Friday, May 25, 2018

School Shootings: How Safe Are Your Children? 5/25/18

Recent Tragedies

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Earlier today there was a shooting in Indiana, where a student and teacher were both injured. May 18th, 2018 there was another shooting in Texas where there were 10 fatalities and 10 injuries occurred. CNN has created a list of shootings in 2018 here.

The Statistics of School Shootings

In the Washington Post there was an article that said "the statistical likelihood of any given public school student being killed by a gun, in school, on any given day since 1999 was roughly 1 in 614,000,000. And since the 1990s, shootings at schools have been getting less common.

Is the Media Doing More Harm Than Good?

Recently there has been a lot of media coverage and attention surrounding school shootings. This past month Netflix released the 2nd season to 13 Reasons Why. This show was created to get people talking about issues like this. *spoilers ahead*. In this season one student is followed and eventually this student plans a mass school shooting. 
In Psychology Today there was an article from 2012 about how media coverage can glorify the idea of school shootings by doing the following:

  1. They named the shooter.
  2. They described his characteristics.
  3. They detailed the crime.
  4. They numbered the victims.
  5. They ranked him against other “successful” attackers.
The American Psychological Association created an article about how certain coverage of school shootings can lead to an increase of mass shootings they call this "media contagion". They predict that "we should see at least a one-third reduction in shootings if the contagion is removed.”
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Created by Huffington Post in June of 2014

How to Be Prepared?

Schools are aware of the risk of school shootings, and this is one of the reasons students will engage in lockdown drills. These drills are created to help inform the children what to do if there is a threat in or near the school. 
ALICE Training Institute created a program to "provide preparation and a plan" to individuals and organizations to use.
As with most things, there are many opinions of what should be done if you are in an active shooter situation. One common piece of advice is the saying “run, hide, fight.” WikiHow illustrates this here. Basically, if you can escape do so. If not hide. If that isn't an option, then fight as a last resort. One of the best things your child can do is follow the instructions that they are given by authority figure.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Hawaii in Chaos 5/17/18 12:15pm Updated 5/21/18 10:28am

Alert Levels and Aviation Color Code
Before getting into the events, having an understanding of terminology is useful to know. Updates and warnings are given through specific colors and wording. 
Image result for usgs volcano signs alerts and colors

Chronological Order of the Events

May 3rd

Kilauea erupted on the Big Island of Hawaii after hundreds of earthquakes.

May 4th 
A magnitude 6.9 earthquake shook the island. The earthquakes created some cracks in the ground.

May 6th 
Lava kept flowing from the cracks in the ground. The cracks were also releasing gases. 

 Kilauea Volcano Lava

May 7th 
More cracks were found in the ground. They were also releasing lava and gases. 
Current Volcano Alert Level: Warning
Current Aviation Color Code: Orange

May 8th 
More cracks were discovered adding up to 14 cracks total.
Current Volcano Alert Level: Warning
Current Aviation Color Code: Orange

May 9-11th 
No lava was reported seeping out of any of the 15 cracks. There was high emission of gases however. The earthquake activity was high on the 10th.
Current Volcano Alert Level: Warning
Current Aviation Color Code: Orange

May 12th 
There are a total of 16 cracks. Lava is "spattering" but there is no lava flow. Earthquake and gas emission is still high.
Current Volcano Alert Level: Warning
Current Aviation Color Code: Orange

May 13th 
17 cracks in total, with lava flow out of crack 17. There have been a few ash clouds, but are localized and haven't gone higher than a few thousand feet.
Current Volcano Alert Level: Warning
Current Aviation Color Code: Orange

May 14th 
Steam and minor ash clouds are occurring. 19 cracks have been found. There is lava spatter going 100 feet in the air.
Current Volcano Alert Level: Warning
Current Aviation Color Code: Orange

May 15th 
The cloud of ash and steam is 10,000-12,000 feet above the ground. There are more projectiles and ash being produced. There are now 20 cracks. 
Current Volcano Alert Level: Warning
Current Aviation Color Code: Red

Summit crater ash plume at 1:20PM HST May 15. Preceded by clearly-evident rumbling/crashing sound for ~5 seconds, followed 15-20 seconds later by reddish plume, followed several seconds later by minor ashy plume. (Photo courtesy of Bruce Houghton)

May 16th 
Strong earthquakes have occurred near the summit of the volcano. The ash emission has slowed. The ash cloud is 3,000-4,000 feet above the ground. The gas emissions from the cracks are still strong. 
Current Volcano Alert Level: Warning
Current Aviation Color Code: Red

May 17th Updated
The volcano created a volcanic cloud that is 30,000 feet above sea level, and the emissions were 12,000 feet above sea level.
The volcanic gas emissions are at a high level. Some cracks are actively spewing lava, and now there are 21 cracks. Earthquake activity continues, but they have all been below a magnitude of 3.5.
Current Volcano Alert Level: Warning
Current Aviation Color Code: Red

May 18th
Lava has been gushing out of crack 20, and crossed Pohoiki Road. The air quality is poor due to the smoke from the lava burning vegetation. All earthquakes that occurred were under a magnitude of 3.5. There are a total of 22 cracks.
Current Volcano Alert Level: Warning
Current Aviation Color Code: Red

May 19th
Lava flow has increased out of some of the cracks. Ash fall might occur due to winds. 
Current Volcano Alert Level: Warning
Current Aviation Color Code: Red

May 20th
Lava flow has increased from crack 20, and the lava flow reached the ocean. 
Ash emissions have been taking place, as well as two eruptions of ash.
Current Volcano Alert Level: Warning
Current Aviation Color Code: Red

May 21st
A small eruption occurred this morning spewing ash 7,000 feet into the air. 
Current Volcano Alert Level: Warning
Current Aviation Color Code: Red

What Do I Need to Know About Volcanic Ash?

What is Volcanic Ash?
First off, volcanic ash is dangerous. This ash is tiny particles of volcanic rock that can irritate lungs and eyes. There is an acid coating to it that can contaminate water and vegetation. 
It can block out the sun to the point where it is completely dark during the day. Thunder and lightning can occur because of the friction from the eruption. 

What Effects Occur Due to Volcanic Ash?
  • Respiratory effects tend to be short-term, the person may experience coughing, sore throat, a runny nose, and/or uncomfortable breathing. If a person has minor preexisting lung issues, like bronchitis or asthma, then they can have the same symptoms with wheezing and/or shortness of breath. With breathing being more difficult, this can lead to problems with people who have a preexisting chronic lung issue. 
  • Eye irritation can be experienced as being itchy, bloodshot, tearing, "sticky discharge", scratches due to the tiny particles, and inflammation of eyes. 
  • Skin irritation is less common, it is experienced through reddening of skin, and possible infection due to the person scratching. 
  • Indirect issues are: poor road visibility, power outages, water can be tainted, sanitation can be affected, roofs may collapse, and grazing types of animals can be harmed as the ash is toxic. 

So What Can You Do to Protect Yourself & Family?
  • Limit driving
  • Keep windows and doors closed
  • Eye protection
  • N95 mask
    • If the mask is not a certified N95 mask then there is a risk that particles can get through; N95 masks are also known as P2, FFP2, and DS2 masks around the world.
      • If the mask is certified, then there will be printing on the mask saying so. 
  • Wash all affected food with clean water
  • Clean up the ash by "lightly [watering] down the ash deposit"
    • Do NOT use a hose to do this, as the excessive wetting of ash can cause it to become heavier and collapse a roof. 
    • Do NOT dry brush or sweep. This can cause high exposure as the ash clouds in the air. 

What About Your Children?
  • Have them play indoors. 
  • Do NOT have them engage in "strenuous play or running when there is ash in the air"
  • Have your child wear a mask if outside when there is ash
  • Do NOT let your child play in the ash. 

What Do I Need to Know About Acid Rain?
Acid Rain Explained by National Geographic

What is Acid Rain?
Acid rain occurs when some form of precipitation and an acidic component, like sulfuric acid or nitric acid, are combined. The pH level lowers from about a 7 for water to about a 4 for acid rain. Natural rain fall actually tends to be more acidic than typical drinking water as it is about a 5.6 on the pH scale. Acid fog, however, typically falls at a 3.4, but one back in 1986 was a 1.7
Image result for acidic rain effects graphic

What Causes Acid Rain?
There are many things that can cause acid rain, such as:
  • Vehicles
  • Heavy machinery/equipment
  • Burning fossil fuel
  • Manufacturing, oil refineries and other industries"

Currently there is a fear of acidic rain in Hawaii due to Kilauea.

What Are the Dangers of Acidic Rain?

Below is an image that was created to show the effects of acidic rain on the ecosystem.

How to Protect Yourself From Acid Rain
The best thing that you can do is say indoors. Depending on the pH level of the acid rain, different things should be done. Basically, if you are to go outside when there is acid rain protect your skin.
  • Wear gloves
  • Wear a poncho
  • Have eye protection
  • Cover as much skin as possible
  • Cover your hair
Keep pets inside as well as children. This can help keep them protected.

Knowledge is Power!
Below are images of some PDFs provided by IVHHN. You can get the PDFs through the following links: vog, fitting a mask, and ash pamphlets
For further information on ash and volcanic gas follow this link.  

Friday, May 18, 2018

National SAFE KIDS Week

What is National SAFE KIDS Week?

National SAFE KIDS Week was created to bring awareness to accidental deaths of children. During summer months these deaths rise, as children are more at risk. is the organization that is spreading the awareness and education of child safety. They believe that it is a global epidemic as explained in the picture below. 

A campaign was created to spread the education of things that adults can do. This campaign was called My High 5. The goal of it is for parents to do five things that will keep their kids safe.

SafeKids created checklists that parents can use to help prevent accidents, and keep their kids safer. There is one for cars, water, pedestrians, home, medication, play, and fire.
They also created safety tips for children of all ages, and for different types of risks.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Severe Storms Cause Havoc in the Northeastern States Claiming 5 Lives in May of 2018

Storms have been wreaking havoc in the northeastern states in the United States of America. The storms took five lives, and caused a lot of destruction. This video shows the severity of the storm: 

New York City encountered baseball sized hail during the thunderstorms, and thousands lost power. 

The worst of the storms are over, but there is still a fear that flooding can occur. "The biggest threat for flooding will be from Virginia to southern New Jersey, where 4 to 8 inches of rain could fall with localized heavier amounts possible." 

For more information on what to do in a flood, follow this 

During this time there was a tornado on May 4th, in New Hampshire that is recorded as one of the longest in the New England area. The tornado lasted for 33 minutes, and traveled 36 miles. 

Yet at the time it wasn't obvious that the tornado even happened due to the storm. Some rotation was discovered on the radar, but it "was a significant height above the ground." It wasn't until May 14th, that the path was really discovered. 

The tornado rated as a EF1 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. The tornado was estimated to have wind speeds between 90-100 mph.  

For more information on tornado season, and what to do if you are in a tornado, follow this link

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

How to Protect Yourself From Zika in 2018

As the weather heats up, so does the risk for diseases like Zika and Lyme disease. In May of 2018, CDC has released a video their findings about the rise of disease:

With the increase of risk, many are wondering how to decrease their odds of contracting one of these potentially deadly diseases. Luckily there are many things that can be done. Here is a video we liked from WaysandHow with some recommendations and tips:

The CDC advises:
1.     Avoid places where there are outbreaks
2.    Be aware of times and places for certain exposures
1.     Ticks tend to be found in vegetative areas like grass
2.    Mosquitoes tend to like the daylight hour 
3.    Wear clothing that limits skin exposure 
1.     Use insect repellent on the outside of clothing for additional protection
4.    Check your body for ticks
5.    Use a bed net or a mosquito net
6.    Use insect repellent

You may be asking, "why would I need a mosquito net?" If you are planning on camping, laying out on a hammock, or traveling this summer, it would be a good idea to protect yourself. Bug repellent typically has to be reapplied every 3-6 hours. Instead of simply relying on bug repellent, have another line of defense. If you are looking for a quality net, here is an option.

For more information on Zika follow this link

Earth's Deadly Storms: Hurricanes

What Should I Know?

There are many factors that contribute to the creation of a hurricane. Hurricanes can vary in size and strength. This impacts the damage that occurs. National Geographic explains how hurricanes work: 

Hurricanes are categorized by their wind speed. The higher the number, the greater the damage. The weather channel explains the categories and the damage they cause:

Knowing what to do during a hurricane can save your life. Knowledge is power. shows you what to do during a hurricane: 

After the hurricane, what are you supposed to do? This is a question many people might not know how to answer. Oceantoday.noaa.gove has created a video to show you what to do:

It's Almost Hurricane Preparedness Week!

During this week, there are certain days that are set aside to teach and promote preparation. The following videos and pictures came from