More than 550,000 small businesses in the UK may have been forced to halt trading due to a disruption in the last two years, according to new research by small business insurer Direct Line for Business ; and the average cost of keeping a small business afloat while unable to trade for two weeks is estimated to be £8,775.
The average small business believes that it would last around eight months and three weeks if it were forced to halt trading, with sole traders (nine months, one week) faring better than microbusinesses – businesses employing fewer than 10 people - (nine months) and small businesses (six months, two weeks).
Of those companies that have had to cease trading due to business disruption, the period of shutdown lasted, on average, more than three months. This will be of particular concern for the one in five (21 percent) small businesses that claim that they would not be able to survive if their businesses had to cease trading for more than a month.
Reduction in profit (48 percent), reduction in revenue (42 percent), loss of customers (39 percent) and putting personal money into the business (32 percent) were found to be the most common impacts of an interruption in trading on small business owners.
Bockistan lies in ruins.
A magnitude 7.8 earthquake has rocked the country, killing hundreds. Large apartment buildings have collapsed, communications are out, airports and seaports are closed, electricity is dead, and water isn’t flowing.
Into this situation come 42 Americans ranging in age from their early 20s to their late 50s, full of enthusiasm and determination to do good and carrying bags of gear. But they’re entering an unfamiliar world in a state of disaster, full of cultural pitfalls and government red tape.
What’s more, this is their final exam — not to add any pressure.
A few years ago, there was an outbreak of Salmonella infections among people who ate peanut butter and products containing peanut paste, like crackers and cookies. People were scared. They needed to know which products were affected. Were they in their grocery store, or worse, already in their kitchen? They also needed facts about Salmonellainfection: what are the symptoms, and how dangerous is it?
Fact: You can’t protect your health if you don’t know what to do and how to do it.
This is the reason I spend my days helping people get the right messages about their health at the right time. During the Salmonella outbreak linked to peanut butter, we worked to quickly gather information and science from lots of sources and get it to the people who needed it. But there’s more to communicating about health than just moving information around. There’s a science behind what we do.
First things first
Before I start writing, I take a minute to put myself in the audience’s shoes. Who are they, and what do they need to know to protect themselves? I begin with the what, why, and how – the basics everyone needs to take the first steps.
In an emergency, geography is also important. If there’s an outbreak or a flood, not everyone may be affected. People need to know if they’re close to the incident or far away, and what the likelihood is that it will affect them.
But we don’t just consider what we need to say. We also look at the best ways for people to hear it. We know that people with different backgrounds will take in health information differently. What people do about a threat depends on several things, including who they are, who we are, and how we talk about it. This is where the communication science comes in.
In my job, we apply a system where we look at the different aspects of getting health information to people who need it. There are seven things we consider when we communicate about health:
- Trust: Will people trust the information? Who is the best source to put the information out?
- Information: What information is necessary, and how will people find it? How much is enough, or too much?
- Motivation: How relevant is the information is to the people we’re trying to reach?
- Environment: What are the conditions that surround and affect the audience?
- Capacity: What is people’s ability to act on the information? Are there barriers?
- Perception: What will the audience think about the information? What will inspire them to act on it?
- Response: How will people respond? What can we do to stay engaged with them and give them support as they take action?
We call this set of questions TIME-CPR. Answering all of these questions before we start communicating lets us make a plan that will help people take action and save lives.
What we know, as soon as we know it
Sometimes we get worried about communicating information before we have all the answers. But it’s okay to say that we don’t know yet, and we’re working on finding out. We’re all in this together, especially in emerging and evolving situations, and people need to trust that we will always share the latest and best information we have, even if we don’t yet understand or know everything. We’re not just experts, we’re expert learners.
When something first happens, we might not know right away exactly how many people or which products are affected. But we need to start talking about it anyway. The risk is too great if we don’t.
Let’s go back to that Salmonella outbreak. Because peanut paste is in so many products, and because those products were already in the hands of so many people, we had to act quickly. Many of the affected crackers had been sent to troops overseas or were foods that get sent as part of school lunches. We immediately reached out to veterans’ communities, daycares, and schools. We developed a searchable database and created a widget to help people figure out if their food had the peanut paste in it. In the end, the outbreak affected over 700 people in 46 states. But without fast communication, many more would have been sick.
Health literacy touches everyone
October is Health Literacy Monthhttps://blogs.cdc.gov/TemplatePackage/3.0/images/icon_out_v2.png), which is a time to focus on how we can help people better receive and understand information they need to stay safe and healthy. When we present our information in a way that makes it difficult for people to understand what they can do to protect their health, they may be more likely to get sick or die.
Health literacy affects everything from how and why medication should be taken, to reading nutrition labels, to what people should do in a major emergency like an outbreak or natural disaster. Everyone – from large agencies to community organizations to family doctors to individuals – is responsible for making sure we all have clear and relevant health information when we need it. We need to stay connected and communicate well. Lives depend on it.
For more information about Health Literacy, visit the CDC Health Literacy website.
Improving the ability to share and use health information is a national priority. The National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacyhttps://blogs.cdc.gov/TemplatePackage/3.0/images/icon_out_v2.png); display: inline-block; width: 10px; height: 10px; vertical-align: baseline; margin: 0px 3px 0px -13px; background-position: 100% 50%; background-repeat: no-repeat no-repeat;"> seeks to engage organizations, professionals, policymakers, communities, individuals, and families in a connected effort to increase health literacy, and is part of the Healthy People 2020https://blogs.cdc.gov/TemplatePackage/3.0/images/icon_out_v2.png); objective to improve health outcomes and health equity through better communication.
Posted on October 25, 2016 by
At the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Assistant Secretary for the Office of Infrastructure Protection Caitlin Durkovich recognizes how hard it can be for emergency managers to distill the message of preparedness for citizens and businesses.
With the rise of global terror, the threat landscape has become exponentially more complex, making it harder for first responders and others to communicate even basic security information. “But this is the new normal, this is the world that we are living in now, where we are going to see attacks on soft targets with frequency,” she said.
To convey the significance of that reality, emergency managers need a concise message.
Not all "clouds" are created equal – or considered clouds at all, for that matter. With all due respect, single-tenant hosted products are one such instance. Just because a traditional software product is hosted by a vendor doesn't make it the equivalent of SaaS. Let's face it – it's not uncommon for successful licensed software companies that focus on operational intelligence or enterprise compliance and security to zig and zag as they evolve their business models to the cloud. Neither is it uncommon for them to maximize their best attributes in their marketing materials.
The difference between SaaS and a single-tenant hosted software "cloud", however, is an important distinction. If you're looking for a solution that offers the key benefits of a modern SaaS product, hold out for a provider whose underlying architectural model offers the benefits of a true cloud offering. And while your first reaction might be, "Who cares? Hosted software seems like SaaS as far as the user is concerned." But here are the three reasons why customers should care about their "cloud" provider's underlying model.
Your Event Management Doesn't Have to Be So Hard
Company execs love to put on big, fancy events. They may invite business leaders, managers, partners, suppliers, stockholders, board members, customers, and maybe even regular employees who deserve a night on the house.
These events often take place in hotel ballrooms or conference centers with plenty of food, drinks, and entertainment. Speakers are given the stage, presentations, and short films often accompany, and most leave in a better mood than when they arrived (if it is done right). Events may be planned for product launches, annual conferences, holiday galas, or awards banquets. They are all a big deal, take a lot of time to plan, and cost a boatload of money.
First In Series of Home Trends Reports Provides By-Peril Trend Data to Help Insurance Carriers Reduce Risk and Price with Greater Precision
ATLANTA – An inaugural study of home insurance trends released today by LexisNexis® Risk Solutions reveals good news for home insurance carriers: homeowner claims continue to decrease and loss costs are flat or on the decline. The 2016 LexisNexis Home Trends Report is the first in a series of research identifying key insurance industry trends focused on perils – wind, hail, fire, water (weather and non-weather related), theft, liability and other perils. The report aims to provide insights that insurance carriers can utilize to make better business decisions, reduce risk and price policies as precisely as possible.
According to the report, while the U.S. has already seen one major hurricane in 2016, overall loss across all perils declined by 30 percent from 2010 to 2015, driven largely by fewer claims and catastrophic events. The study also found that claims spiked on average 46 percent in the spring time period, though the severity of claims tends to hold steady throughout the year. When viewed through a geographic lens, loss costs from peril claims are highest in the Midwest due to the higher loss cost states making up "Tornado Alley," which based on peril claims should be more aptly be named "Hail Alley" due to dollars lost per house.
"Insurance carriers want up-to-date trended peril data," said George Hosfield, Senior Director, Home Insurance, LexisNexis Risk Solutions. "Our new Home Trends Report provides carriers with these valuable insights so they can better assess properties and price accordingly, enabling them to better test and validate prior initiatives, identify new pricing opportunities and better plan for the future."
Key findings from the LexisNexis Home Trend report by peril include:
- Wind – Overall wind loss cost declined dramatically by 53 percent from 2010 to 2015. Catastrophic wind events declined over the past five years, dropping 20 percent, with the majority of claims generated in the Midwest. One key takeaway for carriers: efforts to increase deductibles and the introduction of Actual Cash Value Roof Endorsements in some areas appear to be having a positive effect.
- Hail – For hail, overall loss cost declined 26 percent in the same time frame. Hail claims spiked by 50 percent in spring and summer, with a dramatic increase from April through June, making hail the second primary factor driving overall lost cost during these months.
- Fire – Loss costs from fire have been in a steady decline, and overall loss across seasons is fairly level. But this steadiness belies the fluctuations in causes and claim severity. While fire frequency has declined, claim severity is up to compensate for frequency's effect on overall loss cost. The drastic reduction in claims is likely due to better fire prevention technologies. Seasonally, fire peril can be grouped into two main causes: lightning and flame. Lightning causes spikes in summer while flame peaks in winter months, but contrary to popular industry belief lost cost holds steady across the year.
- Water – Loss cost for non-weather related water remained steady, and seasonal loss cost trends were relatively stable throughout the year as well, with a slight spike in summers. On the other hand, weather-related water increased by a dramatic 156 percent from 2010 to 2015. This peril is highly seasonal, dominated by winter weather. While the country as a whole suffered more than usual from winter weather, the Northeast region in particular experienced dramatic losses.
- Theft – Good news for this peril as loss cost due to theft steadily declined by more than 50 percent over the past five years, with speculation that theft claims have decreased as the economy continues to recover.
- Liability – Liability loss cost has dropped rapidly in recent years as has the severity of claims. The drop is largely due to unpaid, high-value claims which tend to have long lag times until payment. Liability claims rise in frequency in the summer, suggesting that summer-related activities incur a higher risk of injury and damage compared to other times of the year.
For more information, download the 2016 LexisNexis Home Trends Report.
About LexisNexis Risk Solutions
LexisNexis Risk Solutions is a leader in providing essential information that helps customers across industries and government predict, assess and manage risk. Combining cutting-edge technology, unique data and advanced analytics, LexisNexis Risk Solutions provides products and services that address evolving client needs in the risk sector while upholding the highest standards of security and privacy. LexisNexis Risk is part of RELX Group, a world-leading provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries.
Partnership marks first with a telehealth provider for American Red Cross
NEW YORK (October 26, 2016) — The American Red Cross and Teladoc, Inc. (NYSE: TDOC) today announced its partnership to deliver remote medical care to communities in the United States that are significantly affected by disasters. This is the first telehealth provider partnership for the Red Cross. Teladoc is the nation’s first and largest telehealth provider.
Through this pilot collaboration, Teladoc will make its network of physicians available to people helped by the Red Cross whose access to health care providers has been limited or is unavailable after large-scale disasters.
Teladoc’s virtual physician visit services will be made available via web, Teladoc’s mobile app and phone to address the primary health care needs of individuals affected by disasters. The consultations will make it possible for disaster victims to access needed health services during events in which distance and time are important factors.
“Telehealth is on track to play a major role in the future of disaster risk reduction,” said Mary Casey-Lockyer, American Red Cross senior associate for disaster health services. “Our alliance with the Teladoc team provides the opportunity to advance toward that goal. It is our hope that this collaboration will serve as a conduit toward closing a gap in services during events, as well as in the days, weeks and months afterward.”
Teladoc provides a convenient, cost-effective and high-quality care alternative to urgent care and emergency room visits to treat common, uncomplicated medical conditions, particularly in medically-underserved and geographically remote communities with significant shortages of health care providers.
“Teladoc is extremely proud to be part of the first formal telehealth partnership with the Red Cross, a collaboration that exemplifies the Teladoc mission of significantly improving access to high-quality health care services,” said Stephany Verstraete, chief marketing officer of Teladoc. “Our team comes to work every day with the goal of further revolutionizing how consumers use health care. Through these efforts, we strive to make positive changes for our clients, our members and our communities.”
In the past, Teladoc has donated remote medical care following local disasters, including Hurricane Matthew, which recently struck the Southeast United States. In partnership with the Red Cross, Teladoc will expand its disaster relief efforts while also encouraging similar generosity among stakeholders, including Teladoc employees, who will be able to donate time and other resources to the Red Cross through Teladoc Cares, the company’s employee volunteer initiative.
Teladoc, Inc. (NYSE:TDOC) is the nation’s leading provider of telehealth services and a pioneering force in bringing the virtual care visit into the mainstream of today’s health care ecosystem. Serving some 6,000 clients — including health plans, health systems, employers and other organizations — more than 15 million members can use phone, mobile devices and secure online video to connect within minutes to Teladoc’s network of more than 3,100 board-certified, state-licensed physicians and behavioral health specialists, 24/7. With national coverage, a robust, scalable platform and a Lewisville, Texas-based member services center staffed by 400 employees, Teladoc offers the industry’s most comprehensive and complete telehealth solution including primary care, behavioral health care, dermatology, tobacco cessation and more. For additional information, visit www.teladoc.com.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
HANOVER, Md. — To satisfy growing customer demands for cloud migration and high-performance applications, ServerCentral is deploying Ciena's® (NYSE: CIEN) Waveserver stackable data center interconnect (DCI) platform. This upgrade allows ServerCentral to quickly scale bandwidth and support customer needs for high-speed data transfer, virtual machine migration and disaster recovery/backup between data centers. Additionally, with the extremely compact design of the Waveserver platform, ServerCentral can make more efficient use out of its data center footprints.
· ServerCentral is a managed IT services provider delivering infrastructure for startups and Fortune 500s worldwide. ServerCentral delivers comprehensive infrastructure services including private clouds, dedicated infrastructure, connectivity to third-party cloud providers, infrastructure links and more across multiple diverse fiber paths from the company's global data centers.
· This upgrade allows ServerCentral to provide highly reliable data connectivity at levels of 10, 40 and 100 GbE, which means its customers can confidently deploy bandwidth-intensive, web-scale applications. Additionally, with Waveserver, ServerCentral can offer new levels of flexibility by providing different connectivity speeds on short notice.
· With Ciena's Emulation CloudTM, an open application development environment, ServerCentral can create, test and fine-tune customized web-scale applications tailored to its specific customer needs. ServerCentral can also use Ciena's Essentials App to manage Waveserver manually or remotely and quickly establish a connection, order, install or provision a service via any smart device.
· "Today's organizations are faced with increasingly complex, cloud-based architectures. In order to help our customers architect, deploy, manage and scale the optimal solutions for their business, we need to continue to evolve our scalable, flexible and redundant network. Ciena's Waveserver helps us ensure we have the optimal foundation for our customer's business and applications."
– Bill Lowry, Vice President, Products, ServerCentral
· "ServerCentral's forward-looking vision and deployment of new technologies not only ensure that it meets present-day requirements, but can also adjust to changing customer needs. With our Waveserver platform, ServerCentral can provide a highly dynamic, scalable and low-latency interconnectivity experience to its customers."
– Jason Phipps, Vice President & General Manager, North America, Ciena
About Server Central
ServerCentral is an IT infrastructure solutions provider. Since 2000, leading technology, finance, health care and e-commerce firms have put their trust in ServerCentral to design and manage their mission-critical infrastructure. With data centers in North America, Europe and Asia, ServerCentral works with customers to develop the right solution for their business. Whether it is colocation, managed services, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) or cloud, ServerCentral designs the optimal solution for each client. Learn more at http://www.servercentral.com.
Ciena (NYSE: CIEN) is a network strategy and technology company. We translate best-in-class technology into value through a high-touch, consultative business model – with a relentless drive to create exceptional experiences measured by outcomes. For updates on Ciena, follow us on Twitter @Ciena, LinkedIn, the Ciena Insights blog, or visit www.ciena.com.
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