Thursday, May 28, 2020

Preparing for Wildfire Evacuation: Making a Plan

When you are planning for wildfire evacuation, do so with a clear head. You must consider that in such a disaster, flames could reach your home before firefighters could extinguish them.*

This sobering possibility should inform your planning decisions as to what you would want to gather and take with you in an evacuation.

A warning will usually include how long you are given to safely exit your home.  What will you take with you?  These decisions are the heart of your family plan.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Campfire Basics Will Help Prevent Utah Wildfires

If you think wildfires have become more aggressive and destructive, the professionals agree.
In Utah and all Western states, wildfires are burning bigger, hotter and more intensely because of higher temperatures, low humidity and winds.  A small fire can quickly morph into a huge, threatening Red Flag event.

Summer 2020 has an added threat:  The relaxing of Stay Home directives means Utahns and out-of-staters, eager for recreation, will head to canyons and campsites.  Many of those visitors are inexperienced in outdoor safety – particularly lacking in campfire savvy -- a recipe for heightened wildfire risk.

So, here are the Basics for the novice, and a reminder for the experienced.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

What is the Utah National Guard Doing at our Long-Term Care Facilities?

  • Governor Herbert and General Burton of the National Guard announced after nearly a week of reduced risk (from Red to Orange) that “Utah is performing well. What we are doing is working, stay strong.”  Here are some highlights starting with National Guard (NG) news.
  • 120 NG are being deployed to expand our state’s capacity to: test at long-term facilities and other COVID-19 hot spots; provide needed support to labs; and, do case tracking.  

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Important: What we need to know about homemade masks & gloves

It is indisputable:  Asymptomatic transmission is COVID-19’s secret power against us.  We must be vigilant in taking effective actions to protect ourselves.

Non-clinical grade masks – whether acquired in a doctor’s office or home-made from cloth-- are a tricky business.  So, before we place undue confidence in their ability to protect us from COVID 19 transmission -- let’s get some advice from the public health experts. 

The johns Hopkins School of Public Health offers a pyramid turned upside down as a teaching aid:
  • Its broad base, with the most effective action – Social Distancing -- is on top, followed by; 
  • thorough/frequent Hand Washing and abstaining from touching our face; followed by:
  • the disinfecting of High-touch Surfaces and objects.  At the tip (bottom), the least effective--
  • non-clinical Masks and Gloves.   

Sunday, April 19, 2020


Resuming Life:  

  • US plan released April 17, calls for three phases of reduced social and economic restrictions, each with 2-weeks in between to review COVID-19 transmission rates. Guidelines will allow easing of restrictions in low transmission areas, while keeping current, stricter guidelines for harder-hit areas. Ultimately, decisions will rest with governors/county leaders for reopening schools, businesses and other matters. 
  • It is now clear our path to normalcy will be a longer process than first envisioned. Health officials warn some social distancing measures may need to remain through the end of the year.  

Friday, April 17, 2020

Organizations Continue to Work ‘Round the Clock’ to Help

These are notes I took from the April virtual meeting of Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD), reporting on the projects on-going in Utah.

Organizations of faith, working hand in hand, side by side, joined by the American Red Cross, a senior VOAD partner, bring volunteers and treasure to the aid of Utahns fighting the CONVID-19 crisis and earthquake recovery for in need.

VOADs do not self-deploy.  They react to the requests that come from Governmental organizations.

Just a few highlights of VOAD responses:

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

COVID-19: Update April 10th, 2020

From VIDEO by Suzanne Vernon, Ph.D., Virologist, Research Director, Bateman Horne Center   

COVID-19 Screening:  

  • Apps have been developed for self-screening. Search for Free Covid-19 Tracker, Screening Tool or Symptom Tracker.   (1)


  • Several trials are underway to test the efficacy of Hydroxy-Chloroquine, a medication long used for treating Malaria, Lupus and other auto-immune illnesses.  Efficacy results should be available within a few weeks.  (2)