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Wednesday, February 20, 2008


There are a few things that can be done in times of grave emergencies. Your mobile phone can actually be a life saver or an emergency tool for survival. Check out the things that you can do with it:


The Emergency Number worldwide for Mobile is 112. If you find yourself out of the coverage area of your mobile; network and there is an emergency, dial 112 and the mobile will search any existing network to establish the emergency number for you, and interestingly this number 112 can be dialed even if the keypad is locked. Try it out.

Have you locked your keys in the car?

Does your car have remote keyless entry? This may come in handy someday... Good reason to own a cell phone: If you lock your keys in the car and the spare keys are at home, call someone at home on their mobile phone from your cell phone..
Hold your cell phone about a foot from your car door and have the person at your home press the unlock button, holding it near the mobile phone on their end. Your car will unlock. Saves someone from having to
drive your keys to you. Distance is no object. You could be hundreds of miles away, and if you can reach someone who has the other 'remote' for your car, you can unlock the doors (or the trunk).
Editor's Note: It works fine! We tried it out and it unlocked our car over a mobile phone!'

Hidden Battery Power

Imagine your mobile battery is very low. To activate, press the keys *3370# Your mobile will restart with this reserve and the instrument will show a 50% increase in battery. This reserve will get charged when you charge your mobile next time.

How to disable a STOLEN mobile phone?

To check your Mobile phone's serial number, key in the following digits on your phone * # 0 6 #
A 15 digit code will appear on the screen. This number is unique to your handset. Write it down and keep it somewhere safe. When your phone get stolen, you can phone your service provider and give them this code. They will then be able to block your handset so even if the thief changes the SIM card, your phone will be totally useless. You probably won't get your phone back, but at least you know that whoever stole it can't use/sell it either. If everybody does this, there would be no point in people stealing mobile phones.

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Deadly Afghan winter brings misery and destruction

KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) -- More than 900 people have died as a result of the bitter cold and blizzards engulfing central and western Afghanistan this winter -- considered the worst in three decades, Afghan authorities said on Friday.

An Afghan refugee boy stands outside his makeshift home as it snows in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Shikeeb Amraz, spokesman for the National Disaster Management Commission, said 926 people have lost their lives, 231 people were injured, and more than 1,000 houses were destroyed or damaged.

Around 316,000 animals -- mostly sheep, goats, and cattle that are herded by the poor peasants throughout the rugged and poverty-stricken region -- have died, he said.

Temperatures in the mountainous regions hit hard by the cold snap have reportedly been as low as minus 30 degrees Celsius, or minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit. Remote regions have been hit badly by heavy snowfall and avalanches. Many people live in poor structures without protection and many of the animals have no shelter at all.

Now that the snow is thawing and roads are slowly re-opening, authorities are gradually gaining access to the most affected areas and are collecting more accurate figures of the deaths and damage.
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The Public Health Ministry said more than 170,000 patients with pneumonia and other acute respiratory infections have been diagnosed and treated at hospitals around the country in the past two months. Many people lost fingers and toes to frostbite.

Aid workers from the government, non-governmental organizations, and foreign troops and provincial reconstruction teams have been responding to the emergency. Among the provinces hard-hit are Herat, Farah, Badghis, and Ghowr.

Mock terror and chemical attacks at Delhi Metro

Mock terror and chemical attacks were carried out simultaneously at various stations of Delhi Metro early this morning to check emergency response of various agencies involved in disaster management.

Monitored by the National Disaster Management Authority, the mock drills were carried out simultaneously at Rajiv Chowk (terror attack), Chawri Bazar (toxic gas release), Rithala (bomb blast at parking area) and Shastri Park (call about planting of bomb at train depot) at around 6:15 am.

"The Metro system anywhere in the world is a lucrative target and we decided to carry out the mock drill here to review the efficacy of various agencies like Metro, district administration and police in such scenarios," NDMA Vice Chairman Gen (Retd) NC Vij said.

This is the first time a mock exercise on disaster management is conducted in the capital which used multi-hazard situations to review efficacy of state and district administration in responding to the problem.

At Rajiv Chowk station in Connaught Place, a mock attack was carried out by four persons attired in CISF uniform opening fire and throwing grenades at the passengers platform.

The "attackers" also then managed to partially switch off the lights at the platform, with complete darkness prevailing in station control room.

"The idea of this exercise was to assess how personnel of DMRC and CISF responded, how efficiently police cordoned off the area and how fast the administration was in setting the incident command post," NEDA member JK Sinha said.



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Thursday, February 14, 2008

lift the seat to check for spiders. It can save your life!


Three women in North Florida turned up at hospitals over

a 5-day period, all with the same symptoms.

Fever, chills, and vomiting, followed by muscular

paralysis and finally, death.

There were no outward signs of trauma.

Autopsy results showed toxicity in the blood. These
women did not know each other and seemed to have nothing in common. It was discovered, however, that they had all visited the
same Restaurant (Olive Garden) within days of their deaths. The Health Department descended on the restaurant
, shutting it down. The food, water, and air conditioning were all inspected and tested, to no avail.

The big break came when a waitress at the restaurant
was rushed to the hospital with similar symptoms. She told doctors that she had been on vacation, and had only went to the restaurant to pick up her check.

She did
not eat or drink while she was there, but had used the restroom.

That is when one toxicologist, remembering an article he had read, drove out to the restaurant, went into the restroom and lifted the toilet seat

Under the seat, out of normal view
, was a small spider. The spider was captured and brought back to the lab, where it was determined to be the Two-Striped Telamonia (Telamonia dimidiata), so named because of its reddened flesh color; This spider's venom is extremely toxic, but can take several days to take effect. They live in cold, dark, damp climates, and toilet rims provide just the right atmosphere.

Several days later a lawyer from Jacksonville showed up at
a hospital emergency room. Before his death, he told the doctor, that he had been away on business, had taken a flight from Indonesia , changing planes in Singapore , before returning home.   He did NOT visit (Olive Garden) while there. He did (as did all of the other victims) have what was determined to be a puncture wound, on his right buttock.  Investigators discovered that the flight he was on had originated in India .

The Civilian Aeronautics Board (CAB) ordered an
immediate inspection
of the toilets of all flights from India and discovered the Two-Striped Telamonia (Telamonia dimidiata) spider's nests on 4 different planes!

It is now believed that these spiders can be anywhere in the country.

So please, before you use a public toilet,
lift the seat to check for spiders. It can save your life!

And please pass this on to everyone you care about.



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Smart' helmet calls for help in case of crashes

‘Smart’ helmet calls for help in case of crashes

    Brycen Spencer, a US-based engineering student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has designed a safety helmet that could help save the lives of thousands of people. His Wireless Impact Guardian, or WIG, which signals for help even when the wearer is unconscious, is a giant leap forward in helmet safety.
    “The WIG will be activated when it is buckled on,” says Spencer. “If you fall and hit your head, the helmet will detect that and beep for a minute or so. If you don’t turn it off, WIG sends for help, either directly to (an emergency number) or to a third-party service that relays the call.”
    The message will also include the wearer’s exact location via GPS.
    Spencer’s WIG would be a boon for motorcyclists, bicyclists, ATV enthusiasts and others, especially those venturing into remote areas. Statistics show that in many accidents, victims had to wait a long time for emergency response crews to find them.
    The helmet uses an accelerometer to detect any impact that exceeds a predetermined safety level, and a communications device to provide the user’s location for rescue crews. All the electronics are small and relatively inexpensive, allowing them to fit in the current helmet configuration with little physical modification or increase in overall helmet price.
    Spencer – for his part – is convinced his WIG is an idea whose time has come.


Brycen Spencer displays his invention, the Wireless Impact Guardian, which dials for help in a crash and also shows the wearer’s GPS location


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Schools to get booklets for emergencies

Schools to get booklets for emergencies

BMC plans to distribute booklets containing information on all sorts of natural and man-made disasters for students


    After the incident in which a van carrying schoolchildren to a Jogeshwari school killed five children, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is preparing a disaster management booklet for each and every school in the city. At present, BMC is making the booklet for its 1,200 BMC-run schools across the city and later on private schools too will prepare such booklets.
    The disaster management booklet for the Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg Municipal School at Mulund is now ready and will serve to be a model for schools across the city. The elaborate disaster management booklet can be used during emergencies like floods, building collapses or fires. It will contain details about emergency exits, evacuation routes, places where they can take shelter, layout of the school building, contact numbers of nearest hospitals, police stations, fire brigades, school authorities, etc. Moreover, information about earthquakes, landslides, industrial and chemical accidents, cyclones too will be given.
    S S Shinde, deputy municipal commissioner (education) said that students are a vulnerable group during natural and man-made disasters and need special attention. “In emergencies, this disaster management training will help students save themselves. It will also create awareness among them. Through training and this special booklet, the response time of students in such situations will be reduced,” he added.
    “Once the BMC prepares the booklets, we will also ask private schools to make such disaster management booklets part of their curriculum and distribute them to students,” said Madhukar Sanap, the district project manager of BMC.
    To implement this plan effectively, the BMC has decided to give disaster management training to BMC and private school principals. A two-day workshop addressed by experts on the topic will be attended by 1,000 principals in the city. Subsequently, the sub-committees will be formed to look after implementation of the plan. “The workshop will be divided into five sessions and take place in the first week of May. Each session will be attended by 200 principals from both private as well as BMC schools. We also plan to tie up with citybased NGOs and the Maharashtra Education Technical department,” said Shinde.


The disaster management booklet can be used during emergencies like floods, building collapses or fires



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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

BMC to get cracking on beach safety plan


Mumbai: If the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is to be believed, watch towers stocked up on safety equipment and lifeguards ready to jetski to the rescue of the victims will soon be a reality on the city's beaches and shorelines.
    A beach safety patrol project—which has been pending since the Bombay high court directed the state to come up with a plan for beach safety in July 2006—has finally got the BMC's administrative sanction. What it means is that tenders will now be invited to outsource the management of various safety aspects on the beach. BMC's executive health officer Jairaj Thanekar confirmed to TOI that tenders will be invited for the project soon.
    According to sources, Juhu beach, Madh Island, Aksa, Marve and Gorai beaches will be outsourced in the first phase. Apart from setting up watch towers, areas will be demarcated in such a way that tourists and visitors are kept away from places that will be identified as dangerous.
    The beaches will also classified under various zones. Beaches like Girgaum and Juhu, which are a hot favourite with tourists, will be put in Zone A. Beaches like Mahim, where fishing activities are undertaken, will be put in Zone B and places like Bandstand, Gateway of India and Haji Ali will be categorised in Zone C.
    In addition, corridors have been earmarked for rescue operations—like beach corridor, green corridor and yellow corridor. In case of Bandstand, the green and yellow corridor will be put into place. Rescue work will start along the seashore and extend to one km into the sea.
The green corridor will be activated once the rescue operation extends more than one more km inside the sea. "Once the green corridor limit, earmarked at 2 km, ends the coast guards will take over rescue operation,'' said an officer of the Mumbai Fire Brigade, which is supervising the project.
    Incidentally, the plan was initi
ated after a PIL was filed by NGO Janhit Manch. President of the Manch Bhagwanji Rayani told TOI, "The Bombay high court had then directed the state government to have lifeguards in all beaches across Maharashtra. I have been going to Juhu beach for my morning walks but I have still to come across any lifeguards,'' said Rayani.

The safety patrol will comprise
Command control & changing room for the personnel with a maintenance shed for equipment
Kayaks for quick navigation
A hotline to get in touch with the BMC in case of emergency
A communication link with personnel patrolling the sea
Stretchers to transport victims to ambulances
Whistles Rescue tubes
Surf boards Ring buoys with 30 mtr rope line Water-proof torch Life jackets
Places where the safety patrol will be set up
Gateway of India Girgaum Chowpatty Priyadarshani Park, Napeansea Road Mahalaxmi temple/ Haji Ali Worli seaface Dadar Chowpatty Mahim beach Bandstand Juhu beach Madh Island Aksa beach Marve beach Gorai beach

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Firemen to tackle disaster management as well

Firemen to tackle disaster management as well

M. Malleswara Rao

Rs. 65 crore sanctioned to restructure Fire Service Department

HYDERABAD: The 5,000 odd fire servicemen of the 253 fire stations in the State will no longer be idle round the year.

The entire force and its functioning is in for an overhaul. Plans have been formulated by the Government to raise a new and full-fledged force from these uniformed men called State Disaster Management Response Force to undertake rescue and relief operations during floods and tackle aftermaths of the calamites like cyclones and earthquakes.

The Government on Monday sanctioned a sum of Rs. 65 crore to restructure and modernise the Fire Service Department with proper training to these men in swimming, boat-riding, weather-reading, handling of ham radio etc to meet the emergencies of disasters. They will also be roped in to the restoration programme to reclaim infrastructure facilities like roads and tanks damaged during the calamity.

Though they will continue under the control of the Fire Service Department, the DMRF men will be made available to meet the needs of affected people as and when requisitioned by the Commissioner, Disaster Management.

Four teams

The plan provides for forming four big teams of DMRF with fire servicemen for the State with headquarters at Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Tirupati.

To start with, Rs. 17 crore had been released to the department go ahead with the plan to form the State’s first team at Hyderabad. The team will be equipped with multi-purpose vehicles and sophisticated gadgets.

To serve the country as a whole, the Union Government, however, deployed several such teams at national level at different places, including at Chennai and Bubhaneswar.

The Chennai team has been asked to serve the south Andhra and that of Bhubhaneswar, the upper portion of the State, including Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam and East Godavari districts which are often battered by cyclones.

Meanwhile, the much-awaited State Disaster Management Authority has been formed for the State in line with the Central guidelines headed by the Chief Minister, with Chief secretary designated as its convener.



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