Hexbyte Glen Cove Is your family 'CO safe' when big storms hit? thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Is your family ‘CO safe’ when big storms hit?

Hexbyte Glen Cove

(HealthDay)—If you live in the path of hurricanes , the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging you to be prepared.

Deaths from (CO) poisoning, fires and are common during severe weather events, according to the CPSC.

Hurricane season in North America runs from June 1 through Nov. 30. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has upped averages from 12 to 14 named storms and from six to seven hurricanes. Its official forecast is due out next week, but Colorado State University has already forecast a dire season, with 17 named storms and eight hurricanes, four of them major ones.

“Millions of Americans who are still dealing with the stress of the global COVID-19 pandemic also live in regions prone to devastating hurricanes and severe storms,” said Robert Adler, acting chairman of the CPSC. “It only takes one hurricane to cause massive destruction and loss of life. Be prepared, stay informed, and keep safe before and after storms.”

The CPSC said that people who rely on portable generators when power is out need to be cautious because the devices carry the risk of CO poisoning and fire. More than 400 people die from CO poisoning each year in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Carbon monoxide from a can kill within minutes.

To stay safe, follow these tips:

  • Before the storm, install battery-operated CO alarms or CO alarms with battery backup in your home.
  • Have smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
  • Test your alarms every month.
  • Be sure your generator is properly maintained.
  • Have flashlights and extra batteries on hand.
  • Use portable generators outside only. Keep them at least 20 feet from the house.
  • Direct the generator’s exhaust away from the home.
  • Never use a portable generator inside the house, garage, basement, crawlspace, shed or on the porch. Opening doors or windows will not provide enough ventilation to prevent CO buildup.
  • CO poisoning can happen so fast that people may become unconscious before recognizing the symptoms of nausea, dizziness or weakness.
  • If CO or smoke alarms go off, get outside immediately and then call 911.

Other hazards during season include:

Charcoal: Don’t use it indoors as it can produce deadly levels of CO. Never cook on a charcoal grill in a garage, even with the door open.

Candles: Use flashlights instead. If you do use candles, do not burn them on or near anything that can catch fire. Never leave burning candles unattended. Put candles out when you leave the room and before sleeping.

Wet appliances: Look for signs that appliances have gotten wet. Discard unplugged gas or electric appliances that have been wet, because they can cause shocks and fires. Do not touch appliances that are still plugged in.

Before using appliances: Have a professional or your gas or electric company evaluate your home and replace gas control valves, electrical wiring, circuit breakers and fuses that have been underwater.

Gas leaks: If you smell or hear gas, get out of the house immediately. Do not turn lights on or off, or use electrical equipment, including a phone. Once safely outdoors and away from the house, contact the gas company.



More information:
Learn more about hurricane preparedness at the American Red Cross.

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Citation:
Is your family ‘CO safe’ when big storms hit? (2021, May 16)
retrieved 17 May 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-05-family-safe-big-storms.html

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Hexbyte Glen Cove Egypt's Siwa fortress renovation boosts hopes for ecotourism thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Egypt’s Siwa fortress renovation boosts hopes for ecotourism

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The 13th century edifice, called ‘Shali’ or ‘home’ in the local Siwi language, was built by Berber populations

Tucked away in Egypt’s Western Desert, the Shali fortress once protected inhabitants against the incursions of wandering tribes, but now there are hopes its renovation will attract ecotourists.

The 13th-century edifice, called “Shali” or “home” in the local Siwi language, was built by Berber populations atop a hill in the pristine Siwa oasis, some 600 kilometres (370 miles) southwest of Cairo.

The towering structure is made of kershef—a mixture of clay, salt and rock which acts as a natural insulator in an area where the summer heat can be scorching.

After it was worn away by erosion, and then torrential rains almost 100 years ago, the European Union and Egyptian company Environmental Quality International (EQI) began to restore the fortress in 2018, at a cost of over $600,000.

“Teach your children, and mine, about what ancient Shali means,” sang a choir of young girls in brightly coloured robes at the renovated fortress’ inauguration ceremony last week.

Dotted by thick palm groves, freshwater springs and salt lakes, the Siwa oasis’s geographic and cultural isolation offers a rare eco-friendly getaway, far from Egypt’s bustling urban communities.

The region’s tourism model contrasts with Egypt’s mass approach in other areas, such as its Red Sea resorts in the east or along the Nile valley, especially in Luxor and Aswan in the south.

Egyptian schoolchildren are seen wearing traditional outfits for the inauguration of the renovated fortress on November 6

Employment opportunities

Tourists began gravitating to Siwa from the 1980s, after the government built roads linking it with the northwestern city of Marsa Matrouh, the provincial capital on the Mediterranean.

The Marsa Matrouh governor has called the oasis, registered as a natural reserve since 2002, a “therapeutic and environmental tourism destination”.

Eco-lodges offer lush vegetable gardens and kershef facades.

Restoration works at the Shali fortress were carried out under the aegis of the Egyptian government, which has been pushing to make Siwa a global “ecotourism destination”.

The project also includes setting up a traditional market and a museum on local architecture.

“The project will certainly benefit us and bring tourists. Today, I can offer my palm frond products inside Shali,” said Adam Aboulkassem, who sells handicrafts in the fortress.

The European Union and Egyptian company Environmental Quality International (EQI) began to restore the fortress in 2018, at a cost of over $600,000

EQI project manager Ines al-Moudariss said the materials used in the were sourced from the fortress site itself.

She said the project was about “bringing the inhabitants of Siwa back to their origins and offering them employment opportunities” and services.

Events in the past decade outside the desert oasis have had a ripple effect in Siwa, and tourism slumped after political unrest that rocked Egypt and other countries in the Middle East in 2011.

Foreign tourist arrivals at the oasis have plummeted from around 20,000 in 2010 to just 3,000, said Mahdi al-Howeiti, director of the local tourism office. Domestic tourism has only partially made up for the sharp decline, he added.

Ailing infrastructure

This year, the coronavirus pandemic put a brake on travel worldwide and dealt a further blow to arrivals.

An Egyptian labouror works on the restoration of the Shali fortress

And though the project is seen by some as a way to bring back visitors, critics say it fails to address the concerns of the 30,000-strong Siwi population, a Berber ethnic group.

“No Siwi goes to Shali. We are attached to it, but from afar, like a landscape,” said Howeiti.

He said there were more pressing issues for residents, such as fixing crumbled and unsafe roads or treating agricultural wastewater that harms the cultivation of olives and date palms—key pillars of the local economy.

Tourism and Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani said at the inauguration that the fortress was a “cultural asset” and its renovation was “essential”.

But he also acknowledged that “we need to work on the infrastructure of the region, the airport and especially the roads”.

The closest airport to Siwa, located just 50 kilometres (around 30 miles) from the border with war-torn Libya, is restricted to the military.

Restoration works at the Shali fortress were carried out under the aegis of the Egyptian government, hoping to make Siwa a global ‘ecotourism destination’

But some locals remain sceptical.

“The fortress was not in danger of collapsing,” said Howeiti.

“In my opinion, it would have been better to leave it as it is. These ruins have a history.”



© 2020 AFP

Citation:
Egypt’s Siwa fortress renovation boosts hopes for ecotourism (2020, November 15)
retrieved 16 November 2020
from https://phys.org/news/2020-11-egypt-siwa-fortress-renovation-boosts.html

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