Mississippi

Gallup Poll: Half In Illinois Want To Move Elsewhere

Last week, the Gallup website had this to report about Illinois:

Illinois has the unfortunate distinction of being the state with the highest percentage of residents who say it is the worst possible place to live. One in four Illinois residents (25%) say the state is the worst place to live…

It doesn’t get any better for the “Land of Lincoln” this week. Lydia Saad wrote yesterday:

Every state has at least some residents who are looking for greener pastures, but nowhere is the desire to move more prevalent than in Illinois and Connecticut. In both of these states, about half of residents say that if given the chance to move to a different state, they would like to do so…

50 percent of Illinois respondents said they would leave the state if given the opportunity, according to Gallup.

Saad also added:

Nevada, Illinois, Maryland, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, and Connecticut all appear particularly vulnerable to losing population in the coming few years: high percentages of their residents say they would leave if they could, and larger-than-average percentages say they are at least somewhat likely to do so in the coming year…

19 percent of Illinois respondents indicated they were planning to move out of the state within 12 months, according to Gallup.

Mind you, this particular poll was conducted from June through December 2013- early on in that brutal winter Illinois just had.

How many more residents since then are ready to throw in the towel?

So not only have Illinoisans been moving out of the state in droves already, but even more are making plans to do so down the road.

Sad. Just sad. But understandable considering the direction the state’s been going in.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Saad, Lydia. “Half in Illinois and Connecticut Want to Move Elsewhere.” Gallup.com. 30 Apr. 2014. (http://www.gallup.com/poll/168770/half-illinois-connecticut-move-elsewhere.aspx). 1 May 2014.

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Thursday, May 1st, 2014 Demographics, Population No Comments

H1N1 ‘Swine’ Flu ‘Rapidly Spreading’ Throughout Chicago Area, South-Central U.S.

This weekend, I heard the H1N1 “swine” flu is back. In a big way.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with H1N1, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website Flu.gov:

H1N1 is a flu virus. When it was first detected in 2009, it was called “swine flu” because the virus was similar to those found in pigs.

The H1N1 virus is currently a seasonal flu virus found in humans.

Okay, let’s dive in. I heard H1N1 mentioned for the first time this winter in the Chicago-area news the other day. From the website of Chicago CBS affiliate Channel 2 on Friday:

A strain of the swine flu is rapidly spreading throughout the Chicago area.

More than 20 of the H1N1 cases have been detected at Loyola University Medical Center in recent days, including five on Christmas Eve.

Now, CBS 2 has learned, another 41 cases have turned up at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Doctors say there have been eight cases in just the week before Christmas…

But it’s not just the Chicagoland area that’s experiencing a jump in H1N1 cases. From the health website WebMD last Thursday:

This year’s flu season may be off to a slow start nationwide, but infection rates are spiking in the south-central United States, where five deaths have already been reported in Texas.

And the predominant strain of flu so far has been H1N1 “swine” flu, which triggered the pandemic flu in 2009, federal health officials said Thursday.

“That may change, but right now most of the flu is H1N1,” said Dr. Michael Young, a medical officer with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s influenza division. “It’s the same H1N1 we have been seeing the past couple of years and that we really started to see in 2009 during the pandemic.”

States reporting increasing levels of flu activity include Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, he said…

Here’s something interesting that you may not know about H1N1. From the WebMD piece:

Young noted that H1N1 flu is different from other types of flu because it tends to strike younger adults harder than older adults…

“This year, because it’s an H1N1 season so far, we are seeing more infections in younger adults,” Young said…

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has the following posted on their website regarding seasonal influenza:

Flu activity is increasing nationally and is high in some states. Additional increases are expected in the coming weeks. If you have not gotten your flu vaccination yet this season, you should get one now.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

“H1N1 Presence Grows In Chicago.” Channel 2. 27 Dec. 2013. (http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2013/12/27/h1n1-presence-grows-in-chicago/). 29 Dec. 2013.

Reinberg, Steven. “H1N1 Flu Spreading in South-Central U.S.” HealthDay. 26 Dec. 2013. (http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/news/20131226/h1n1-flu-spreading-in-south-central-us). 29 Dec. 2013.

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Sunday, December 29th, 2013 Health, Medicine No Comments

15 Fukushima-Style Nuclear Power Plants Located In New Madrid Fault Zone

“As Japan’s crippled Fukushima reactor continues to leak radioactive water into the sea, Americans are beginning to worry over potential health risks when radioactive particles reach the West Coast of North America next year.

Concern has been mounting after it was reported that subcontractors at the plant had admitted to having under-reported radiation and that dozens of farms that were initially considered safe had unsafe levels of radioactive cesium.

There have been unconfirmed reports of higher cancer rates among Fukushima locals…”

-The Voice Of Russia website, December 1, 2013

Enough of blogging about my local scene and financial topics. Let’s turn to preparedness now.

Back when I worked for a suburban fire department a few years back I used to do a good deal of the grant writing. From time to time we would be eligible for funds to upgrade the department’s/municipality’s emergency preparedness and response capabilities. As part of the grant approval process, we would have to identify potential threats to the community. I would always point out the danger (although somewhat remote) posed by earthquakes. Yes, the Chicagoland area does have its share of tremors- the last notable one being a 3.2 magnitude quake on November 4. When putting together those grant applications, I was always more concerned of rumblers originating quite a bit south of the Chicago-area, like southern Illinois.

Enter the New Madrid fault.

The other day, I happened to be reading an article on the “NewsWatch” section of the National Geographic website. Neil Lineback wrote on November 30:

The New Madrid (MAH dred) fault is one of the most dangerous in the world. Located beneath the upper end of the Mississippi delta, the fault extends from Cairo, Ill., to Marked Tree, Ark., a distance of 130 miles (220 km)…

According to an article from ABC News Radio Online (March 2011), a major earthquake along the New Madrid fault line today would be catastrophic, potentially affecting more than 15 million people in eight states: Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee. The USGS reports that the people most at risk from a quake of magnitude 7.0 or 8.0, however, are the approximately one million people living in the Memphis metro area…

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) also predicts that a major quake at New Madrid could displace 7.2 million people and destroy at least 15 major bridges.

Another problem altogether could result from the 15 nuclear power plants around the New Madrid region. All of the power plants are of the same or similar design as the ones that failed after Japan’s recent earthquake and resulting tsunami, according to ABC News.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

I checked out that ABC News article Lineback was referring to. What ABC News Radio actually said was:

There are 15 nuclear power plants in the New Madrid fault zone — three in Alabama alone — that are of the same or similar design as the site in Japan experiencing problems.

Not good.

And for any first responders out there reading this blog post, you may be interested in what was also mentioned in the piece:

In September, FEMA’s associate administrator for Response and Recovery, William Carwile, told a Senate panel that FEMA has five regional groups planning for possible earthquake responses, but a major quake along the New Madrid fault line could displace 7.2 million people and knock out 15 bridges. The response would require 42,000 first responders from local firefighters to the Pentagon.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

42,000 first responders!

Located in the “Geological Survey Program” section of the Missouri Department of Natural Resrouces website is a page entitled, “Facts about the New Madrid Seismic Zone.” From that resource:

The NMSZ appears to be about 30 years overdue for a magnitude 6.3 quake because the last quake of this size occurred 100 hundred years ago at Charleston, Missouri, on Oct. 31, 1895 (it was a magnitude 6.7). A magnitude 6.3 quake near Lepanto, Arkansas, on Jan. 5, 1843, was the next prior earthquake of this magnitude. About 75 percent of the estimated recurrence time for a magnitude 7.6 earthquake has elapsed since the last quake of this size occurred in 1812.

The earthquake that severly damaged New Zealand’s second-largest city- Christchurch- in 2011 and killed 185 people was a magnitude 6.3 event.

Any police or fire departments in the New Madrid fault region have any funds available for “new hires”?

How about gear to protect against radiation?

Just thought I’d ask.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

“Are Americans safe from Fukushima radiation?” The Voice Of Russia. 1 Dec. 2013. (http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2013_12_01/Are-Americans-safe-from-Fukushima-radiation-0907/). 2 Dec. 2013.

Lineback, Neal. “Geography in the News: New Madrid Earthquake.” National Geographic. 30 Nov. 2013. (http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2013/11/30/geography-in-the-news-new-madrid-earthquake/). 3 Dec. 2013.

“Potential Catastrophe: Earthquake Could Devastate Parts of US.” ABC News Radio. 15 Mar. 2011. (http://abcnewsradioonline.com/national-news/potential-catastrophe-earthquake-could-devastate-parts-of-us.html). 3 Dec. 2013.

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AAA Predicts Falling Gas Prices, Except In Great Lakes Region

Usually around this time of year, I commute more often between my pad in Chicago and my family’s place in southeastern Wisconsin. While that won’t be happening as much in 2013 due to everything that’s going on around here, I still like to keep on top of gas prices to get an idea of how much I’ll be shelling out to enjoy the open road.

(Editor’s note: Open road my butt. This is the Chicago metropolitan area, where if bumper-to-bumper gridlock isn’t taking place, you’re dealing with drivers who are distracted, in a hurry to go nowhere, or who really just don’t care about the rules of the road. And a “good drive” is one where you don’t lose a hubcap/wheel cover from a pothole that goes all the way to China.)

Venting process complete.

Anyway, here’s some highlights from the “AAA Monthly Gas Price Report: April 2013 Trends and Summer Outlook” that’s just been released on the “NewsRoom” section of the AAA website:

• Gas prices nationally averaged $3.55 per gallon in April, which was the least expensive average for the month since 2010. Gas prices dropped about 13 cents per gallon in April (3.5 percent), which was the largest percentage decline for the month in ten years. In comparison, gas prices in 2012 averaged $3.89 for the month, while the average price in April 2011 was $3.79 per gallon.
• Gas prices should drop to $3.20 to $3.40 per gallon by mid-summer if current trends continue in regards to oil prices, motorist demand and refinery production. Gas prices in recent years have declined in early summer after reaching a springtime peak as refineries ramp up gasoline production in anticipation of the summer driving season.
• The cheapest gas prices are predominately in the Southeast where extensive refinery production and lower-than-average taxes have helped keep prices low in comparison to the rest of the country. Gas prices in the Great Lakes region have increased in recent weeks because of planned refinery maintenance and unscheduled outages following recent heavy storms.
• The five states with the highest averages today include: Hawaii ($4.34), Alaska ($3.97), Ill. ($3.91), Calif. ($3.90) and Mich. ($3.79). The five states with the cheapest gas price averages today include: S.C. ($3.23), Tenn. ($3.26), Ala. ($3.27), Ark. ($3.27) and Miss. ($3.28).

As for me in Chicago? Prices at the pump have not only been brutal this spring, but are expected to go higher. Samantha Bomkamp reported on the Chicago Tribune website last night:

AAA said Tuesday that motorists nationwide are paying the lowest springtime gas prices in three years, but don’t tell that to drivers in Illinois.

Despite a recent dip, drivers here are paying the highest average price in the lower 48 states. With a statewide average on Tuesday of $3.91 a gallon, Illinois drivers are paying more than every state except Alaska at $3.97 and Hawaii and $4.34.

Costs are even higher in Chicago where the average price was $4.32 per gallon Tuesday, according to AAA. Prices averaged $4.14 in the suburbs…

While AAA predicts that drivers nationally should see gas prices fall even lower, motorists in Illinois and other Great Lakes states should see even higher prices as maintenance continues on refineries that provide most of the region’s gas supplies.

It’s a good thing I fill up in Wisconsin, where the price of gas is routinely cheaper.

East bound and down, loaded up and truckin’…

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

“AAA Monthly Gas Price Report: April 2013 Trends and Summer Outlook.” AAA. 29 Apr. 2013. (http://newsroom.aaa.com/2013/04/aaa-monthly-gas-price-report-april-2013-trends-and-summer-outlook/). 1 May 2013.

Bomkamp, Samantha. “Gas prices ease nationwide while Ill. marches higher.” Chicago Tribune. 30 Apr. 2013. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-gas-prices-ease-nationwide-while-ill-marches-higher-20130430,0,3861102.story). 1 May 2013.

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Wednesday, May 1st, 2013 Energy, Transportation, Travel, Vehicles No Comments

Day Trip To Pro-Gun Wisconsin

Earlier today I was at my family’s place in Wisconsin taking care of a number of tasks. As I crossed the state line from Illinois into the “Badger State,” I couldn’t help but think of something I read on TheBlaze website the other day. On February 22, Mike Opelka discussed the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and its 2011 Brady State Scorecard rankings. He wrote:

Leading the “worst” list (according to Brady) are three states that might be considered the “best” states for gun owners. All three scored a ZERO on the Brady checklist. Getting a zero is probably like scoring 100 in the eyes of a firearms fan. Meet the “zeros”:

• Arizona
• Alaska
• Utah

Rounding out the rest of the top 10 best states for gun ownership (based on Brady) appear to be:

• North Dakota
• Oklahoma
• Florida
• Wisconsin
• Texas
• Wyoming
• Mississippi

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Yep. Plenty of Wisconsinites sure are fond of the Second Amendment.

Banning hunting ammo. What were those Wisconsin Democrats thinking?

Anyway, while I was out and about in the nearby town I stopped by the sporting goods department of the local hardware store and the firearms department of a sporting goods store with a major presence in the region. At the hardware store, an employee was just getting off the phone trying to acquire more ammunition from a major distributor- with not much success by the sounds of it. While that store does a good job keeping their shelves stocked with ammo and other items that customers often use, there seemed to be less ammo on the shelves (no .22 LR from what I could see) as well as firearms compared to the last time I was in there in the fall (pre-Election).

The same goes with the sporting goods store. A lot less ammo (no .22 LR again), lots of empty hangers in the glass-paned gun cases, and not a single ammunition magazine in sight.

Now that I think of it, there were no employees in or around the gun department either.

Well, I guess you can’t sell what you don’t have. And they sure moved a lot of firearms-related product since my last visit to the store back in autumn.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Opelka, Mike. “What Are the Best and Worst States for Second Amendment Fans?” TheBlaze. 22 Feb. 2013. (http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/02/22/what-are-the-best-and-worst-states-for-second-amendment-fans/#). 25 Feb. 2012.

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Preppers Still Active, And In The News

I happened to stumble on an interesting TV news segment this afternoon on preppers in Oregon. Wesleigh Ogle for CBS affiliate KCBY-TV in North Bend, Oregon, had this to report on December 27:


KCBY-TV Video

I’m really glad that Avery found his “prepper’s paradise.” It looks beautiful- and full of resources- out there in the Northwest.

On Christmas Day, I also came across an article about active military preppers on the UPI website. From the Deep South:

We evidently dodged the Mayan end-of-the-world bullet, but so-called preppers in the United States say they’ll stay prepared nonetheless.

Navy Times reported last week people such as Gunnery Sgt. David Williams of Gulfport, Miss., who are part of the preppers movement — people who say they intend to be prepared for whatever calamities befall us — don’t care if you think they’re crazy. They just take comfort in their stockpiles of food, water, weapons and other vital supplies.

“A lot of the guys in my unit think I’m crazy. I’ll push the zombie apocalypse and the whole 2012 end-of-the-world business. I don’t really believe any of that crap, but it makes it fun,” Williams, a member of a Navy Seabee construction unit who has served in Afghanistan, told the newspaper. “When you’re planning for the zombie apocalypse, you’re still planning.

“Survival really is a community effort. If you’re just one dude or one family living in a bunker, what are you living for? What’s the point? What are [you] trying to stick around for? You might as well go out with everybody else because there isn’t going to be anything when you climb out of your hole.”

Williams — who has served as an instructor at the Marine Corps’ Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, Calif., and has been a survival, evasion, resistance and escape instructor — has written the Survivology 101 blog for the past three years.

“If we all die together, we all die together,” Williams said. “But if we make it through, we become a strong community and we rebuild. It may not be the diehard survival mentality, but there has to be something to live for, too. You have to have something more than yourself; otherwise, you’re a sociopath and probably don’t need to be living anyway.”

Like with a lot of things in life, preppers seem to come in all shapes and sizes.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (http://www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

Ogle, Wesleigh. “Meet a true Oregon ‘prepper.’” CBS North Bend, OR. 27 Dec. 2012. (http://www.kcby.com/news/local/Meet-a-true-Oregon-prepper-184991621.html). 31 Dec. 2012.

“Preppers’ prepare for the worst.” UPI. 25 Dec. 2012. (http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2012/12/25/Preppers-prepare-for-the-worst/UPI-73881356422400/). 31 Dec. 2012.

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Monday, December 31st, 2012 Military, Preparedness, TEOTWAWKI No Comments

States’ Response To Health Emergencies Analyzed

How prepared is your state for major health emergencies?

From a press release issued earlier today by the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF):

In the 10th annual Ready or Not? Protecting the Public from Diseases, Disasters, and Bioterrorism report, 35 states and Washington, D.C. scored a six or lower on 10 key indicators of public health preparedness.

The report, issued by the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), found that while there has been significant progress toward improving public health preparedness over the past 10 years, particularly in core capabilities, there continue to be persistent gaps in the country’s ability to respond to health emergencies, ranging from bioterrorist threats to serious disease outbreaks to extreme weather events.

In the report, Kansas and Montana scored lowest—three out of 10—and Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Vermont and Wisconsin scored highest—eight out of 10…

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

“There continue to be persistent gaps in the country’s ability to respond to health emergencies, ranging from bioterrorist threats to serious disease outbreaks to extreme weather events.”

I’m not surprised. Just one more reason preparedness makes an awful lot of sense these days.

Illinois, where I currently live, received a score of 5 out of 10 possible points in the report.

Boo!

Wisconsin, where I’m planning on moving to down the road, received 8 out of a possible 10 points (as noted in the report).

Nice.

You can read Ready or Not? in its entirety here on the RWJF website or here on the TFAH site.

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Poll: Illinois Finishes Second To California As Least Favorite U.S. State

I heard it on the Chicago morning news today. According to a recent poll, Illinois is the second least favorite state in the Union- topped only by California. The Raleigh, North Carolina-based survey organization Public Policy Polling conducted a “state favorability poll” from October to January in which they asked American voters nationally what their impressions of each state were. The results were discussed on their website Tuesday. The five most favorite states of those surveyed were:

1. Hawaii
2. Colorado
3. Tennessee
4. South Dakota
5. Virginia

While the five least favorite states turned out to be:

1. California
2. Illinois
3. New Jersey
4. Mississippi
5. Utah

Public Policy Polling staff said on their website:

Americans generally have a favorable view of most states. Only five are in negative territory, led by California (27% favorable and 44% unfavorable), Illinois (19-29), New Jersey (25-32), Mississippi (22-28), and Utah (24-27).

Wisconsin, where I spend a good deal of my time during the year, was the 16th most favorite state among respondents.

Source:

“State favorability poll.” Public Policy Polling. 21 Feb. 2012. (http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2012/02/state-favorability-poll.html). 24 Feb. 2012.

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Friday, February 24th, 2012 North America No Comments


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