News for the week of 2023-09-11

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  • Comments (12)

    • 2

      Prepper Chat Night is this Friday evening, Sept 15, on Discord at 6PM Pacific / 9PM Eastern. Join our Discord now at this link so you’ll be ready when the event starts:


      Prepper Chat Nights are on the 1st and 3rd Fridays of every month. It’s a video call where we mostly talk about our recent prepping experiences and lessons. The video part is optional, and some choose to skip that part for privacy reasons.


      Note: The Friday chats aren’t the only reason to join Discord. While the website remains the better place for guides, articles, and experience reports, Discord really shines for conversation or helping someone through an immediate situation. The two work well together, and I use both every day.

    • 2

      FDA approved this year’s COVID vaccines for Pfizer and Moderna for everyone over the age of 6 months. We still need to wait for CDC’s decision later this week for details.


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        CDC recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months take the updated COVID vaccine. While the vaccine is especially important for people who are older or have chronic illnesses, younger and healthier people are also at risk of death or serious illness and should take the vaccine as well.


      • 2

        These are now available where I am (SoCal) but at least in one case today, insurance did not cover it and that was with Anthem Blue Cross. The cost quoted at CVS is $200. Paid cash.

        I expect these will be covered. Soon, I hope.

      • 1

        “insurance did not cover it”

        I was fairly certain that all health insurances would cover COVID vaccines. What was the denial reason?

      • 3

        “Not in the system” was the CVS refrain. We watched an elder argue her way into a free shot. Medicare coverage for the vaccine wasn’t in CVS’s system either.

        I would call ahead and see if your insurance coverage for the vaccine has been provided to the pharmacy before going in for it.

      • 1

        Followup on charging for COVID vaccines in USA. By law no one should need to pay for their own vaccine, but some of the companies involved didn’t update their systems in time. Here are some details for anyone navigating this situation.

        Apparently the new vaccine recipe gets its own procedure code so insurance companies need to update their coverage information.


        They are required to do this and had months to work on it. Hopefully they’ll move faster now that it’s affecting patients.

        Eric Topol comment on this issue

        Even people without insurance are fully covered by a government “bridge access program” to ensure that everyone can get their annual COVID vaccination for free.


    • 2

      Eric Topol interviews Long COVID expert Ziyad Al-Aly.


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      Password security tips

    • 1

      Is the Disaster in Libya Coming Soon to an Aging Dam Near You?

      In the United States, the second most prolific dam-builder after China, the average age of dams is 65 years old and an estimated 2,200 structures are at high risk of collapse.

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        I was unable to get past Archive’s CAPTCHA. Did the article suggest any way to find your own closest dam or check if certain dams are high risk?

      • 2

        Not really.  I’d suggest making a list of dams in your general area, google them, and see when they were built, who administers them, and who owns the water stored inside them.  If you don’t know where to start, pull out a local map and identify reservoirs and popular recreational areas.  Look at the main water sources (rivers, creeks, etc.) and the topography of your area and see where stuff is flowing to and from.  Don’t just look at dams in your immediate area but, also, pay attention to what’s upstream as a dam failure upstream could easily overwhelm an otherwise good condition dam downstream.  Look up the history of major floods in your area (and supplement by asking folks who were alive and residing in the area fifty to sixty years ago.)  Stuff that caused flooding decades ago and was shored up then is likely to be a problem again at some point in the future.

        Anything that’s 50+ years old is probably something to be concerned about.  For more details, you could probably inquire further with whatever entity overseas the dam.

        Much of my knowledge about floods, dams, etc. in my area has been acquired by reading topo maps for hiking, spending time at recreational areas around creeks, rivers, and reservoirs, paying close attention to exhibits in visitor centers in said areas, and asking my mom a lot of questions about floods that took place in our area back in the 1960s.  In fact, I’ve noticed that a lot of the current dams in my area date to the 1970s, suggesting they were built as part of the regional flood control plan that was implemented following the 1960s floods.

        Part of the premise of the article is that dams built to withstand once-in-a-lifetime worst case scenarios in the mid-20th century are no longer storm worthy because climate change, in many instances, has made those former once-in-a-lifetime scenarios much more common, and the current worst case scenarios, when they happen, now will exceed the limits of those dams.

        Unfortunately, no easy answers here.  But some fairly simple (and fun!) research can at least give you some ideas of what type of incidents might be in your future.

        Hope this helps!