In March, 800 miles away in Lee County, Alabama, 23 people ranging in age from 6 to 93 were killed in a 170 mph tornado — despite an evacuation warning by local authorities just like ones that many residents had heeded in previous storms this year.The deadly situations illustrate what experts increasingly see as two common reasons for unnecessary storm deaths: unfamiliar terrain that leads to bad decisions, and people ignoring too-familiar warnings that haven’t panned out in the past.Harnessing new prediction technology, federal authorities hope to sharpen the disaster warnings they send directly to cellphones, as well as to state and county emergency managers, to make the warnings faster and clearer about life-threatening conditions. They want to alert people like the Ramirez family who may be on unfamiliar terrain as unexpected disasters like flash floods, tornadoes or wildfires unfold.At the same time, social scientists working for the federal government are interviewing storm survivors like those in Lee County, gathering information for future advances in disaster warnings to combat “response fatigue” that can wear down people’s sense of urgency, as apparently happened in Alabama.Some of those who stayed put in Lee County had well-thought-out plans to evacuate, including gathering supplies, rounding up children and identifying a relative or friend in a more substantial house, according to Kim Klockow McClain, who interviewed survivors.“They rely on family resources, and frankly it can take all day to go and wait. People were losing money,” said Klockow McClain, a scientist at the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Oklahoma, a research lab of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “They just didn’t go that day. It’s as simple as that.” To try to prompt residents to take action, in September, the National Weather Service will change flash flood warnings to specifically mention if the threat is “considerable” or “catastrophic,” said Daniel Roman, a Maryland-based hydrologist at the National Weather Service. Officials will make that call based on information from local weather spotters, radar evidence of tornado debris or computer detection of conditions that caused storms in the past.The “considerable” flooding category calls for “urgent action” by residents and local authorities “to preserve lives and property,” while the “catastrophic” category means waters are “rising to levels rarely, if ever, seen” and will “threaten lives and cause disastrous damage.”In November, after that system is in place, flood warnings sent to cellphones nationwide will be cut back to only those in the considerable or catastrophic category, less than 10% of the 12,000 flood warnings now issued every year to cellphones and local authorities, Roman said.“The idea is that you cut back on the number, so you don’t get the public desensitized,” Roman said. Warnings about more routine floods will still go out in other forms but won’t buzz the area’s cellphones.The background noise of too many warnings can be just as dangerous as no warning at all.“There are all these warnings and people are still driving into floodwaters,” said W. Craig Fugate, a Federal Emergency Management Agency chief during the Obama administration and a former director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management.“You can say ‘Turn around, don’t drown,’ but there are so many flash flood warnings that people tune them out and don’t realize this one is more destructive,” Fugate said. “Breaking through the noise is the challenge.”Impact-based warnings are already in place for tornadoes.The idea came up after tornadoes killed 553 people across the country in 2011, the worst year since 1925, with more than 400 deaths in Alabama and Missouri alone, despite warnings in place in most cases.When the National Weather Service interviewed people in Joplin, Missouri, where 158 people had died, they heard that most residents relied on community tornado sirens to learn of an approaching twister, and turned to other sources like friends or television for confirmation before seeking shelter.The service concluded that shorter, more specific warnings would prompt more people to protect themselves, and the warnings went national in 2018 after a demonstration project in the South. Gerardo Ramirez, a central Texas dairy worker, was near his home but taking an unusual route to a children’s hospital in April when he drove his Volkswagen Jetta into a flooded section of road, not seeing in the pre-dawn dark that heavy rains had turned a tiny creek into a death trap. Ramirez survived, but his wife and two children drowned. How Disaster Warnings Can Get Your Attention STATELINE ARTICLEJuly 9, 2019By: Tim Henderson But not everyone agrees. Klockow McClain, who is both a meteorologist and a social scientist stationed in Oklahoma for the National Severe Storms Laboratory, is a skeptic about impact-based warnings, calling them “fear-based.”“You can’t control people and force them into taking certain actions through fear,” Klockow McClain said, adding that warnings should include more specifics on what people should do, not just the impacts that could result from a storm.While many people have the impression that residents ignore disaster warnings, her experiences interviewing survivors led her to a different conclusion.“People are thinking about it, they’re looking for confirmation and trying to decide on the best course of action,” Klockow McClain said. “Sometimes meteorologists will criticize people for looking outside for a sign of the storm, but that’s a very natural instinct.”Floods, tornadoes, wildfires and hurricanes killed 226 people last year, according to federal statistics.There already have been 38 deaths from tornadoes and 67 from flooding this year; two-thirds of the flooding victims were in vehicles. They include 10 deaths in Texas, six in Kentucky and five in Missouri.In recent years, the Wimberley floods in Texas contributed to a nationwide flooding-related death toll of 186 in 2015, and in 2017 Hurricane Harvey inundated Houston, contributing to 182 deaths.The new format for flood warnings comes as the National Weather Service revamps other warnings to make them shorter and more specific about damage. Starting Sept. 24, the service will cut back and simplify warnings on everything from fog to ice.Impact-based warnings include more specifics to help people visualize what could happen — for instance, a severe hailstorm warning might say “people and animals outdoors will be severely injured,” said Gregory Schoor, severe storms leader for the National Weather Service. Where disasters are a familiar part of life, people know the drill and generally respond quickly to disaster warnings and evacuation orders, many emergency managers say.Tornadoes hit El Reno, Oklahoma, in 2011 and again in 2013, when a 2.6-mile-wide storm, the widest ever recorded in the United States, killed eight people including three well-known storm chasers.There was little warning in May before the latest tornado in El Reno, which killed two as it shredded mobile homes and blew Dumpsters into motel rooms, said Andrew Skidmore, Canadian County’s emergency manager.But with the area’s history as part of Oklahoma’s Tornado Alley, residents are not complacent about the threat, Skidmore said. The county provides shelters in public schools for people who need them, like mobile home residents.“People here are always looking at the sky and turning on the TV, and the news outlets here do a really good job of keeping people up to date and telling them what they need to do,” Skidmore said. “There’s no sense of complacency here.”Familiarity breeds caution along flood-prone creeks in the North Carolina mountains, said David Vance, Avery County’s emergency management coordinator.“People who live along these creeks watch very carefully and know when it’s time to get away,” said Vance, adding that the county has a “reverse 911” system to automatically call homes with flood alerts.Even in the area south of Dublin, Texas, where the Ramirez tragedy unfolded in April, residents near the road know that heavy rain can cause treacherous floods, said Erath County’s emergency management coordinator, Susan Driskill.After heavy rain the night before and a severe thunderstorm watch issued about 3 a.m. that day, state transportation workers had barricaded flooded roads, but the road Ramirez took had not yet flooded at that time, Driskill said.The Ramirez family was coming from nearby Comanche County, making a special trip to a hospital where a dental operation with anesthesia was scheduled for one of the children, Driskill said.“Those creeks can rise very quickly. Folks around here are aware of that,” said Driskill, adding that residents follow the county’s Facebook page for alerts and call her to report flooding or grass fires that threaten homes.“They don’t like to evacuate. They’re going to stay with their property,” she said of the area’s residents, including many dairy farmers who make the county one of the state’s top milk producers.Meteorologists have recently begun to recognize the need to sharpen weather predictions to get attention in areas where residents may not be used to life-threatening storms. Klockow McClain said social science-oriented meteorologists like herself are still in the “diagnosis phase” and don’t have all the answers yet on what will motivate people to act more consistently on unexpected disaster warnings.Klockow McClain’s work is funded by the government and aimed at helping develop a future system of feedback from disaster survivors about the warnings they heard and how they reacted, she said. The Lee County, Alabama, emergency services director, Kathrine Carson, said she was surprised to hear some people may not have evacuated, since there were more people than usual in a church basement shelter near the hardest-hit area.Keith Seitter, director of the American Meteorological Society, said meteorologists look to research like Klockow McClain’s for guidance on how to tailor future warnings for maximum effect.“This is an issue for all meteorologists, and we take it very seriously,” Seitter said. Disaster City Sees Storm Warnings Every Day STATELINE STORY April 16, 2019Midwest Farmers Suffer After Floods: ‘I Got My Life in This Ground’ FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
Times are good with LCD Soundsystem back in our lives, and the band shows no signs of slowing down. Since reuniting in 2016, LCD Soundsystem has played numerous concerts and festivals, finally confirmed a new album on the way—even releasing their newest tunes “american dream.” and “call the police.”—and plotted an extensive tour ahead of them this fall. Having said goodbye five years prior, it’s been an exciting year for fans of LCD Soundsystem. This is all, apparently, a result of Sir David Bowie.According to LCD frontman James Murphy, in a new interview with BBC 6 Music, the decision was partially influenced by David Bowie. The two had worked together on Bowie’s farewell album Blackstar, during which Murphy was also exploring the idea of reuniting his band. David Bowie’s response is what made him leap to a final conclusion. Read the transcript of his comments below:“I spent a good amount of time with David Bowie, and I was talking about coming back, putting the band together. And I was going through the hems and haws of it, and he said, ‘Does it make you uncomfortable?’ And I said, ‘Yeah,’ and he said, ‘Good. It should. You should be uncomfortable.’ And the first thing that popped into my head was, ‘What the? What do you know? You don’t know what it’s like to be uncomfortable.’ That was my thinking. Because, of course, I’m imagining that if I was David Bowie, I’d just be walking around flipping everybody off, like, ‘I’m David Bowie!’ Like, nobody can say anything! Unless maybe Lou Reed’s there, and then he can be like, ‘Alright.’ There are maybe one or two people that get to literally not—nothing can be said about them. But that’s not who he was ever in his life. He was always making himself uncomfortable. And it was such a great feeling of, like, you just don’t know what you are to anybody else.”You can listen for yourself in the audio bit below:
Olympian Alia Atkinson heads five Jamaicans who will compete in the World Short Course Swimming Championships (25 metres pool) which starts today in Windsor, Canada. Atkinson, Jamaica’s most decorated athlete at these championships, will compete in the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke and the 100m individual medley. She is the world’s top ranked swimmer in the short course 50 and 100m breaststroke and 50m backstroke. Her medals at these championships include a gold in the 100m breaststroke at the 2014 championships in Doha clocking a world record 1:02.36. The team also includes Canada-based Dominic Walter, who is making his national debut at the Short Course Championships. He will be contesting the 400 and 200m freestyle. Walter holds the national records, 3:54.26 and 1:49.11 respectively, in these two events. United States-based Justin Plaschka, 19, and Keanan Dols, 17, will be representing Jamaica for the first time at the senior level. Plaschka will compete in the 50m and 100m butterfly, 50m backstroke and 50m freestyle. Dols will swim in the 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke, 50m and 100m butterfly and the 100 and 200m individual medley. United Kingdom-based Kelsie Campbell, 17, will also be making her senior debut at the championships. She will swim in the 50m and 100m freestyle and the 50m and 100m butterfly. Walter, Campbell, Atkinson and Dols will be in action today. Team manager for the Jamaican delegation is Jacky Beckford-Henriques while the coach is Chris Anderson, head coach of South Florida Aquatics. He has also been Atkinson’s coach for more than a decade. Team doctor is Dr Claudia Walter and Claudia Brown, the physiotherapist.
The South African National Blood Servicehas diminished the risk of transferringviruses through its blood supply.(Images: Nosimilo Ramela)MEDIA CONTACTS• Vanessa RajuBrand and CommunicationsSouth African National Blood Service+27 11 761 9300 or +27 71 602 7241Bongani NkosiBlood safety standards at the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) have been at their best over the last five years, the organisation announced on 25 July 2011.The non-profit body said new data shows it has significantly diminished the risk of transferring viruses such as HIV, and hepatitis B and C through its blood supply.This is largely thanks to the use of the Novartis nucleic acid testing (NAT) system introduced in 2005, which screens donated blood for HIV and strains of hepatitis.The data is an incredible public health story, SANBS said.“Since we started performing IDT-NAT (individual donor testing-NAT), we have virtually eliminated the risk, with no reports of HIV-1 infections from transfused blood or blood products,” said its chief operations officer Ravi Reddy.“This represents a significant increase in patient safety in South Africa, and I hope this serves as a model for other countries,” he added.According to Reddy, transmission of HIV and hepatitis infections from donated blood used to be more prevalent in South Africa before the introduction of NAT.SANBS has screened at least 3.8-million blood donations for the viruses through NAT since 2005.The organisation collects an average of 780 000 units of blood annually from voluntary donations and is a major supplier of “vein to vein” blood transfusion services in the country. It has 79 blood banks serving over 1 000 hospitals and clinics in eight of the nine South African provinces.The Western Cape is covered by the Western Province Blood Transfusion Service, which has also been using NAT since 2005.NAT more effective than serologyNAT has proven to be more effective than the serology test, as it is highly sensitive to the genetic material of the virus, SANBS said. It can detect active infections that traditional serology testing can miss, according to the organisation.SANBS has been able to detect 6 487 HIV-positive units of donated blood due to the use of NAT – 96 of these units would not have been identified by serology testing.There were 3 007 Hepatitis B-positive units found, of which 346 went undetected with serology testing alone, it said.At least 250 Hepatitis C-positive units were identified, of which five were undetected by serology testing.“These units of infected blood would have tested negative and been made available for transfusion to patients if not removed from the blood supply following NAT testing,” the organisation said.SANBS has not eradicated serology testing altogether, as it still uses the system on all samples in addition to NAT testing.Given that there are over 5-million people living with HIV in South Africa, SANBS is clear of the risk of HIV-infected blood entering the national blood supply.It noted that according to the World Health Organisation, between 5% and 10% of all HIV infections worldwide have been acquired through transfusions of infected blood and blood products.Some blood donors may not be aware of being infected by the transmittable viruses. “This makes it essential that our blood-screening programmes employ a testing method that will help us deliver the safest possible blood,” said Reddy.“The data shows that NAT in IDT has achieved that result (delivering safe blood) in South Africa,” he added.
After his Condom-look and Super Mario avatar, we were convinced that there wasn’t anything really left for Ranveer Singh to pull off. But standing true to his reputation of being the Lady Gaga of B-town, he showed up dressed in a long skirt at a red carpet. From sheer surprise to unbridled appreciation, the reactions to his quirky outfit varied extensively, but what stayed with us was the charm he oozed even in a skirt.In his sexy, box-pleated skirt with white pinstripes, Ranveer looked just so dapper. Apart from how effortlessly stylish he looked in the skirt, we were in awe of how perfectly he styled it with a V-neck, semi-formal shirt with blue, patch details. Sprinkling a skosh of edge to his ensemble, he sported a thick beard and neatly parted greasy hair that really elevated the look.Picture courtesy: Instagram/ranveersingh Also Read: Ranveer Singh wore a skirt to this award function. We’re not kiddingWhile Ranveer made us believe that he’ll be the hottest man we’ll ever see in a skirt, the stunning Ayushmann Khurrana decided to change the way we looked at men dressed in skirts. The Vicky Donor star embodied elegance in his black, Nehru-collar jacket, which he teamed with an asymmetric, black skirt. Mr Khurrana made our jaws drops with how royal-yet-trendy he looked in this all-black attire with little, silver details on the jacket.Picture courtesy: Instagram/ayushmannk Also Read: It’s the perfect day to appreciate Ayushmann Khurrana’s beautiful fashion sensRecently, the actor known for his unconventional roles and acting skills, Irrfan Khan, joined the not-so-usual B-town men on the skirt bandwagon, but with a twist of his own. Donning a serene, white outfit, Irrfan embraced the idea of androgynous dressing and aced it too. The star was seen wearing a brilliant, ivory, ethnic jacket teamed with a flowy, A-line, pleated skirt.advertisement Though the A-line aspect of the outfit looked pretty much like an easy-breezy skirt, it was interesting how he teamed a pair of chudidaar bottoms with it that made it reflect the style of a kurta as well. Unlike the other two stars, Irrfan had more ethnicity about his unique attire, which he complemented with a pair of brown sandals, and looked so spruce.Picture courtesy: Instagram/ishabhansali While these stars are donning skirts with different flavours to their looks, it’s the progressive idea of androgynous-dressing seeping into the industry that is making us proud.
Even with the advent of smartphones and tablets, TVs still hold a place of their own in Indian households. The TV is the only appliance that can command attention with whatever it’s running and is often a major reason to bring together the whole family. From binge-watching movies to reality shows to enjoying your favourite console games, TVs are a necessary commodity. With every new year, the TV market brings new trends and it makes sense to adopt the innovation to enjoy the best of what’s possible.If you are in the market for buying a TV, there’s no better time than now. E-commerce retailer Flipkart is hosting the Big Shopping Days sale on its platform and is offering a slew of super sweet deals on televisions. Customers can avail hefty discounts on entry-level HD-ready TVs, 4K TVs and Android smart TVs, from various brands. However, in an almost unending list of options, it might become difficult for you to figure out which one works out to be a better deal for you. Hence, we have handpicked some of the best options from the TV segment in various price categories for different segments of televisions. The options in the list include a combination of the best prices along with a host of features that makes for a sensible deal this shopping season.Vu Iconium 43-inch 4K LED Smart TVIf consuming 4K content is your utmost priority without spending a fortune, the Vu’s Iconium 43-inch 4K LED Smart TV is presently one of your best bets from Flipkart’s sale. A 43-inch 4K panel is big enough for most of your ‘TV-watching’ requirements and should be flexible enough to set up in most households. The panel may offer a standard refresh rate of only 60Hz, but Vu has compensated for that with support for HDR and content upscaling. There’s also a decent collection of connectivity options – 3 HDMI ports and 2 USB ports. Additionally, an Android 7.0-based operating system with a dedicated App Store makes sure you get to enjoy a smart TV experience. A pair of 20W speakers looks after the audio department. Flipkart is selling the TV with a discount of Rs 5,000, bringing the price down to Rs 24,999. An exchange discount of up to Rs 8,000 can be availed as well. HDFC Bank debit and credit card users can also avail up to an additional 10 per cent discount on the selling price.advertisementMi LED Smart TV 4A 43-inchIf 4K isn’t your ultimate requirement, then Xiaomi’s Mi TV 4A 43-inch makes for a great buy. The Mi TV lineup distinct itself with Xiaomi’s custom PatchWall OS, which put a focus on content more than anything else. PatchWall’s timeline is an unending collection of TV shows and movies curated from various popular content providers such as Hotstar, Alt Balaji, Sony LIV and many more. The full HD panel has earned positive responses from critics and a decent collection of connectivity options, such as 3 HDMI ports and 3 USB ports, make it a good option for various multimedia requirements. Flipkart is offering the Mi TV 4A 43-inch for Rs 21,999 and consumers can avail an exchange discount of up to Rs 6,000.Mi LED Smart TV 4 Pro 55-inch If you want the best of the smart TV experience while keeping the budget under constraints, the Mi TV 4 Pro at Rs 49,999 is probably one of the best deals you can get right now. The TV runs on Android TV 8.1 Oreo and is slated to receive the Pie update in the coming months. Combined with Xiaomi’s own content-heavy PatchWall, you are ensured of the best smart TV experience. The 55-inch panel supports HDR content and has turned to out impress critics heavily. The presence of Android TV also means that you get Chromecast built-in, which aids mirroring content on the big screen. Additionally, the universal remote with Google Assistant’s voice search makes for a convenient TV viewing experience. Consumers can avail an exchange discount of Rs 15,000 in addition to the 10 per cent discount for HDFC Bank debit and credit card customers.Thomson B9 Pro 40-inch Full HD LED Smart TVThe B9 Pro is possibly one of the best options to consider if your budget is restricted under Rs 20,000. This budget option from Thomson offers a Full HD panel and comes preloaded with a codec that even claims to convert 4K videos into 1080p resolution. The B9 Pro runs on a smart TV OS based on an unspecified version of Android but comes preloaded with the Netflix app – something that not many smart TVs possess, even with higher prices. The My Wall interface brings together sports content from various media channels on the homescreen. Connectivity options include 3 HDMI ports and 2 USB ports alongside Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. The TV is selling for Rs 17,499 an additional exchange offer of Rs 8,000 can make it a bargain for many.advertisementiFFALCON Android 32-inch HD Ready LED Smart TV If all you seek is a pure Android TV experience in an extremely meagre budget, iFFALCON’s 32-inch HD TV possibly makes for a great deal. The TV runs on Android TV 8.0 Oreo and gets access to several Android apps from the Google Play Store. Additionally, the presence of Android TV also translates to built-in Chromecast, which makes it easier to stream content from your phone to the big screen. The 32-inch Led backlit panel supports HDR 10 format content. The remote also comes with Google’s Voice Search built-in, which makes it easy to hunt for TV shows without navigating through the complex menus. You also get a decent collection of connectivity options, including 2 HDMi ports and a single USB port. The TV is presently selling for Rs 13,499 and comes with an additional exchange discount of Rs 4,000.ALSO READ | Meizu 16th, M6T and C9 launched: Key specifications, Features, India price and all you need to know
Julian Draxler believes Paul Pogba’s suspension for Manchester United will give Paris Saint-Germain an advantage in the return leg of their last-16 clash.Pogba was sent-off towards the end of the game at Old Trafford on Tuesday night for a second yellow card following a challenge on Dani Alves as United lost the first leg 2-0 to PSG.Second half goals from Presnel Kimpembe and Kylian Mbappe were what secured PSG the win, who will next host United for the second leg at the Parc Des Princes on March 6.But the Ligue 1 champions have also received a big boost in the news that Pogba will be suspended for the clash.And PSG star Draxler believes this could be critical given that he rates the French midfielder as United’s best player.“For me, Paul is the best player of Manchester United,” said Draxler, according to OneFootball.“He’s a very important player for the team and you could see he is fantastic [on Tuesday].“That is why we are very happy he will not play the second leg.“I think they started very well so the pressure was not easy for us, but in the second half we were more confident and the pressure of Man United was a little bit less.Liverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.“That helped us to improve our game so we found some space on the pitch and we used that very well and that is why we deserved to win.”PSG, who became the first French team to beat United at their home ground in the Champions League, will now turn their attention back to Ligue 1 for Sunday’s trip to St-Etienne.Thomas Tuchel’s side currently lead the French league by 10 points from nearest challengers Lille OSC, who have played two more games than them, and have only lost once in their 22 matches this season.⚽️🏟️🏡 #MUPSGHalfway there… 👊🔴🔵 #AllezParis pic.twitter.com/nhgEYrWU1W— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) February 13, 2019
To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Gail DelaughterPedestrians cross the street in the Texas Medical CenterHouston police say in 2016, the pedestrian fatality rate was up at least 30% over the year before. And it’s not just locally. TxDOT says it’s seeing more pedestrian deaths all over Texas.Appearing on Houston Matters, the Kinder Institute’s Kyle Shelton says to bring down those high numbers, drivers have to recognize that not everyone else travels by car. “And also need to behave on the street in ways that those resources are re-aligning that, rather than getting angry about passing a biker on the street,” adds Shelton. Experts say to keep Houstonians safe, you have to have things like clearly designated crosswalks and separated bike lanes. But to make those improvements happen, transportation planner Geoff Carleton says people need to watch what’s happening in their own neighborhoods and make specific suggestions. “And that’s where the community’s saying to policy makers, to the budgetary officials – here’s what we prioritize so that they know,” says Carleton. “Because often what they hear is, I’m stuck in traffic.”Houston has a “Complete Streets” policy Mayor Annise Parker put into effect in 2013. It states the city must consider all users when designing streets in the future. X 00:00 /01:10 Share Listen
MONTREAL — Transat moved up 42 positions, from 162nd to 120th, in the 2017 Forbes’ list of Canada’s Best Employers.Transat joins WestJet, Air Canada and Sunwing on this year’s edition of the Forbes list.The top 10 included Queen’s University, Toronto Hydro, Costco Wholesale and Google.Other travel companies making the list were Caesars Windsor (#46), Marriott Hotels (#95), Starwood Hotels (#108), Hilton (#154), Intercontinental Hotels Group (#209), Flight Centre Canada (#235) and Delta Hotels & Resorts (#266).Forbes surveyed more than 8,000 employees at companies with more than 500 staff for the 2017 list. << Previous PostNext Post >> Tuesday, February 28, 2017 Posted by Travelweek Group Share Tags: Transat Big jump for Transat on Forbes’ 2017 Best Employers list