Flu Strain Identified in 2 Calvert County Deaths


A health worker leaves the Lusby home of an 81-year-old woman who died from respiratory illness on March 1.

by Tim Persinko - nbcwashington.com - March 7, 2012

Lab testing identified the same strain of influenza in two of the three victims who died with respiratory sickness last week in Calvert County.

The county's health department has been investigating a cluster of illnesses that led to three deaths in Lusby, MD, near the Calvert Cliffs nuclear facility.

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Health said on Wednesday afternoon that Influenza H3, a strain of Influenza A that has been circulating this season, was found in two of the cases.


3 Dead, 1 Sick From Mystery Respiratory Illness

Hundreds of Associated Press Photos with Captions - Tornado Outbreak - March 2, 2012

Henryville High School in Henryville, Ind., is destroyed after powerful storms stretching from the U.S. Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes in the north wrecked two small towns and killed at least eight people Friday, March 2, 2012, as the system tore roofs off schools and homes and damaged a maximum security prison. It was the second deadly tornado outbreak this week. (AP Photo/The News and Tribune, C.E. Branham)


Tornado Response and Recovery Resources

Tornadoes Wipe Out Indiana Towns


Residents take in some of the damage after a severe storm hit in the early morning hours on February 29, 2012, in Harrisburg, Illinois. UPI/Paul Newton/The Southern

upi.com - March 2, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, March 2 (UPI) -- Deadly tornadoes raked southern Indiana Friday, wiping out the town of Marysville, as a line of storms bore down on the Ohio and Tennessee valleys.

There were no firm casualty figures, but deaths were reported. Dozens of people were reported missing.

Numerous funnel clouds were reported.


Today's Tornado Setup Similar to 1974 Super Outbreak

by Alex Sosnowski - accuweather.com - March 2, 2012

The setup and aftermath on Friday for the Ohio and Tennessee valleys could be similar to the weather pattern during and following the 1974 Super Outbreak.

Spanning April 3-4, 1974, a swarm of tornadoes tore through areas from Illinois and southern Michigan to northern Alabama and Georgia.

The outbreak produced 148 confirmed tornadoes, six of which were F-5 intensity. The most powerful of these storms slammed into Xenia, Ohio.


Study Finds Majority of Americans Unprepared for Disasters

submitted by Mike Kraft

Homeland Security News Wire - February 29, 2012

According to the latest survey by the Persuadable Research Corporation, half of the poll’s respondents believe they are unprepared for a disaster.

When asked in further detail why not, 38 percent said preparing for a disaster never crossed their mind, while 48 percent said they lacked the money to prepare and 15 percent said they did not have time. Furthermore 20 percent of those surveyed, said they intended to “just wing it” during a disaster.

On the opposite front, of the minority who are prepared, 82 percent said they had a previous brush with a disaster and are now ready to act in the event of another. In addition, 27 percent of those who were prepared for a disaster said they did it because they needed to care for other family members like children or elderly parents.

Meanwhile respondents were uncertain on whether the government would be able to provide assistance in the event of an emergency. Twenty-eight percent were uncertain about the government’s response, while 30 percent were convinced the government was incapable.

Get a Local Clean Energy Future by Trading-in the 20th Century Electric Grid

submitted by Janine Rees


Stream Gaging Station by Beige Alert, on Flickr

by John Farrell - energyselfreliantstates.org - February 27, 2012

In a New York Times SundayReview piece last week – Drawing the Line at Power LinesElisabeth Rosenthal suggested that our desire for clean energy will require significant tradeoffs . . .

I disagree.

The future of American electricity policy is not about tradeoffs, but rather a chance to trade-in an obsolete, centralized paradigm for a local, clean energy future.


Disease Sleuths Surf For Outbreaks Online

Source: NPR - Credit: Adam Cole, Maggie Starbard

by Adam Cole - npr.org - February 24, 2012

. . . "Surveillance is one of the cornerstones of public health," says Philip Polgreen, an epidemiologist at the University of Iowa. "It all depends on having not only accurate data, but timely data."

Public health officials have been trying to speed up their responses to disease outbreaks since, well, they started responding to outbreaks.

There's still plenty of room for improvement.

The current system requires the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to compile reports about from physicians and labs all over the country — and that can take a while. There's typically a week-long delay between an outbreak and the release of an official report.

To get an early read on things, epidemiologists look for the first clues of illness — a rise in thermometer sales or increased chatter on hospital phone lines. Now, they're tapping into the Internet. . . .

  • Emergency Management without Social Media…fail


    tacmedia.wordpress.com - February 26, 2012

    In the world of Twitter, Facebook , YouTube and everything else that demands instantaneous information sharing it is horrible to see an event occur and the only information that comes out is rumour, guesses and innuendo.

    Today, I watched virtually as a passenger train derailment occurred in the region that I live in.  In fact, I was out with my family today and we weren’t to far from the location where the event occurred.

    Like so many others, I learned about the event on Twitter and I stayed with the information all afternoon and into the evening.


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    Video - Crisis Management 3.0: Social Media and Governance in Times of Transition


    The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars has now posted the video from the conference "Crisis Management 3.0: Social Media and Governance in Times of Transition", which was held on February 16, 2012.

    The video can be found through the link below.  (Also, the event photographs and Powerpoint presentations are available through links near the bottom of the page.)


    (Some viewers might need to download the JW Player in order to view the video - see the link below)


    Co-hosts: Global Health Initiative, Inc. and National Defense University

    Anticipating The Perfect Storm of Impossible Events

    submitted by Jonathan King

    By: Rich Miller - datacenterknowledge.com - February 20, 2012

    Jesse Robbins is a trained fireman. He also has managed some of the world’s largest Internet infrastructures. Robbins says the lessons of fire readiness can be applied to building reliable systems.

    “You cannot learn the lessons of failure without experiencing it,” said Robbins, the co-founder and Chief Community Office at Opscode. “That’s why we do fire drills.”


    Video - Scientists Eye Threat of Pacific Northwest Megaquake

    submitted by Samuel Bendett

    By Ben Gutierrez - hawaiinewsnow.com - February 21, 2012

    EWA BEACH (HawaiiNewsNow) - Scientists say there are parallels between recent earthquakes and ground movement in the Pacific Northwest and what happened in Japan before last year's devastating quake and tsunami.

    The research was discussed over the weekend at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Scientists at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Ewa Beach are well aware of the new research.


    What is a Virtual Operations Support Team?

    Guest Post: Scott Reuter - idisaster.wordpress.com - February 13, 2012

    I’m fortunate to be working with a group of #SMEM*  friends who like to help each other during disasters. We train on real disasters as well as live non-disaster events, such as conferences and fast-moving popular events, so that we can test new social media tools and techniques. We do this to learn for our own varied emergency needs, and to share what we learn with others in order to contribute to the development of social media disaster operations in all phases of disasters. We call ourselves the “Virtual Operations Support Team“, or VOST for those who prefer acronyms.**


    One Billion Smartphones by 2016, Says Forrester

    submitted by Samuel Bendett

    by Zack Whittaker - zdnet.com - February 13, 2012

    Summary: A new Forrester research report sees over 1 billion smartphones being used by 2016, while app store spending increases and ‘bring your own’ device becomes the norm.

    In a world where already you cannot travel on the subway without someone flipping out their cellphone, or stand at a Starbucks without someone yapping away on their iPhone, imagine what’ll happen with 1 billion smartphones out there?

    Forrester seems to think so. Analysts at Forrester believe that by 2016 — only four years away, and in time for the following Olympics — there could be as many as 1 billion smartphones on the planet. This isn’t to say that everyone will have two or more smartphones, that is.


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