Rebuilding after a busy hurricane season

September 26, 2017

This year’s catastrophic impact of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, has left many communities with the daunting task of having to rebuild.   The Federal government offers help to homeowners directly affected by this season’s hurricanes. Drawing on lessons learned about coastal building damage after past hurricanes, FEMA produced Home Builder’s Guide to Coastal Construction, a 180 page manual including a series of 37 fact sheets to provide technical guidance and recommendations concerning the construction and renovation of coastal residential buildings.

The Guide is a proven success to assist anyone living in an area subject to flood and wind forces; especially along America’s coastal low lands, and vulnerable locales including, Florida, and America’s Caribbean territories of Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Whether you’re a builder, contractor, realtor, homeowner, business owner, or working in the construction, real estate, or economic development arena, you’ll find this comprehensive manual and fact sheets present incredibly valuable and immediately useful information aimed at improving the performance of buildings subject to the fury of flood and wind forces found in coastal environments.

The GPO Online Bookstore – Easy Access to Federal Publications

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS RESOURCE?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at https://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Ed Kessler is a Promotions Specialist in GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office.


Harvey, Irma, and more to come! Be prepared for a busy hurricane season.

September 8, 2017

Agencies of the Federal government are stepping up to do everything possible to help communities in “harm’s way,” with this year’s hurricanes of historic proportion causing devastating impact in Texas, Florida, and other coastal states.

You can become better prepared to face potential new storms through preparedness you can take in advance of any future natural disaster such as hurricanes, with help from the government.

At https://bookstore.gpo.gov there’s a variety of publications available providing expert advice on getting ready prior and better prepared after a storm of serious magnitude hits your community. Guidance for contractors, roofers, property restorers, local and state public officials, volunteers, and individuals to better understand how to rebuild and move to a better tomorrow. Here are a few to consider; or go on https://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Disaster Preparedness Manual: Natural Disasters, Man-Made Disasters, Patient Fact Sheets. This manual, comprised of three major sections, summarizes actions that Veterans and their families can take to effectively cope with a disaster.  This illustrated reference emphasizes actions designed to prevent or reduce impact of natural or human-caused hazards. Information is also presented to assist those with access and functional needs, including children, people with disabilities, and older adults, as well as pets.

Thunderstorms, Tornadoes, Lightning, Nature’s Most Violent Storms: A Preparedness Guide, Including Tornado Safety Information for Schools an illustrated guide showcases some facts about weather-related events, and suggests life-saving actions you can take if you find yourself in an unexpected situation resulting from a weather-related event.

Psychosocial Issues for Children and Adolescents in Disasters provides information and guidance for individuals concerned with the mental health needs of children who experience major disasters. This background, training, and experience will vary and may include physical and mental health professionals, professional and paraprofessional social service personnel, school and daycare personnel, clergy, volunteers, and parents.

Do yourself, and America, a favor. Be prepared. Be educated. Be ahead of the next natural disaster where you live. Save lives, including your own.

The GPO Online Bookstore – Easy Access to Federal Publications

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at https://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Ed Kessler is a Promotions Specialist in GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office.


New Report On Climate Change & Human Health

June 20, 2016

Climate change is a global threat to health, says a new U.S. Government report. About 100 climate-change science and public health experts from eight Federal agencies–including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)–got together and combed through a ton of peer-reviewed research. The result is a more robust scientific understanding of how climate change increases risk to human health. The conclusion of this recently released report is as the climate continues to change, it will intensify old threats and precipitate new ones, to include adverse human health effects.

GPO makes available the collaborative and foundational report, Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment, as a PDF eBook.

ClimateHealth2016_FullReportThis scientific assessment examines the profound impact of climate change on the health of American people. The U.S. Global Change Research Program, which spearheaded the assessment, says “Every person in the U.S. is vulnerable to the health impacts of climate change at some point in their lives, no matter where they live.”

At global, regional, and local levels, extreme rainfall, drought, heat, and flooding will challenge quality food, water, and air supplies. In turn, the risk of respiratory and cardiovascular disease, injuries, premature deaths, vector-borne illnesses, infectious diseases, and threats to mental health will grow. Page five of the report charts examples of how climate change can affect human health and disease.

Climate Impacts_p5

This diagram shows specific examples of how climate change can affect human health, now and in the future. Excerpt from Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States report. Click on image to enlarge.

Here are a few key discoveries from Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment:

  • Temperature-Related Death and Illness: rising concentrations of greenhouse gases —> more extreme temperature swings —> increase in deaths and illness from heat and cold;
  • Air Quality Impacts: higher levels of air pollutants and airborne allergens —> poor indoor and outdoor air quality —> negative affect on allergies and respiratory health;
  • Impacts of Extreme Events on Human Health: exposure to extreme events —> disruption of essential infrastructure —> health risks;
  • Vector-Borne Diseases: climate change is expected to alter vector-borne disease transmission and infection patterns and spur the emergence of new vector-borne pathogens;
  •  Climate Impacts on Water-Related Illness: affected fresh and marine water resources —> more water-related contaminants —> more water-related illnesses
  •  Food Safety, Nutrition, and Distribution: higher global temps and concentrations of CO2 —> increase foodborne illness, lower nutritional values, and make food less safe;
  • Mental Health and Well-Being: climate change disasters can have serious mental health consequences such as stress, anxiety, and depression.

These experts hope research like this will lead efforts to counter climactic disturbances and proactively manage the health risks of climate change.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS FREE RESOURCE?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Chelsea Milko is a Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.

 


Prepare for the Start of Hurricane Season

June 1, 2016

stormBatten down the hatches! There’s a storm a brewin’ off the port bow. Don’t worry, despite the sailor-y weather warnings, there’s no looming squall to be alarmed about (at least as I write this blog). But there’s plenty to be prepared for as the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season is officially underway. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts that the June 1-November 30 season “will most likely be near-normal…[with a] 70 percent likelihood of 10 to 16 named storms [with] winds of 39 mph or higher.”

Prepare for hurricane season, and other types of severe weather, with two FEMA publications that provide actionable information about home building tornado- and hurricane-prone areas.

Home Builder’s Guide to Coastal Construction

This FEMA-produced series of 37 fact sheets presents technical guidance and recommendations for construction in disaster-prone coastal environments. To help you weatherproof your habitat from top to bottom, foundation to roof, this resource details construction need-to-knows. Divided into 10 different categories, the fact sheets represent various coastal building components and requirements that are distinct from those for inland.

064-000-00055-1Yes, the coast is pretty. It’s also a high-load, extreme-conditions environment. If living in a coastal home requires more upkeep, then building a coastal home certainly requires special consideration. Know thy flood zones! And follow the real estate credo of “location, location, location.” Homes in coastal areas must be situated, designed, and constructed to withstand the forces of coastal erosion, wind corrosion, and flooding from the ocean. To that end, “a building can be considered a success only if it is capable of resisting damage from coastal hazards and coastal processes over a period of decades.’

Exceeding minimum requirements of coastal building could mean a reduction in storm damage, building maintenance, and insurance premiums. Shoring up a coastal building against shore effects is an economic no-brainer.

Taking Shelter from the Storm: Building a Safe Room for Your Home or Small Business; Includes Construction Plans (CD)

064-000-00069-1When extreme winds from hurricanes and tornados threaten person and property, safe rooms can save lives. Building a safe room in your home and small business doesn’t require an advanced design degree or a bottomless bank account. With some sound information and planning, homeowners can work with a builder/contractor to stand up a safe room. As more and more people chose to live in the possible path of storms, a structure that provides “near-absolute protection, or a high probability of being protected from injury or death” is patently worth it.

tornadoThis digital collection constitutes an update to FEMA’s original and impressively helpful guidance. Since the first edition was issued in 1998, “more than 1 million copies of the publication have been distributed, and nearly 25,000 residential safe rooms have been constructed with FEMA funding assistance.” The revised CD contains PDFs of illustrated floor plans, risk assessment criteria, and even a few examples of how safe rooms have saved lives.

Almost every state in the Union “has been affected by extreme windstorms such as tornadoes and hurricanes.” The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) implores all citizens to “prepare, plan, and stay informed.” For more hurricane- and tornado-specific guidance, including how to make an emergency plan and supply kit, visit DHS’ https://www.ready.gov/.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Chelsea Milko is a Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


Winter Weather Awareness and Preparedness

January 21, 2016

Freshly fallen snow glistening like icicles on tree limbs is a beautiful side effect of winter. Despite the beauty winter can bring, the season can also bring dangerous weather such as blizzards and ice storms. It is important to be prepared for the unexpected, especially when traveling. You never know when you may run into car troubles and in times of extreme cold, a travel preparedness kit can be a lifesaver. It is also important to make sure to have these preparedness kits in your house as well, due to the danger that a winter storm could knock out power, leaving many homes without heat.

It is important to do research and be prepared for inclement weather before winter starts.

Ready.gov, the Department of Homeland Security’s Emergency Preparedness Website gives great tips on how to prepare for winter weather, what to do during a storm, and what to do after a storm is over.

The National Weather Service’s winter weather hub includes resources and information about forecasts, winter storms, hazards, weather predictions and much more. They also offer Simple Steps to Stay Safe and winter weather advisories searchable by zip code.

The CDC offers more tips for preparation and actions taken during and after storms. The CDC also provides information about health problems that can arise due to winter hazards.

The Red Cross provides information about common winter weather terms that are often misunderstood and more information about preparedness.

GPO’s US Government Bookstore offers publications for sale about winter weather preparedness.

GPO’s Federal Digital System offers Winter Storms, a Hearing before the Subcommittee on Disaster Prevention and Prediction.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

Click on the Links: For the free resources, click on the links above in the blog post.

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the Author: Teresa Mock is an intern with GPO’s Library Services and Content Management division.


Preparing for Mother Nature’s toughest weather

May 27, 2015

We’ve all heard the expression, “spring is in the air!” Well, spring has fully sprung, and as flowers bloom and temperatures grow warmer, so does the threat of severe weather which is also common during this time of year. Depending on what region you live in the US, severe weather-related events such as tornadoes and hurricanes are prone to happen causing serious damage to homes and businesses. Luckily, the U.S. Government Bookstore offers the following weather-related publications to help you prepare for Mother Nature’s toughest weather.

003-017-00569-1Thunderstorms, Tornadoes, Lightning, Nature’s Most Violent Storms: A Preparedness Guide, Including Tornado Safety Information for Schools. This illustrated booklet showcases facts about weather-related events and suggests life-saving actions you can take, if you find yourself in an unexpected situation resulting from a weather-related event.  The goal of this booklet is to present you with details on how to recognize severe weather, be aware of your surroundings, and to encourage you to develop a plan to be ready to act when threatening weather approaches. Additionally, it provides important information on what causes specific weather-related events and features a “Why Worry About Thunderstorms?” fact list of weather-related risks as it relates to lighting, tornadoes, flash floods and floods, and hail.

FloodsTheAwesomePower_NSC_Page_01Floods: The Awesome Power. This booklet explains flood related hazards and suggests lifesaving actions you can take in the event of a flood. Filled with illustrations, this easy-to-read booklet provides helpful information on how you can recognize a flood potential and develop a plan to be prepared when threatening weather approaches. It also provides information on flood severity categories from minor to major flooding scenarios, river floods, and flash floods risks whether in a car, truck, or SUV, or at home, work, or school.

Weather Spotter’s Field Guide: A Guide to Being a SKYWARN Spotter. The United States is the most severe weather-prone country in the world. Each year, people in this country cope with an average of 10,000 thunderstorms, 5,000 floods, 1,200 tornadoes, and two land-falling hurricanes. Approximately 90% of all presidentially declared disasters are weather-related, causing around 500 deaths each year and nearly $14 billion in damage.9780160924255

SKYWARN® is a National Weather Service (NWS) program developed in the 1960s that consists of trained weather spotters who provide reports of severe and hazardous weather to help meteorologists make life-saving warning decisions. Spotters are concerned citizens, amateur radio operators, truck drivers, mariners, airplane pilots, emergency management personnel, and public safety officials who volunteer their time and energy to report on hazardous weather impacting their community.

Although, NWS has access to data from Doppler radar, satellite, and surface weather stations, technology cannot detect every instance of hazardous weather. Spotters help fill in the gaps by reporting hail, wind damage, flooding, heavy snow, tornadoes and waterspouts. Radar is an excellent tool, but it is just that: one tool among many that NWS uses. We need spotters to report how storms and other hydro-meteorological phenomena are impacting their area.

This guide provides the procedures for Spotter Reporting, their role in severe storms that may result in hazardous conditions, and provides safety tips for extreme weather conditions.

003-017-00563-1Owlie Skywarn’s Weather Book. Although designed to appeal to children, this booklet provides important severe weather-related information for all ages. It includes information on hurricanes, tornadoes, lighting, floods, and winter storms. This booklet is written and illustrated in a cartoon style format for children 8 to 12; however, it contains valuable disaster preparation and response information of use to parents, teachers and other adults.

How can I get these weather-related publications?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy the following  publications (with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide) from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore website at http://bookstore.gpo.gov:

Order by Phone: You may also Order print editions by calling our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Trudy Hawkins is Senior Marketing and Promotions Specialist in GPO’s Publication & Information Sales Division supporting the U.S. Government Online Bookstore (http://bookstore.gpo.gov).

 


Celebrating National Safety Month: Resources and Publications

June 19, 2014

2014SafetyMonth-FeatureJune is National Safety Month. The National Safety Council (NSC) sponsors this month-long event for calling attention to key safety issues, showcasing safety resources, and raising awareness for the prevention of safety concerns and hazards.

The NSC provides access to a variety of educational National Safety Month materials, available on their Web site for free to NSC members. If your organization isn’t already a member, you can join right from their site. They also provide access to many free materials for the general public. Anyone can sign up to receive the free materials via email.

The National Safety Month Web page also provides access to a free Home Safety Checklist to help you identify common risk areas within your home.

You can also follow the NSC’s safety chat on Twitter at #NSM14.

The U.S. Government Printing Office’s U.S. Government Bookstore offers an entire collection of publications devoted to safety issues: the Emergency Management and First Responders collection. Many of the publications in this collection have been highlighted in previous Government Book Talk posts, like this one from January 2014 that focused on preparing for extreme cold and other natural and man-made disasters and showcased the publication, “Are You Ready? An In-Depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness.” Also highlighted in the post are some books for kids on safety preparedness: “Ready…Set…Prepare! A Disaster Preparedness Activity Book for Ages 4-7,” “Ready…Set…Prepare! A Disaster Preparedness Activity Book for Ages 8-11,” and “Watch Out – Storms Ahead! Owlie Skywarn’s Weather Book.” The Federal Emergency Management Agency also has tons of resources on their site to help the public prepare for disasters of all kinds.

In addition, Federal depository libraries nationwide provide the public with free access to Federal Government publications on a wide variety of topics, including safety and emergency management and prevention. Locate a library in your area!

017-033-00508-7One publication in this collection is particularly interesting, especially in light of the frequent and tragic mine accidents we hear about on the news. “When Do You Take Refuge? Decisionmaking During Mine Emergency Escape – Instructor’s Guide and Lesson Plans” is an interesting booklet created by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services. The training program was designed to help trainees practice correct decisionmaking skills during an underground mine emergency. It actually consists of three parts: a computer-based training that includes scenario simulation (included as a CD-ROM), the instructor’s guide and lesson plans, and an evaluation (both included in the booklet).

The material was designed for underground coal miners, but it is fascinating for anyone who wants a glimpse into this hazardous occupation. The lesson plan portion of the training is filled with real-life examples of emergency scenarios and “summary teaching points” to highlight the lessons. This interesting look into the life of a coal miner brings to light the need for strict safety measures in any occupation. National Safety Month reminds us that safety should be everyone’s priority, both at home and on the job.

How can I get this publication?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy this and other publications mentioned in this blog (with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide) from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore website at http://bookstore.gpo.gov:

Shop our retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday-Friday, 9am to 4pm, except Federal holidays, (202) 512-0132.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal Depository Library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications or CGP.

About the author: Our guest blogger is Kelly Seifert, Lead Planning Specialist for GPO’s Library Services & Content Management Division that supports the Federal Depository Library Program.


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