Michael making a mess

Who has good recommendations for local and regional charities that can quickly transform money into productive good work?

Another Storm Resource

The Energy Information Administration has an interactive map of energy infrastructure with storm information. It looks like something that energy nerds could spend some time with even when we’re not expecting major storm disruptions. The graphic at the top of the post is a screen grab. Check out the real thing. Also lots of useful links to energy information on the page.

Open thread, also too.


Florence is coming

Now it is time to worry and activate hurricane preparation plans if you live anywhere north of the Georgia/South Carolina line to Delmarva Pennisula:


Ready.gov has a good hurricane preparation section.

The key thing is to use the time that we have (~96+ hours) to make smart decisions. If you are told or encouraged to evacuate, do so. If you need to seek public shelter on higher ground do so. If you have a neighbor who needs to be checked in on, go over and say “hi”.

Take advantage of this time as it sure looks like Florence is coming in hot.

Don’t panic and remember your towel as well.

Florence prep

Florence looks likely to be a big storm that will have a very good chance of coming ashore somewhere along the Southeast US coast in the middle of the week.

Couple of notes:

  • Don’t panic
  • Begin reviewing your hurricane plan
  • Clean up your yard today as you need to do that anyways
  • Check in with friends or family
  • Use the wonderful resources at Ready.gov to go over your plan
  • Check the news once today for a weather update
  • Always carry a towel

Be smart, be safe.

Donald Trump’s Trade War Will Kill Us All

Trump slaps tariffs on China, and China retaliates.

One of the classes of item that the Trumpies have been thinking of putting tariffs on is medical supplies.

So far, none of those medical products have landed on the final tariff lists. But lower-level trade negotiations with China concluded on Thursday with few signs of progress, increasing the likelihood of additional tariffs.

The United States relies on China not only for H7N9 influenza samples but for medical supplies, such as plastic drip mechanisms for intravenous saline, as well as ingredients for certain oncology and anesthesia drugs. Some of these are delivered through a just-in-time production model; there are no stockpiles, which could prove dangerous if the supply was disrupted, health officials said.

Can you say cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face? Yes, you can.

The most concerning of that very concerning list is the H7N9 influenza samples. China is where people and animals trade influenza viruses most frequently, and increasing cases of H7N9 influenza have been reported. It is not very transmissible at this point, but influenza viruses mutate rapidly, and exchange between people and animals facilitates that mutation. So it’s important for multiple laboratories to be looking at as many H7N9 samples as possible.

China has been sticky about providing samples in the past, and this round of non-sharing precedes Trump’s easy-to-win trade war. But the trade war is making it worse.