News roundup for Tue, Nov 08, 2022

(Note: Edited to add the date of Election Day.)

In short:
  • Storm Nicole will strengthen into a hurricane and hit Florida and the southeastern US on Wednesday.
  • The US is officially in a flu epidemic and the CDC is ready to deploy ventilators.
  • One in three senior execs expects supply chain issues to last until the end of summer 2023.
One in three senior execs expects supply chain issues to last until the end of summer 2023; US Ag exports up 14% from last year, setting new records.

Here are the sectors that added all those jobs in October:

A survey by SAP SE shows that 49% of execs expect current supply chain issues to last through the end of 2022, and one in three until the end of summer 2023. They say their current supply chain issues primarily stem from global political unrest (58%), lack of raw materials (44%), and rising fuel and energy costs (40%). Only 31% cited inflation as a major contributor. The top three supply chain disruptions expected in 2023 are reduced availability of raw materials in the United States (50%), a slowdown in the construction of new homes (44%), and disruption to public transport due to a lack of drivers (44%).

US agricultural exports in 2022 set a new record of $196.4 billion, up 14% from the previous record in 2021:

Despite higher prices, Americans refuse to give up on turkeys for Thanksgiving, according to a new survey. Some savings tactics people will employ this year: buying a turkey early, buying during sales, and serving fewer side dishes.

Some ways to prepare for general supply chain disruptions and inflation:

The US is officially in a flu epidemic; Hospitalizations highest in a decade; Pfizer bivalent booster generates a strong immune response.

The US is officially in a flu epidemic, and the CDC is preparing to deploy troops and ventilators if necessary. US flu hospitalizations are higher now than they’ve been at this point in every other flu season since 2010-2011. The country is seeing a resurgence of non-Covid respiratory illnesses like flu, RSV, rhinovirus (common cold), and enterovirus with background levels of Covid.

COVID vs Flu vs. Common Cold vs. RSV: What you need to know:

Via Children’s Hospital LA

A helpful recap about Covid (how it is most often transmitted, how to protect yourself, the dangers of infection & reinfection, what to do if exposed, and how to prepare):

Other Covid resources:

Nicole to strengthen into a hurricane and hit Bahamas, Florida, and Georgia on Tue and Wed; Flood threats remain in New South Wales and Victoria; Wildfire Risk to Communities tool now includes tribal and trust lands.

Storm Nicole will strengthen into a hurricane, hitting the Bahamas on Tuesday, then Florida and Georgia on Wednesday. NHS says this storm is going to be a big one and will affect all of Florida and much of the Southeast. Here is our Hurricane preparedness kit checklist.

Via NHC (click to link)

Flood threats remain in New South Wales and Victoria, with more than 20,000 people expected to be without gas for another month.

Two are dead and dozens injured after 14 tornadoes hit Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma on Friday.

The US Forest Service’s Wildfire Risk to Communities interactive tool has been updated to include tribal and trust lands in all 50 states. This is the first time that wildfire risk in tribal areas is consistently mapped across the US:

Via Wildfire Risk to Communities

Redfin found that nationwide, homebuyers paid a 46% premium to live in homes with a high wildfire risk compared to homes with a low wildfire risk this year. While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to live near the wilderness, if buying a property near the wilderness or in a wildland-urban interface (WUI), be also prepared to:

  • Create defensible zones around your house.
  • Build or upgrade with fire-resistant materials (which could reduce losses by 75%).
  • Prepare for bugging out at the last minute.

Here’s our guide on how to prepare for wildfires.

Via USA Today
The rest

A few articles to prepare for in-person voting on Election Day (Tuesday Nov 8):

Two South Korean miners were rescued from a collapsed mine after nine days. They survived by pitching a tent to keep warm, and by eating instant coffee.

Here is the transcript of the 60 Minutes segment featuring preppers in 2022 and an interview with The Prepared’s founder. And here is the whole episode (the segment starts at about 28:22).

For this Nation to remain true to its principles, we cannot allow any American’s vote to be denied, diluted, or defiled. The right to vote is the crown jewel of American liberties, and we will not see its luster diminished.Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States


    • Eric

      For everyone in USA, today is election day. Time to vote if you haven’t already.

       I found my polling place, printed out a sample ballot, and still need to do some last minute searches to understand all the issues on the ballot.

      5 |
    • Captain Peanut

      In regard to all the sicknesses going around, COVID, Flu, Common Cold, RSV, does a simple cloth face mask provide any protection against these? I know it stops me from subconsciously touching my face, but does it provide any airborne protection or do I need an N95?

      3 |
      • Eric Captain Peanut

        You need an N95. Anything less won’t provide substantial protection.

         I like the 3D N95 available on the following site because it has soft rubber around the edge. This improves the air seal around the edge while also making it a bit more comfortable.

        5 |
    • Sbesch

      This may not be a popular opinion (and I don’t propose that it applies to folks with genuinely immunocompromised conditions), but no one should be surprised that seasonal respiratory illnesses are seeing a larger-than-normal peak this year.  When a large segment of a population wears masks regularly for 2-3 years, those diseases don’t simply disappear, they just burn at lower rates and wait for the appearance of more hosts.  Take the masks off, and many of the cases that would normally have been experienced across the preceding 2-3 seasons are simply going to appear in one season – and the infected people will likely have decreased immune capacity due to their avoidance of challenges to their immune systems in the interim.  So wearing a mask when you’re healthy is essentially delaying the inevitable.  Eat right, exercise, get good sleep, sunshine, and fresh air, and let your body build and maintain its immune capacity by giving it the opportunity to flex its muscles at a natural pace.  Trying to go 5-10 years without being exposed to any pathogen is a recipe for disaster, in the long run.  Again, JMHO – I’m not not claiming to possess any medical expertise.

      -1 |
      • Eric Sbesch

        I understand what you’re saying. I’ve also spent a lot of time thinking about this topic for the last three years and came to a different conclusion. My wife and I stopped getting respiratory infections three years ago and intend to keep it that way for now. We’ll reevaluate as treatments for COVID and its long term effects improve.

        9 |
      • Hardened Sbesch

        Correct, it’s not surprising.  I’d rather wear a mask to avoid being killed by Covid and live another day to deal with the flu.  I train my body to become stronger but don’t assume that it can bear any amount of weight imposed upon it.

        7 |
      • Amy S. Sbesch

         IMHO (also not a medical professional), the scientific consensus broadly encourages us to continue wearing a mask to protect ourselves and to protect others. I won’t be delaying the inevitable; I will be lowering the number of times I get sick and reducing the number of other people I might endanger.

        Where I live, most people have not been regularly wearing masks for 2-3 years.  Also, as I look at the map above in the roundup, the states in the US that currently have the highest viral load for flu (and other viruses) have consistently had the lowest numbers of people masking.

        Our healthcare system is under strain and I’d like to do my part to reduce the burden. 

        7 |
      • Karl Winterling Amy S.

        I live in a strongly liberal/progressive area and most people haven’t been wearing masks indoors since last spring. I won’t hurt population immunity to respiratory diseases by staying home unless I need to go out and wearing an N95 respirator in indoor public areas or shops. Local small businesses don’t need me showing up in person because they’re doing reasonably well right now.

        I’m not 100% cutting my immune system off because I go out sometimes and masks don’t give you perfect immunity (I’m also boosted and got the flu shot, neither of which is perfect). I will reduce the number of times I’ll get sick and the chances that I expose a vulnerable person to a respiratory disease.

        It’s giving up to say the US can’t become more similar to a country like Singapore or South Korea in ways that will improve everyone’s quality of life. Culture changed before and it can change again. People can wear masks during flu season to protect vulnerable people. I refuse to belief that there’s something unique about the US that prevents people from taking collective action for the greater good (cue for sappy music).

        7 |
      • Hardened Karl Winterling

        Hear hear, Karl!

        3 |
    • Karl Winterling

      SCOTUS declined to hear a case that could have impacted how federal agencies can interpret ambiguous federal law. Right now, courts will defer to scientific experts (at the CDC or EPA, for example) so long as their interpretation of federal law is “reasonable.” This is pretty important because of the mismatch between saying what an agency has authority to do and how scientific understanding changes over time, especially if we’re dealing with diseases or global warming.

      4 |