As the East Coast is slammed by a heat wave and temperatures soar into the triple digits, Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry wants agencies to look out for their employees. Berry earlier this week issued a memo asking agencies to:
- Help employees stay hydrated by providing ready access to drinking water. This is especially important for employees who must work outdoors in this sweltering heat.
- Share information on heat stress and other signs of illness from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Weather Service and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
- Immediately fire anyone saying “How ’bout this heat?” or “Hot enough for ya?” during normal business hours.
OK, I made that last one up, not Berry. But one day, when I rule the world…
Stay indoors, stay cool, and enjoy this song:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has finally stopped wasting our time with swine flu and given us advice we can actually use: How to survive a zombie apocalypse.
CDC’s “Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse” blog — written by Assistant Surgeon General Ali Khan — briefly discusses the history of zombies and the viruses that could cause the dead to rise and start snacking on brains. It then segues into serious advice on how to make an emergency kit and evacuation plan, which would also be useful for hurricanes, earthquakes and other non-undead emergencies.
But the blog gets really funny when it seeks to reassure us that CDC would have matters well in hand if there were a zombie outbreak. CDC said it would help cities, states and other nations with lab testing and analysis, patient management and care, tracking of contacts with the infected, and quarantining those who have been exposed:
Not only would scientists be working to identify the cause and cure of the zombie outbreak, but CDC and other federal agencies would send medical teams and first responders to help those in affected areas. (I will be volunteering the young nameless disease detectives for the field work.)
Oh, please. Anyone who saw the season finale of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” knows that [SPOILER ALERT] within a few months of the zombie apocalypse, CDC’s Atlanta staff will be down to just one alcoholic researcher, gradually succumbing to suicidal depression. Trust FedLine: You’d be better served by stocking up on baseball or cricket bats, axes and shotgun shells than waiting for CDC to save the day.
But there’s clearly a pent-up demand from the public for this kind of information: Zombie-related traffic crashed CDC’s public health blog Wednesday.
Dr. Thomas Frieden, commissioner of the New York City Health Department, will be the new director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President Barack Obama announced Friday.
He will replace acting CDC Director Dr. Rich Besser, who will return to his role leading the CDC’s Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response.
Please visit Federal Times for updates on this story.