with AR contributed to confirming theories about how tornadoes are formed. Snyder is the home for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Weather Center’s (NWC) research station on tornado activity. Fields once grazed by livestock and grew crops are dotted with satellites dishes, weather towers, and underground tracking devices. The three pieces of technology coordinated data and communicate with a space satellite serving as an unmanned center of communication (UCC). The UCC is manned by scientists and meteorologists from NOAA Headquarters, Washington, D.C. The underground sensors and weather towers collect atmospheric data and relay the data to a satellite dish as well as adjacent sensors (towers or underground devices). The satellite dish uplinks data to a space satellite. The space satellite sends the information to NOAA HQ and other locations in Oklahoma, the US, and internationally for assessment.
Research data collected from the Snyder NOAA research center confirms topography, static electricity, and air temperatures are the initiators of tornadoes. Snyder has various waterways, mountains, prairie, and small wooded areas that are factors in how a tornado reacts to the earth’s surface. The heat from roads, homes, and communities also contribute to the direction or a change in direction for tornados. All of these variables influence the increased or decreased severity of a thunderstorm, supercell, or tornado. The research concluded that underground structures such as the missile silos located near the Altus Air Force Base also impact on tornado activity. This information has made tornados predictable by meteorologists in Oklahoma, the US, and internationally.
The Snyder Weather and Recovery Board (SWRB) is composed of citizens throughout the southwestern quarter of the state and addresses emergency management and recovery issues. The Snyder tornado of 1905 cut electricity and telegraph communications. The only form of communication was to send messengers to Mountain Park located three miles away. (National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office) Logistical and medical support was transported by train to the mass destruction in Snyder within twenty four hours. (National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office) The communication systems of 2032 allow NOAA and NWC in Norman, Oklahoma to project tornados and automatically notify community mass warning systems located in the path of the tornado. The automated warning system was created in coordination with local meteorologists, emergency management offices, storm chasers (video storms and tornadoes as they occur), and the Oklahoma State Engineering and Technology Department. Meteorological warnings are broadcast on telenet and phone airways; sent to AR glasses/devices, and weather receivers; and other various communications devices. Since the projection of tornados and emplacement of the early warning systems in 2018, there have been no fatalities and reduced casualties). The SWRB assists with any disaster natural or manmade within the continental United States.
When disaster strikes, the Oklahoma emergency management office (OEMO) contacts the mobile recovery group (MRG). The MRG is composed of doctors, nurses, medical support staff, logistical personnel, water/food purification personnel, and other emergency support staff. Electric above ground trains (similar to a monorail) are powered by solar and/or lunar light to move along existing railway. The trains are fast and not weather dependent which makes them the prefect all weather vehicle for any emergency disaster. Road vehicles or aircraft can be used to transport victims to the trains or transport medical personnel, supplies, or other assets to the local area. The trains are classified into three categories, medical, logistics, and communications. The OEMO and SWRB determine when trains will be sent for recovery and relief during a disaster.
The medical trains are like mini-hospitals similar to a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH). The trains used by medical personnel are self-sustaining. Water is re-purified and sterilized so medical personnel can continually provide patient care. The solar/lunar panels provide electricity for surgery, sterilization of equipment, and basic patient care. There a car designated for a morgue. The decay of corpses throughout history has contributed to diseases which lead to illness and additional fatalities. The morgue can refrigerate the deceased until a burial can be arranged. There is a decontamination car for victims that are contaminated with chemicals/biological agents, dirt and debris, or possibly burned. The victims of the 1905 tornado were covered and a thick slimy mud which made identification of victims and diagnosing injuries difficult. The SWRB and the Armed Forces were instrumental in creating the decontamination car. The medical instruments, equipment, and technology are state of the art. There is no longer a need for “old-fashioned” X-Rays. Patients are laid on a light table that functions similar to an MRI while doctors and nurses wear glasses that revile the patient’s internal organs, nerves, vessels, muscles, skeletons, etc. The glasses and the light table function only with each other. Medical personnel also use augmented devices to assist them with diagnosis and treatment. The medical trains also provide a place for citizens to receive minor medical care to lengthy stays. The medical trains have been of great benefit during many disasters and medical emergencies across America.
The logistical trains are a one stop shop for support during a disaster. The logistics train has played a key role in the rebuilding of communities in Oklahoma and the US. The logistic trains are not only self-sustaining but provide communities with clean water, food, clothing, building supplies, and all the basics required for preparation and rebuilding a community. There are carpenter cars that provide the tools and equipment need to create cabinets, doors, furniture, etc. A photo of the original cabinets used in a home to be computer re-created. The photo is scanned into the computer and templates the image that contains dimensions, woodwork design, etc. Similar software is used to rebuild homes. The technology enables communities to return to an “original” state. Logistic trains are also used during the search and rescue portion of the operation. Hand held devices that resemble a metal detector are used to find victims buried under ruble. The sensors can locate victims under 15 feet of concrete. Technology has also improved engineer equipment rendering safe debris removal and timely victim extraction.
The communications trains are often called “talking” trains because they are a gathering point for sending and receiving information. The wireless devices in 2032 prevent a complete breakdown of communication similar to the communication gap that occurred in 1905. Wireless devices have limitations such as power source recharge. The devices can be recharged at a solar/lunar recharging point (or portable hand charger) or recharged when electricity is restored. The communications trains provide solar/lunar recharging points and aids in electrical restoration which can take 24 to 72 hours. “Telenet” is a combination of television and internet and replaced television programing, radio, and newspapers. Telenet not only provides regular “newsroom” information but the newsrooms’ allow information from individuals to be posted as written or audio text to the newsroom. While not all public posts are accurate, they do provide data collection that can be saved for historical purposes. The trains provide satellite uplinks and downlinks for Telenet and phone services. Technicians repair local satellites and/or towers. All phones are wireless because VIOP and LAN lines are obsolete. Phones have voice broadcast and 3D halogram capabilities for entertainment, information, and communication purposes. When a warning is issued, the phone broadcasts the threat without prompt by the user. Phones furnish consumers with 3D holograms that projected on the surface of the phone. Storms, floods, tornados, snow, etc can be seen real time in 3D hologram imaging to supplying citizens with disaster preparation and recovery capability. The communications trains have resources to serve as a relay station, transmit to space satellites, ground sensors, and receive communication from various assets. There is a meteorological car to collect, assess, collaborate, and disseminate information to various government organizations and the public. The train provides all of the required technicians to restore and maintain communication structures. The “talking” trains can also transmit and receive while moving to the disaster site for relief and recovery. These trains do talk. They talk to the world from where they are or where they may be going.
The Snyder 1905 tornado shaped our lives and impacted our lives 130 years into the future. If the Ghosts of Snyder could talk, what would they say? I expect the victims that perished and the survivors that have passed on would say their tragedy was not in vain. Their loss was Snyder’s future gain and prosperity. The Snyder Discovery Center is the greatest tribute that could have been made to their memory.
Eric McLuhan’s philosophy, “the message is the media” can be identified as the basis for Snyder’s technological windfall. (McLuhan, 1965) The media was meteorological and communication assets with secondary functions. The media taught us consolidation of resources, the need for mobile assets, and real time information. McLuhan’s tetrad was used by Media Psychologists and scientists to create and assess the technology utilized in 2032. (Wikipedia, n.d.) The disaster relief and recovery trains are a new avenue for the “global village.” (McLuhan, n.d.) The communities on the trains are temporarily transported to areas that have been damaged or destroyed. The letter supports McLuhan’s philosophies and they have weathered the test of time.
Media Psychology played an important role in the creation and success of The Snyder Discovery Center. The citizens of Snyder and Oklahoma initially scoffed and laughed at the idea of an augmented reality museum. Once the museum was finished and experienced by children and adults, it became a sensation. Organizations across the state saw the impact of technology and sought to become a part of the digital age. Media psychology played a significant role in creating a receptive environment for technology, technological application, and impact on Snyder, Oklahoma, and the US. Technology and scientific improvements will continue to flourish and Media Psychologists will influence technological use and technology’s impact on society.
McLuhan, E. (n.d.). The source of the term, “Global village”. Retrieved from http://projects.chass.utoronto.ca/mcluhan-studies/v1_iss2/1_2art2.htm
McLuhan, M. (1965). My definition of technology (video). Retrieved from http://marshallmcluhanspeaks.com/understanding-me/1965-my-definition-of-technology.php
Wikipedia. (n.d.). The tetrad of media effects. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetrad_of_media_effects
National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office. (2011, March 17). The Snyder, Oklahoma tornado of 10 May 1905. Retrieved from http://www.srh.noaa.gov/oun/?n=events-19050510