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Feds send out 'Black Friday' store safety ideas
After watching big crowds gather around the country at stores for various "Black Friday" sales on the day after Thanksgiving, the federal government has now issued "Crowd Management Safety Guidelines" for retailers, to help "avoid injuries during the holiday shopping season." "The busy shopping season should not put retail workers at risk of being injured or killed," said Dr. David Michaels of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The document issued by OSHA urges advance planning, pre-event setup and security choices during the sales event to try to reduce the possibility of surging crowds.
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The new science of disaster prediction
The New Yorker
You wouldn’t know it from the images of the Philippines this past week, but the science of disaster prediction is flourishing. Prediction and preparation are not the same thing, however, and questions have arisen about whether sufficient preparations were made for Typhoon Haiyan. These questions are posed after every disaster, and invariably there is only one answer: we could have prepared better. The Philippines could have been better prepared, but the best preparation is no match for 200-mile-per-hour winds. Nevertheless, our knowledge of how disasters occur, and how they will occur in the future, has never been more sophisticated.
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The struggle to innovate when resources are scarce
In the aftermath of a recession that saw deep and devastating cuts in municipal budgets, it is a struggle for many cities to simply keep up with demands for basic services. This context has proved pivotal in the struggling effort by Oakland, Calif., to develop a public safety "department dashboard." The successes and setbacks of the project could help inform similar efforts to innovate in difficult times.
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Louisiana judge says DWI law needs to change
Claims Journal
For impaired drivers, alcohol is increasingly not the substance of choice that leads to trouble on Louisiana roads, a Lafayette judge said. City Court Judge Douglas Saloom told the DWI-Vehicular Homicide Task Force that state law needs to catch up with evolving reasons for impairment, whether it is marijuana or Xanax instead of one beer too many.
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Newtown massacre fueling $5 billion in US school safety spending
Bloomberg Businessweek
Almost 90 percent of U.S. school systems have made changes to their facilities or security policies since the Sandy Hook shooting, according to a survey of 600 districts that will be published next month in Campus Safety Magazine. Annual spending on school security systems is projected to jump to $4.9 billion in 2017 from $2.7 billion last year, in part because of mass killings like the one in Newtown, Conn. according to IHS, an Englewood, Colo.,-based research company.
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Yellow Cab fails to satisfy Dallas insurance requirements
Yellow Cab, which the city of Dallas has allowed to operate without the proper insurance for more than a decade, has failed to satisfy to the city that it has obtained sufficient coverage. The city demanded Yellow come into compliance following a series of investigative reports by News 8 that exposed special treatment for Yellow by the city. Yellow just recently turned over new proof of insurance.
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NYC Department of Education to review school safety measures in wake of autistic teen's disappearance
Six weeks after a 14-year-old autistic boy walked out of his school in Queens and disappeared, the city’s Department of Education is set to announce new school security measures. Avonte Oquendo, who cannot communicate verbally, was last seen on surveillance video leaving the Center Boulevard School in Long Island City on Oct. 4. The boy’s family hasn’t completely lost hope, but the search has been scaled back. A 24/7 command post that had been set up near the school and staffed with volunteers is now gone.
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Agencies tackle simulated tornado for emergency preparedness
Army and EMS ambulances rushed to help victims after a tornado cut through Columbus State University and Columbus Technical College, leaving nearly 100 people wounded or dead. That was the simulated scenario tackled during the 2013 Mass Casualty Exercise, an event that helped prepare about a dozen Alabama and Georgia organizations to work together during horrific disasters in high population areas. For about four hours, representatives from Columbus Fire and EMS, the U.S. Army Ground Ambulance Company, Lee and Russell County EMAs and major hospitals in Columbus and Phenix City worked quickly to streamline the information emerging from public officials.
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The challenges of distracted driving
The Huffington Post
Few would disagree that distracted drivers pose a real danger to everyone on the road. Emotions run high on the topic. The image of a person driving while engaging in activity that kills or injures people will make anyone's blood pressure spike, particularly if you are a family member of one of the victims. Distraction is more than texting and cell phones; all distractions, such as eating, drinking, talking with passengers and reading directions, can comprise a driver's ability to focus.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Court says New York neglected disabled in emergencies (The New York Times)
Arizona schools' safety efforts might be endangering students (KPHO-TV)
Risk management and college drinking: A shot of prevention is worth a pint of cure (Property Casualty 360)
Hoarders challenge adjusters, first responders (Claims Journal)
Senate passes pedal pub bill (WEAU-TV)

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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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