Posts belonging to Category Disaster

Real Info Rather Than Hysterics

While I’m not a nuclear expert I’ve always been interested in physics (and in fact while my degree is in Computer Science and Math, my minor was Physics, although that was back in the mists of time). So when I see the news media trying to report on the problems at the Fukushima Daiichi power plan in Japan, I get frustrated and start yelling at the TV (or the browser). Aside from scaring the dogs, though, it’s not very effective.

If you’re interested in learning more about the situation from people who know what they’re talking about, the Nuclear Science and Engineering department at MIT has created a blog to specifically address Fukushima Daiichi. It takes a little bit of time to read and digest the info, but it’s far better than what the news media has been giving us.

Possible Tactical Error

I had to do the annual benefits enrollment today.  Unfortunately, the same system that we use to manage our benefits is also used to manage our 401K and retirement/pension accounts.  I made the mistake of taking a peek at my 401K. 

They give you a nice little summary that includes your YTD personal rate of return.  It was pretty ugly:

Personal Rate of Return from 01/01/2008 to 11/18/2008 is -36.5%

I think I may dig a hole and crawl into it for about a year….

Local Impact

About 150 refugees from Louisiana are here in Keller at the First Baptist Church.  Our CERT was activated to provide organizational assistance and coordination to the church members as they set up their shelter.  Fortunately, the church has lots of volunteers to handle all of the operational tasks, since our CERT is still a fairly small organization.  We were brought in because we’ve had training in the Incident Command System.  Many of us also took a last-minute crash course on Red Cross shelter management on Friday.

The refugees arrived late last night (actually early this morning).  So far, everything is going fairly well, and I didn’t see anyone causing trouble.  Everyone I’ve seen has seemed grateful to have a place to stay along with meals, air conditioning, and showers.

Our CERT is covering their office from 6:00am to 10:00pm each day to provide whatever assistance they need.  I’m going to be doing four hour shifts at various times through Tuesday.  We’re still working out the logistics beyond that, as it appears that the shelter could be open for up to three months.  Although quite a few people have left the shelter, new people are being sent over as the old ones leave.