Archive for the ‘travel safety’ Category

AccuWeather Launches New Mosquito Zika Risk Index for US

October 18, 2017

Accuweather-zika

AccuWeather, a major source of weather forecasts and warnings, announced a Mosquito Zika Risk Index on AccuWeather.com and AccuWeather iOS apps. Availability on the AccuWeather app for Android will follow soon.

The first-of-its-kind index gives users a quick and easy way to view the likelihood of mosquito infestations that could lead to greater risk of contracting the Zika virus at a particular location in the contiguous U.S. The Index will help people understand where the greatest concentrations of mosquitos exist (which may carry other pathogens as well) and where and how this is related to possible Zika carrying concentrations.  The Index is not a medical warning or diagnosis and decisions about one’s health and related risks and is not intended to be, those decisions should always be made in concert with medical professionals.  The Index can alert people to relatively unsafe areas; keeping in mind that a Zika carrying mosquito could exist in safer areas as well.

The Mosquito Zika Risk Index level (very low, low, medium, or high) is generated by evaluating the historical habitat for the mosquito species most linked with Zika and the latest scientific research on how weather affects Zika transmission by mosquitos, then combining it with the AccuWeather Day-By-Day 90-Day Forecasts. This innovative index benefits users by providing real-time insights they can use to make informed decisions to keep themselves, and their families, safe.

“Weather is an enormous factor when it comes to our health,” said Steve Smith, President of Digital Media, AccuWeather. “We are glad to lead the way in offering an array of innovative product enhancements that help people derive important and useful information from our weather forecasts.  This new Mosquito Zika Risk index will help people make better decisions to protect their health by giving them the insight they need to avoid risky scenarios, or take necessary precautions when visits to high-risk areas are unavoidable.”

People can access the Mosquito Zika Risk Index from the Personalized Forecasts Menu on the AccuWeather.com homepage. Select the Mosquito forecast and click the button labeled “Check Your Zika Risk” to open the Mosquito Zika Risk Index page.

Risk level information for the user’s location will be presented at the top of the page. If Zika cases suspected to have been transmitted by mosquitos have been reported at this location, the number of cases will be displayed. Users can view details for additional U.S. locations by clicking on the map displayed on the page.

An interactive timeline lets visitors see predicted risk levels over a 90-day period, with color coding to indicate the risk contours on the map. This is particularly helpful at this time of the year, when rapid changes to Zika mosquito risk occur as temperature patterns change during the Fall.  Tapping the dates on the timeline triggers the map to show the index for different timeframes.

Users of the AccuWeather app for iOS can access the Mosquito Zika Risk Index from the menu located in the bottom right corner of the screen. Expanding this menu and selecting “View Map” opens a map page with a gray search box at the top of the screen. Tapping on the search box permits users to choose “Zika Risk from Mosquitos” from a selection of maps. Users can then scroll around the map, zoom in and out by pinching the screen, and tap on an area to see the current Zika risk in that location. Color-coded risk levels, from low to high, displayed on the map make the information quickly and easily accessible and understandable.

The Mosquito Zika Risk Index is AccuWeather’s latest product enhancement designed to save and improve people’s lives by providing contextually relevant information, in this case to reduce the risk of an infectious disease. In addition to ensuring safety with the most accurate weather forecasts and warnings, AccuWeather.com and the company’s iOS and Android apps already include a Pollen Index to help people protect themselves against pollen as an allergen. Having the most accurate forecasts and warnings also gives migraine or joint pain sufferers the information they need to avoid humidity, and people with asthma the information they need to avoid dry conditions.

“This new Mosquito Zika Risk Index takes our efforts to use weather forecasts for improved health one step further,” said Smith. Smith also noted that the index is especially timely during this extraordinary hurricane season, when residents of Texas and Florida are experiencing a greater pooling of standing water due to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which may ultimately lead to greater infestations of mosquitoes.

Dr. Joacim Rocklov, Associate Professor in Epidemiology and Global Health at Umea University, Sweden, urges caution about the threat of Zika virus following a major flood event.  “The risk of Zika typically decreases in the first month following a flood event, then increases in the two- to three-month time frame before falling back to normal levels,” he said.

Nearly 2 billion people worldwide rely on AccuWeather to help them plan their lives, protect their businesses, and get more from their day. AccuWeather provides hour-by-hour and minute-by-minute forecasts with Superior Accuracy™ with customized content and engaging video presentations available through smart phones, tablets, free wired and mobile Internet sites via AccuWeather.com, award-winning AccuWeather apps, connected TVs, wearables, smart homes, and connected cars, as well as radio, television, newspapers, and the AccuWeather Network cable channel.

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Norwegian Air Moves to Institute New Cockpit Policy, in Wake of Germanwings Tragedy

April 2, 2015

In the wake of the Germanwings tragedy, Norwegian has decided to change its cockpit procedures so that two crew members always are present in the cockpit.

“Norwegian has been looking into changing its cockpit procedures for a while,” the company said. “However, in light of the tragic Germanwings accident, we are speeding up the process so that two crew members always are present in the cockpit. This means that if one of the pilots leaves the cockpit, one crew member must replace him/her during this time. Our passengers’ and crew’s safety always comes first, which is why we have decided to change our procedures, in line with US regulations.”
Today, there are no European regulatory requirements stating that two crew members must be in the cockpit at all times.

The new procedures will be implemented as soon as Norwegian has received an approval from the Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority.

Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA, commercially branded “Norwegian”, is a low-cost airline listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. Norwegian is the second largest airline in Scandinavia and third largest low cost carrier in Europe. The company reported its highest ever passenger figures in a single year with almost 24 million passengers in 2014.

Norwegian has a route portfolio that stretches across Europe into North Africa and the Middle East, as well as long-haul flights to the US and Southeast Asia. The company has a total of 424 routes to 130 destinations and employs approximately 4,500 people in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, UK, Spain and Thailand.

The company has 258 undelivered aircraft on firm order. Norwegian was founded in 1993 and its headquarter is in Fornebu, Norway.

Norwegian offers better leg room than most competitors, in-flight WiFi on short haul, world-class punctuality and a fleet of 96 aircraft with an average age of only four years. In 2013 and 2014, Norwegian was voted Europe’s best low-cost carrier of the year by the renowned SkyTrax World Airline Awards. In 2014, Norwegian also won three prizes at the prestigious Passenger Choice Awards for Best Airline in Europe, Best Inflight Connectivity & Communications and Best Single Achievement in Passenger Experience for its moving map on the 787 Dreamliners. In addition, Norwegian was awarded Europe’s best low-cost airline by AirlineRatings.com for the second year running.

 

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Passenger Group Calls on Airlines to Disclose Routes That Fly Over Conflict Zones

July 31, 2014

Following the missile strike that downed MH-17 as it flew over eastern Ukraine, FlyersRights.org, the largest US-based airline passenger organization, has called on all airlines to provide passengers on international flights with detailed route maps on their web sites, so passengers can decide whether to take such flights for themselves.

“Airlines should no longer be able hide behind weak and ambiguous international regulation and confidential warnings that are not shared with passengers,” Paul Hudson, the group’s president and longtime member of the FAA and TSA advisory committees on aviation safety and security stated.

“After the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, it came to light that governments and airlines had received specific warnings of a likely bombing, but chose to hide this knowledge from passengers and flight crews, those actually at risk. Now it has been revealed that some airlines were flying over eastern Ukraine despite danger warnings that were not shared with passengers.”

“Today despite known dangers and the MH 17 shoot down, passengers are not being informed of dangerous flights over or near numerous conflict zones with missile systems capable of shooting down commercial airliners at over 30,000 feet. Such areas in addition to Ukraine and Russia, include Syria, Iraq, Egypt-Sinai, Israel-Gaza, the China Sea, North Korea, Pakistan-Afghanistan. Other conflict areas are known to have anti-aircraft weapons capable of downing low flying aircraft including Libya, Yemen, and Mali.”

“An emergency meeting of the UN International Civil Aeronautics Organization (ICAO) is being held to discuss the situation, but passenger representatives have unfortunately again been excluded from meetings between airlines and regulators, as they were previously after the mysterious disappearance of another Malaysian airliner over the Indian Ocean.”

See: flyersrights.org

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Travel Health: Sickweather App Tracks, Maps Reports of Illness so Travelers can Prepare

May 23, 2014

Sickweather, a Baltimore-based company, provides online reports and an iPhone app that scans social networks for indicators of illness, and maps real time data on more than 23 different symptoms and illnesses. Sickweather launched their beta website in November 2011, and now qualifies over 600,000 reports of illness each month.

Sickweather uses a patent-pending process to track and map reports of illness on Twitter and Facebook. The forecast represents the top trending illnesses reported in any given area. The maps may show clusters of activity as represented by orange polygons, or individual reports as represented by blue “SICK” map markers.

A recent report for the New York area showed “Common Cold, Fever, and Cough are going around in New York.  Reports of Cough are on the rise” and provided animated 5-day Common Cold Map; animated 5-Day Fever Map; and Animated 5-Day Cough map.

In 2012, Sickweather was recognized among “100 Brilliant Companies” by Entrepreneur Magazine and featured on the Today Show for successfully identifying the early start of the 2012 Flu Season 6 weeks before the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). For more information, visit: www.sickweather.com

Download The iPhone App: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sickweather/id741036885?mt=8

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Lonely Planet Helps Stranded North American Travelers with Free iPhone City Guide Apps

February 2, 2011

With ice and snowstorms continuing to delay flights across the US and Canada, Lonely Planet is offering 14 of its iPhone City Guide apps free to stranded travelers for a limited time.

“We recognize that travelers are stuck all over the country due to these recent storms and will need access to our content”, said John Boris, Lonely Planet’s Managing Director. “Thus, we made all our US and Canadian iPhone City Guide apps free so that regardless of whether they are stuck in a blizzard or on the beach, they can easily download the practical information and recommendations we provide straight onto their phone”.

The 14 guides, normally $5.99,  will be free in the iTunes App Store from 6  pmPST on Tuesday, February 1, to 6 pm PST Friday, February 4, 2011.

The cities available are:

·         San Francisco

·         New York City

·         Boston

·         Washington DC

·         Chicago

·         Seattle

·         New Orleans

·         Vancouver

·         Las Vegas

·         Miami

·         Toronto

·         Los Angeles

·         Montreal

·         Fort Myers and Sanibel

Lonely Planet has a history of helping stranded travelers, having offered their European iPhone City Guide apps free during the eruption of Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull and again during the Christmas snowstorms. This is the first time they’ve offered their US or Canadian city guides for free.

See also:

‘Trip’ website addresses travelers’ concerns over safety, security, health

Continue reading on Examiner.com: ‘Trip’ website addresses travelers’ concerns over safety, security, health – National Eclectic Travel | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/trip-website-addresses-travelers-concerns-over-safety-security-health#ixzz1CpOXJckv

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