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How the COVID-19 pandemic will affect hurricane disaster planning

first_imgDarwin Brandis/iStockBy EDEN DAVID, ABC News(NEW YORK) — Hurricane season is approaching, and this year’s may present unique challenges because of COVID-19.“It’s another heavy lift to think about a second kind of disaster, when we’re all dealing with the pandemic,” Vivi Siegel, senior health communication specialist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Environmental Health Science and Practice, said in a recent virtual briefing.With the pandemic forcing families to stay home and avoid gatherings, a strong hurricane could require them to consider the very opposite: evacuate and find new shelter.To make matters worse, forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predict there’s a 60% chance of an above-normal season, with 13 to 19 named storms, from June 1 to Nov. 30.“We are having a pandemic — everyone’s lives look very different this year than they did last year. We need to acknowledge that this is a lot harder than usual,” Siegel said. “We want people to prepare for hurricanes, but we want them to do it in a way that is protecting themselves and others from COVID-19.”Basic infrastructure is already buckling under the weight of the pandemic. Government employees are overworked, emergency response teams are strained and many others feel overwhelmed and anxious. Creating a disaster preparedness plan — a stocked “go kit,” knowing evacuation routes, where to seek shelter — is difficult enough without considering social distancing and other current safety measures.Dealing with the emotional toll felt by people facing multiple disasters is essential, said Seigel, who stressed that helping them “think more clearly and react to situations the way you need to” means maintaining one’s mental health. (The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration also provides a 24/7 Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-989-5990, dedicated to crisis counseling for people related to disaster.)When it comes to hurricane preparation, it may be harder to get items to replenish emergency kits. Experts recommend giving yourself more time to stockpile emergency food, water and medical supplies, preferably via online delivery services.If you need to evacuate, the CDC recommends adding to your “go kit” items that protect from COVID-19 — hand sanitizer, soap and at least two cloth face coverings.People who otherwise may pack into a single location to ride out the storm probably will need to flee elsewhere or risk spreading or contracting the virus.“It may not be the big gymnasiums that we’ve used in previous years and instances,” Siegel said.Gyms may be replaced by hotels or dorms, places where households can stay together but also remain separate from other evacuees.“We’re telling people to stay home and stay away from one another, and now we want to ask them to come into a shelter,” said Mollie Mahany, senior public health adviser at the CDC.Despite stay-at-home orders, experts said, if you need to visit a disaster shelter, you should still go — just be extra careful. Local authorities and health experts are trying to balance the best way to help as many people as possible while also limiting the spread of COVID-19.For staff members at such locations, new guidance includes monitoring people for symptoms, providing separate areas for local residents with symptoms, and, if available, testing staff, volunteers and residents in accordance with local policies.Anyone in a shelter who begins feeling ill should tell a staff member or volunteer immediately. In addition to continuing to practice social distancing and frequently washing your hands, reinforce these measures with children and be a good role model.Experts acknowledge some of the challenges may include shortages of masks or testing supplies, difficulties in transportation and some people who ignore protocol such as social distancing.“The one that concerns me the most is those afraid to go to shelters,” Mahany added. “We have this hybrid disaster — people are fearful of COVID-19, now they’re fearful of their homes and livelihoods and their families and so forth.”Hospitals are another concern — in some areas, facilities are nearing or at capacity, and significant hurricane damage could knock out the power, compromising dialysis clinics and medical refrigeration.The U.S. this year has already experienced two named storms before the official start of hurricane season, which has happened only four other years on record.Many people pulling together in the battle against novel coronavirus will have to redouble those efforts to help instill hope in a wary public, encourage compliance and minimize further loss. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reservedlast_img read more

Staff commitment is the key to an improved performance

first_imgWhile keeping your employees happy at work is important for morale, it isstaff commitment, and not staff satisfaction, that will help to maximise thebottom line performance of your organisationOnce again, the effects of an economic downturn are loomingover many organisations. For HR, this means a productive workforce is more crucial than ever, and, atthe same time, dealing with employees who can only look to the future with somenervousness. So what can employers do to get the balance right? To start with, theyshould forget about keeping employees ‘satisfied’. Employee satisfaction is, of course, a ‘good thing’, but does it haveanything to do with performance? There is now clear evidence that ‘satisfied’ employees are not necessarilyemployees who perform to the best of their abilities. Satisfaction can be perceived as rather passive – an internal, personalemotion that does not relate in any clear way to an organisational outcome. Sowhere is the benefit to organisations in employee satisfaction surveys? Organisations have to start thinking much more clearly about what kinds ofstaff attitudes actually make a difference, because ‘satisfaction’ is a redherring. Pioneering employers are coming to understand the need to rethink what theymeasure; a requirement for an organisational dimension to attitude surveys inaddition to the usual employee-centred measures. As a result, commitment, whichis sometimes translated as engagement, is increasingly becoming the focus of HRattention. At the Institute for Employment Studies (IES), we embarked on research witha major retailer to try to measure the difference between the two concepts ofsatisfaction and commitment. Using data from 65,000 employees and 25,000 customers, we found thatemployee commitment had a higher correlation to customer satisfaction thanemployee satisfaction. Importantly, commitment has double the impact of employee satisfaction oncustomers’ future spending intentions. A one-point increase in employeecommitment led to a monthly increase of £200,000 in sales per store and reducedabsenteeism. What exactly is commitment? It is evidently something wider than jobsatisfaction, although this forms an element of it. Commitment has several components: compatibility of values, pride in theorganisation, loyalty, job satisfaction and feeling fairly rewarded. Commitment must also be understood as a two-way street, involvingresponsibilities on the employer to develop and value employees. Admittedly, it may well be difficult for employers to promote employeecommitment at a time when business prospects are uncertain. However, taking noaction at all compounds the problem. Current research at IES, based on an overview of 14 recent datasets, showsthat employees with high levels of commitment express greater satisfaction withperformance management, the culture of the organisation, promotionopportunities and communication. With such a multi-dimensional concept, it is a profound mistake to thinkcommitment can be pinpointed by ‘the killer question’ approach, the way thatsatisfaction has often been. The traditional technique of judging employee satisfaction by asking ‘Pleaseindicate how satisfied you feel about working here on a scale of one to 10’needs to be rejected in favour of more subtle questions that provide a paththrough the different components of commitment. You may ask for ratings against statements like: ‘I find my values and theorganisation’s are very similar’; ‘I speak highly of this organisation to myfriends’; ‘I feel loyal to this organisation’; ‘My organisation inspires thebest performance from me’; ‘I get full credit for my work’; ‘The pay herecompares favourably with other organisations’ and ‘I do not often think aboutleaving’. The point of regular surveys (which should be conducted about once a year)is to provide the basis of targeted HR strategies in particular areas. Theseshould relate commitment to business outcomes, such as employee turnover,absenteeism and financial performance, for example. Commitment is the result of sustained good people management. This meanscommunicating organisational values clearly; ensuring support staff for linemanagers; training appropriately; managing fairly; paying equitably and so on.Use statistical techniques to highlight the importance of each of thesefactors. Then work out where HR action would have the most impact on businessperformance and outcomes. Satisfaction was a worker-centric measure. What is more important today isthe employment relationship, the basis of trust between employer and employee.Understanding and improving commitment is the key to maximising bottom lineperformance. By Sue Hayday, Research fellow, Institute for EmploymentStudies Staff commitment is the key to an improved performanceOn 10 Jun 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

First optical observations of energetic electron precipitation at 4278 Å caused by a powerful VLF transmitter

first_imgA summary is presented of experimental optical observations at 4278 Å from close to a powerful (~150 kW) VLF transmitter (call-sign JXN) with a transmission frequency of 16.4 kHz. Approximately 2.5 seconds after transmitter turn-on, a sudden increase in optical emissions at 4278 Å was detected using a dedicated camera/CCD monitoring system recording at a frequency of 10 Hz. The optical signal is interpreted as a burst of electron precipitation lasting ~0.5 seconds, due to gyro-resonant wave-particle interactions between the transmitted wave and the magnetospheric electron population. The precipitation was centered on the zenith and had no detectable spatial structure. The timing of this sequence of events is in line with theoretical predictions and previous indirect observations of precipitation. This first direct measurement of VLF-induced precipitation at 4278 Å reveals the spatial and temporal extent of the resulting optical signal close to the transmitter.last_img read more

Shipbuilder shares video of Russian Marshal Ustinov refit

first_img View post tag: Zvezdochka Russia’s Zvezdochka shipyard shared a video on YouTube showing a portion of works undertaken on the Russian Navy’s Sava-class guided missile cruiser Marshal Ustinov.The cruiser was recently delivered to the navy after spending five years in the port for repairs.This video does not show all repair phases the ship went through as extensive refit works on the Project 1164 cruiser began in 2011 and included work on the ship’s hull, propulsion and engines.Apart from likely financial reasons, another reason why the refit took so long was because the works were complicated by the absence of as-built documentation requiring the company to develop complete sets of systems and tooling from scratch. The amount of work that has gone into the refit of Marshal Ustinov would make work on the other two cruisers faster, the company noted.Marshal Ustinov is one of three Sava-class destroyers operated by the Russian Navy. Russia initially intended to operate ten ships in the class but due to the collapse of the Soviet Union the other seven ships were never finished. Back to overview,Home naval-today Shipbuilder shares video of Russian guided missile cruiser refit Authorities View post tag: Marshal Ustinov Shipbuilder shares video of Russian guided missile cruiser refit View post tag: Russian Navy January 19, 2017 View post tag: Sava-class View post tag: Cruiser Share this articlelast_img read more

Vince Cable is a no show

first_imgVince Cable has cancelled his talk in Oxford merely a day before his due arrival. His choice to cancel was a response to a police notification that a large student protest was planned.A spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats was unable to comment, however University officials have confirmed his change of plans.Students are still planning to go ahead with the protest, and maintain that it was always intended to be peaceful. The protest against the Browne Review proposals announced this month is expected to be one of the largest Oxford student protests in recent years.last_img read more

Nominations for NUS ‘In’ or ‘Out’ kickstart two weeks of campaigning

first_imgNominations for official campaigns to leave or remain in the NUS finished this week, with the formal appointment of “No Thanks, NUS” to lead the no vote side and “Yes to NUS” to argue for remaining in the national union.The appointment of campaigns marks the beginning of a two week long campaigning period, during which the two sides will try to influence the decisions of those turning out to vote between Tuesday and Thursday of sixth week. The campaigns deal with similar issues.The “Yes to NUS” campaign, led by OUSU President Becky Howe, deals largely with the bargaining power of the NUS, especially considering the newly released government White Paper detailing possible tuition increases. The campaign also focuses on the power NUS can bring to issues such as combatting sexual violence on university campuses, fighting Prevent, the government’s anti-extremism policy, and increasing provisions for mental health.The campaign to leave led by NUS Delegate Anne Cremin commented, “No Thanks, NUS want OUSU to disaffiliate from the NUS because we believe that it isn’t working for students. From the election of a President who has been condemned by every university Jewish Society in the country, to the repeated and overwhelming rejection of the principle of One Member One Vote, to the wasting of time and money on lobster dinners and international declarations, it’s clear that the NUS today is not representative, not reformable, and not delivering for students.”Answering the Yes campaign’s claim that leaving would lose bargaining power for students, No Thanks, NUS commented, “Disaffiliation would not necessarily be permanent. Many people campaigning to disaffiliate very much hope that the result of many universities leaving would be to force to meaningful reform, meaning we could later reaffiliate.”“It’s clear that the NUS today is not representative, not reformable, and not delivering for students.”Anne Cremin Further, “In terms of dealing with the government, we don’t think being part of the NUS really helps. Traditionally it’s been OUSU not the NUS that has led the way in responding to higher education reforms, and we’d far rather be represented directly by OUSU than by the NUS. We doubt the government will take seriously an organization like the NUS which repeatedly takes extreme stances and consistently wastes time on foreign policy declarations.”Howe and the rest of her team respond with examples of the NUS changing government policy. “NUS have proved time and time again that they are capable of forcing government U-Turns, such as in 2014 when the government proposed massive cuts to Disabled Students Allowance.” Additionally, they say, leaving would weaken the bargaining power of students against tuition increases by fragmenting the fight.Both sides admit the need for NUS to reform, but diverge on its ability to do so. “There have been reform attempts at reforms for years, and again and again the same concerns are raised, with no impact. Conference once again rejected the principle of One Member One Vote, along with a motion to make conference more accessible”, the no campaign commented.“NUS are capable of forcing government U-Turns.”Becky HoweThe current push for disaffiliation follows a period of controversy for the NUS following the election of Malia Bouattia as its new president. Bouattia has attracted criticism for her alleged support of extremists and antisemitism. In particular, her assertion that the Jewish society at the University of Birmingham was a “Zionist outpost” was criticised in an open letter calling for Bouattia’s resignation signed by over 50 Jewish Societies from universities across the UK.In the last few weeks, both Newcastle University Student Union and Lincoln University Student Union voted to leave the NUS, while Exeter University Student Union voted to stay. Cambridge is set to have a referendum, and a recent poll by their student newspaper, Varsity, showed the leave campaign with a slight advantage.Within Oxford, the Jewish Society passed a motion “to formally support the campaign for OUSU to leave the NUS”, stating “We cannot reconcile our proud Jewish identity with membership of the NUS for as long as Malia Bouattia remains president”.last_img read more

Umphrey’s McGee Welcomes Chuck Bartels & Nick Gerlach At Night 2 In Detroit [Video]

first_imgOn Saturday, Umphrey’s McGee returned to The Fillmore in Detroit, MI for their third and final show of the weekend. The evening featured multiple guest appearances with Sturgill Simpson’s bassist Chuck Bartels, as well as saxophonist Nick Gerlach.Umphrey’s McGee opened up their first set with “Dump City”, as Kris Myers, Ryan Stasik, and Andy Farag locked into a tight-knit groove out of the gates. Jake Cinninger took advantage of his rockin’ rhythm section and fired of a series of explosive guitar solos. Next up was the Brendan Bayliss-led “Push & Pull” off of the band’s 2018 it’s you release. Umph’s kicked up the tempo, as Jake charged into the scorching opening riff for “Roctopus”. Bayliss brought his “A” game vocally last night, as lighting designer Jefferson Waful dazzled the room with his mind-bending visual show. The sextet moved forward with “Der Bluten Kat” sandwiched around “Nopener”. Detroit’s own Chuck Bartels then replaced Ryan on bass, and lent a helping hand on a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song”. Umphrey’s McGee brought their first set to a close with “Hangover”.Umphrey’s McGee w/ Chuck Bartels – “Immigrant Song”[Video: benji rosenzweig]Umphrey’s McGee returned to open their second set with “Dark Brush”, played for the first time this year. The band then welcomed up saxophonist Nick Gerlach to add his jazzy touch on “1000 Places to See Before You Die”, played for only the seventh time ever. Moving back into their standard lineup, the six-piece dove head first into a seamless segue of “Attachments” > “Hajimemashite” > “The Triple Wide”, with the latter containing a tease of Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven”. Umphrey’s McGee closed their explosive second set with “2×2”.The sextet opened up their encore with “Conduit” before segueing into “Nothing Too Fancy”, completing the unfinished version from the night prior.Umphrey’s McGee heads west next weekend with performances at Oakland, CA’s Fox Theater (3/1); Los Angeles, CA’s Wiltern (3/2); and Phoenix, AZ’s M3F Fest (3/3).  For ticketing information and a full list of Umphrey’s McGee’s upcoming tour dates, head to the band’s website.Setlist: Umphrey’s McGee | The Fillmore | Detroit, MI | 2/23/2019Set One: Dump City, Push & Pull, Roctopus, Der Bluten Kat > Nopener > Der Bluten Kat, Immigrant Song[1], HangoverSet Two: Dark Brush, 1000 Places to See Before You Die[2], Attachments > Hajimemashite > The Triple Wide[3] > 2×2Encore: Conduit > Nothing Too Fancy[4][1] with Chuck Bartels replacing Ryan on bass[2] with Nick Gerlach on saxophone[3] with Stairway to Heaven (Led Zeppelin) tease[4] completing the 02.22.2019 versionlast_img read more

SMC celebrates Martin Luther King Jr.’s life, work with dinner

first_imgSaint Mary’s Student Diversity Board and the Division of Mission hosted a dinner in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and work ThursdayThe dinner featured guest speaker Darryl Heller, director of the Civil Rights Heritage Center at Indiana University-South Bend.“[King’s] dream was one of racial harmony,” Heller said. Heller discussed not only the most famous actions of Martin Luther King Jr., but also the lesser-known aspects of his work.“The King that we’re almost never told about is the Martin Luther King whose conscience required him to break his silence over the Vietnam war, even knowing it would cost him the support of the Johnson administration and many others,” Heller said.Martin Luther King Jr. tends to be remembered more for his “I Have A Dream” speech and other early work, rather than for the speeches he gave towards the end of his life, Heller said. “We are almost never made aware of the King who asked ‘Where do we go from here?’ in a speech he gave at the 11th annual SCLC convention in Atlanta in 1967,” Heller said. “Here, King passionately spoke about the thread that connected the history of slavery with the oppression black people continue to experience. He called on black people to organize for economic and political power because he reminded listeners that the plantation and the ghetto were created by those who had power.”In addition, Heller touched on the importance of taking into account the fact that African Americans have been enslaved for 246 years, and free for just 152 years.“Today we still have been enslaved for 94 years more than we have been free,” Heller said. “The balance of black freedom to black slavery will not balance out until the next century.”The attempts to reach this balance are continually met with backlash, Heller said.“However, every step towards America’s promise has been met with a backlash meant to … expand white supremacy and patriarchy,” Heller said.Over time, these backlashes can be seen expressed in different ways: Some include the Jim Crowe laws, lynching and the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Heller said.In recent times, “a burst of hope” was seen in the election of the nation’s first black president, Barack Obama, Heller said.“This was met with increased voter suppression laws, a parade of unarmed black people killed by those who were supposed to serve and protect them, the rise of the school choice movement to support black education, and the thinly veiled rhetoric that appeals to those that want to hold on to white-skinned privilege,” Heller.However, this resulted what Heller described as the “ultimate backlash”: the election of President-elect Donald Trump.“Today, we are facing a new administration that looks backwards and draws upon some of the worst that America has to offer,” Heller said.However, Heller also spoke of the fact that Martin Luther King Jr. inspired — and continues to inspire — an array of social movements in both our nation and abroad, and that in honoring Martin Luther King Jr., we should “honor the whole man.”“The Civil Rights movement, which was led by black people, created a space and gave energy to multiple social movements in the 1960s,” Heller said. “This is because of [Martin Luther King Jr.’s] dream. Our dream. … Calling us to work towards a future that embodies not just the letter but also the spirit of the best parts of the nation’s founding documents.”Tags: Darryl Heller, Donald Trump, Martin Luther King Jr.last_img read more

Brandon Victor Dixon Starts Performances in Hamilton

first_imgBrandon Victor Dixon(Photo: Emilio Madrid-Kuser) Welcome to the room where it happens, Brandon Victor Dixon! The two-time Tony nominee will join Lin-Manuel Miranda’s revolutionary hit Hamilton as Aaron Burr (Sir) on August 23. Leslie Odom Jr., who nabbed his first Tony Award for the titanic role of the damn fool that shot him, departed the production on July 9. Understudies Andrew Chappelle, Sydney James Harcourt and Austin Smith have been stepping into the talk less, smile more character’s shoes since Odom Jr.’s exit.Dixon was nominated last season for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for Shuffle Along, and was previously nominated for the original production of The Color Purple. Additional stage credits include Motown: The Musical on Broadway and The Scottsboro Boys off-Broadway and in the West End, where he received an Olivier nod.Directed by Thomas Kail and featuring a book, music and lyrics by Miranda, Hamilton is inspired by the book Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow and is running at the Richard Rodgers Theatre.The current cast also includes Javier Muñoz as Alexander Hamilton, Lexi Lawson as Eliza Hamilton, Christopher Jackson as George Washington, Rory O’Malley as King George, Anthony Ramos as John Laurens/Phillip Hamilton, Jasmine Cephas Jones as Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds and Tony winner Renée Elise Goldsberry as Angelica Schuyler. Michael Luwoye is the alternate Hamilton. Related Shows from $149.00 Hamiltoncenter_img Brandon Victor Dixon View Comments Star Fileslast_img read more

Rodent Patrol

first_imgAs the seasons shift and people spend more time indoors, so do rodents. A University of Georgia wildlife specialist says, with a little forethought, you can rid your home of those uninvited winter guests. The first step is to make sure your intruders are rodents. Michael Mengak, a specialist with the UGA Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, says watch for these signs.Droppings – Mouse droppings are the size of rice grains. Rat droppings are the size of raisins.Tracks – Scatter baking flour or powder on the floor along walls or attic or basement. Put a cracker with peanut butter in the center of the path. Check for tracks the next day.Burrows – Outdoors, look in weedy places around plants, under boards and doghouses and near garbage cans.Gnawings – A little hole with chewed edges is a sure sign.Nests – They are often found in boxes, drawers, toolboxes, basements and attics. Odor – A musty, urine-like odor often indicates mice are present, not rats. Listen – Scratching in the walls or attics at night can be a sign of mice.If you determine you do have rodents, the next step is to get rid of them. Act fast, though. “One pair of breeding mice can potentially lead to millions more in a year,” Mengak said. “Although they don’t actually reproduce this quickly in nature, mice can breed at 30-day intervals, beginning when female mice are only two months old. So you must keep working to get rid of them.” Mengak recommends using traps, not poison baits. “Poisons are more dangerous to children and pets, and poisoned rodents don’t die immediately,” he said. “Instead, they usually crawl into an inaccessible space in a wall or behind appliances, die and create an awful smell.” Place traps in rooms, attics, basements and garages. Put them along walls, in cupboards, in drawers or on countertops.Mice don’t venture out into a room or open space.Well-fed mice may live for weeks in one corner of a room or attic. Don’t expect it to travel more than 10 feet to find a trap. Rat traps are larger. Place them where children and pets are not likely to trigger them. A dozen rat traps should work for one home. Mengak says rats are smarter and harder to catch than mice. Set rat traps with the bait holder across its path at a right angle to the wall. The best baits are peanut butter, bacon, cooked chicken or anything with a strong odor, he said. Using two traps back-to-back with one facing in each direction is effective. Snap traps are easy to set and inexpensive. Multi-catch traps work fine but are more expensive. Sticky traps are good for mice but will likely not hold a large rat. Set traps for a few weeks to make sure you get all rodents. Poison baits should only be used outside the home and away from pets and children. First, make a bait box. Get a sturdy wood, metal or cardboard container. For rats, cut 3-inch diameter holes in opposite sides of the container at ground level. Cut smaller holes for mice. Fill a smaller container with a pound of poison bait and put it inside the bait box. Add bait each day to keep it full. Don’t let the rodents empty the bait container. They must feed each day, or they will not die, Mengak said. Don’t leave bait out longer than four weeks. Unattended bait will spoil, mold or cause a poisoning accident. If after a few weeks rats and mice are no longer feeding at the bait station, remove unused bait and save it in clean, tightly sealed, labeled containers. Always use disposable gloves to handle the bait or dead rodents.last_img read more