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10 Maneras en que Usted y su Familia pueden ser Preparados para un Desastre

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California es un estado vulnerable a muchos desastres y por eso es importante prepararse para un desastre antes que ocurra. Aquí está información que te ayudara a preparar:

  1. Identifica su riesgo – ¿Cuáles son los peligros donde usted vive o trabaja? Averigüe qué tipo de desastres naturales o causados ​​por humanos representan un riesgo para usted.
  2. Crear un Plan Familiar de Desastres – Su familia necesita un plan que les dice a todos: dónde reunirse si tiene que evacuar, que usted ha identificado como un fuera de “contacto familiar” del estado, cómo obtener información de emergencia en su comunidad; y cómo cuidar de las mascotas de su familia.
  3. Practique su plan de desastre – Después de que se han sentado con su familia y por escrito su plan – práctica el plan.
  4. Construir un kit de emergencia para su hogar – Si usted está varado en el coche o tiene que ser suficiente en su mismo en su casa hasta que llegue la ayuda, es necesario tener un equipo de emergencia con usted.
  5. Prepare a sus niños – Hable con sus hijos acerca de cuáles son los riesgos y lo que su familia va a hacer si ocurre un desastre.
  6. No se olvide de aquellos con necesidades especiales- Asegúrese de que usted tiene productos para bebés, ancianos o personas con necesidades especiales.
  7. Aprenda CPR y Primeros Auxilios – Comuníquese con su oficina local del día de hoy la Cruz Roja Americana para recibir entrenamiento en primeros auxilios y RCP.
  8. Evite los peligros en su hogar y el lugar de trabajo – Usted debe asegurar el contenido de su hogar u oficina para reducir los peligros, especialmente durante el movimiento de un terremoto.
  9. Entender Riesgos Despues de 9/11 – entiende prepares para los desastres provocados por el hombre, así como los naturales.
  10. Participe, Voluntario – Dona sangre, únase a un equipo voluntario, educar a tu vecino, o ser voluntarios con su Cruz Roja Americana local.

 

Para más información sobre cómo puedes preparar para un desastre, visite a:

www.ready.gov/es

www.caloes.ca.gov

www.redcross.org/cruz-roja

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans Available to California Small Businesses

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Small, nonfarm businesses in all 58 California counties and neighboring Arizona, Nevada and Oregon counties listed below are now eligible to apply for low‑interest federal disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). These loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by the drought that began January 1, 2016, announced Director Tanya N. Garfield of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center – West.

Neighboring Arizona counties: La Paz and Mohave;

Neighboring Nevada counties: Carson City, Clark, Douglas, Esmeralda, Lyon, Mineral, Nye and Washoe;

Neighboring Oregon counties: Jackson, Josephine, Klamath and Lake.

“SBA eligibility covers both the economic impacts on businesses dependent on farmers and ranchers that have suffered agricultural production losses caused by the disaster and businesses directly impacted by the disaster,” Garfield said.

Small, nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred.

“Eligibility for these loans is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage. These loans have an interest rate of 4 percent for businesses and 2.625 percent for private nonprofit organizations, a maximum term of 30 years, and are available to small businesses and most private nonprofits without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship,” Garfield said.

By law, SBA makes EIDLs available when the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster. Secretary Tom Vilsack declared this disaster on February 17, 2016.

Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance. Agricultural enterprises should contact the Farm Services Agency about the U.S. Department of Agriculture assistance made available by the Secretary’s declaration. However, nurseries are eligible for SBA disaster assistance in drought disasters.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Disaster loan information and application forms are also available from SBA’s Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955 or emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339. For more disaster assistance information, or to download applications, visit http://www.sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The deadline to apply for these loans is October 17, 2016.

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Search and Rescue Coordinators Learn Life-Saving Techniques in Sierras

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Trackers in Training: photo by Jonathan Gudel

On Feb. 2, occasional heavy snow greeted travelers heading up Highway 50 to South Lake Tahoe.  While the wintry conditions caused treacherous roadways for commuters, it presented the ideal backdrop for search and rescue coordinators from various agencies throughout California participating in the Winter Search and Rescue Operations at Camp Richardson Resort.

The training exercise is a five-day, 40-hour California Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) approved classroom and field instruction course with trained and experienced instructors. The instruction, designed by the Law Enforcement Branch of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), is to educate agencies on how to conduct search and rescue missions during severe winter conditions.

“What we try to instill is that some of these team leaders and managers are not search and rescue folks,” said Cal OES Deputy Chief Matt Scharper, who also serves as the California State Search and Rescue Coordinator. “They’ve never been in these environments. They’re not well-versed in these operations. So what we try to do is teach them the techniques and the tools to have basic all-around exposure.”

MattScharper

Cal OES Deputy Chief Matt Scharper: State SAR Coordinator

Scharper came to Cal OES in 1998 after 13 years with the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Department, where he served as Sergeant, Search and Rescue Coordinator, emergency services/disaster coordinator, patrol supervisor, boating patrol officer, narcotics officer, homicide investigator, communications supervisor, internal affairs investigator, Deputy Coroner, advanced officer training instructor, along with other assignments.
He is now in his 18th year overseeing the Winter SAR Operations. Last year the week-long training was in Mammoth Lakes.

Scharper said there is no other course offered in a similar capacity in California.

“Our hope is that they (search and rescue coordinators) go back to their agencies and communicate what they learned and what worked,” he added. “Maybe they’ll ask ‘Do we need better training? How can we make it better for the citizens?’ That’s what it’s about. It’s not saying what they’ve been doing is wrong, but we try to give them the exposure and let them implement that into their own agencies.”

The weeklong training consisted primarily of classroom and field work. The first day was the only non-field work of the week. Five different presenters, including Scharper, spoke to the class, ranging in topics from administrative and safety to search management and water fitness.

Dr. Ben Schifrin of Doctors Medical Center in Modesto discussed a variety of life-saving subjects such as hypothermia, high altitude and cold weather injuries during a four-hour presentation on the third day.

“Go slowly to altitude or take meds,” Schifrin warned about precautionary tips to avoid altitude illness.

Other intriguing anecdotes from Schifrin:

  • Kids are more prone to altitude illness than adults.
  • Acute mountain sickness feels similar to a hangover and could last up to five days.
  • Worst type of frostbite is when dealing with freezing overnight temperatures, then thawing out and warming up the next afternoon and then freezing again the next night.

Classroom work consumed the morning sessions, with field-related station training for the rest of the afternoons.

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Snow Performance: photo by Shawn Boyd

On the second day, the search and rescue coordinators traveled less than a mile from Camp Richardson to Fallen Leaf Lake for station training, which included snow equipment and ground searches. Transitioning from one station to the next, training focused on driving snow machines in the Fallen Leaf meadow for search and rescue missions as well as using snow shoes and skis for back-country procedures.

As one coordinator said after climbing off a snowmobile, “I’ve got to get me one of these.”

Search and rescue via helicopter was also scheduled for that day but was postponed due to inclement weather.

The next day, field exercises of snow evaluation, avalanche beacons and using probe poles preceded the construction of snow caves near the Boat House, site of the classroom lectures, at Camp Richardson.

The final full day of training began with a map exercise in the morning, followed by preparation for an overnight stay in the wilderness. The entire staff was briefed on winter environment, shelter construction and improvisations, along with tips on cooking dinner and constructing campfires, before sleeping outdoors overnight in the frigid Sierra temperatures.

SnowShoeing

Walk This Way: photo by Jonathan Gudel

Counties represented at the South Lake Tahoe training included: Riverside, San Bernardino, Alpine, Fresno, Inyo, El Dorado, Tulare, Siskiyou, Butte, Shasta, Mendocino and Stanislaus.  The California Highway Patrol (CHP) also participated.
All participants stayed in on-site lodging at Camp Richardson in either cabins or the hotel.

Course objectives included:

  •  How to properly manage a winter search.
  • Understand the importance of winter search pre-planning
  •  Identification and utilization of winter resources; discuss functions and limitations.
  •  Special considerations for cold weather operations.
  •  Understanding cold weather medical injuries and hypothermia
  •  The selection of mountain backpacks, contents, and personal clothing.
  •  Identify key factors in avalanche rescue.
  •  Utilization of aircraft in winter operations.
  •  Winter ground search mobility.
  •  Personal survival in winter conditions.

 

Tests Confirm Aliso Canyon Gas Leak Permanently Sealed

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On Feb. 18, state regulators confirmed the natural gas leaking well at the Aliso Canyon storage field near Los Angeles has been permanently sealed.

Eleven speakers from nine different state and local agencies jointly made the announcement at a press conference at Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) in Chatsworth.

After multiple tests, the Department of Conservation confirmed the leaking well was permanently sealed late Wednesday evening. SoCalGas completed a temporary seal of the well on Feb. 11.

“The Division of Oil and Gas has confirmed that the leak at the Aliso Canyon storage field is permanently sealed,” said Jason Marshall, Chief Deputy Director of Department of Conservation.

Five separate tests were performed to determine if the well has been sealed. The testing process to confirm that the well is sealed was developed in consultation with independent technical experts from the Lawrence Berkeley, Livermore and Sandia National Laboratories, the Department of Conservation explained in a press release.

Testing results can be viewed here.

“As someone who grew up not too far from here I understand the tremendous concern for the safety of families and the community here who have been impacted by this incident,” Marshall said. “Throughout this incident public and environmental safety have been our top priority. We have had staff dedicated on site every day during operations since October to ensure that Southern California Gas Company acted quickly and safely to halt the flow of gas.”

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) and South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) also confirmed acceptable air quality. Air measurements collected via air flights, on-site observations and air monitors in nearby communities all confirmed that the leaking gas has diminished. ARB will continue to monitor the site, including frequent flyovers to collect data.

Now that the well is sealed, ARB is also beginning a new program to do flyovers at all of the major gas storage facilities in California.

“We have seen a diminishing trend in the measurements since the well was controlled and the criteria has now been met for three consecutive days,” said Bart Croes, Chief of Research at ARB.

Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, the Interim Health Officer at Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, requested extending monitoring for at least 30 days from his department to assure safe conditions.

“All the levels that we’ve looked at are below the levels of health concern,” Dr. Guzenhauser said. “So we do not anticipate that there will be any long-term health effects resulting from this.”

Today, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti launched the city’s Local Assistance Center at the Mason Recreation Center, creating a centralized location where residents and businesses can access programs and services from a variety of agencies to help facilitate the transition for residents.

“We can breathe a sigh of relief that finally the leak is permanently stopped,”
Mayor Garcetti said in a press release. “Our residents and businesses can now begin the process of returning home and getting back to their normal routines. We know there are questions and concerns moving forward, and  we are going to be there every step of the way to ensure this transition is as seamless and painless as possible.”

SoCalGas, which owns and operates the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility in Porter Ranch, was unable to stop the leak after it was discovered on Oct. 23.

Damage to the well, also referred to as SS25, caused a leak approximately 500 feet underground. Following that the Los Angeles County Public Health advised a voluntary relocation for Porter Ranch residents and nearby communities. On Jan. 6, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. issued a proclamation for a State of Emergency in Los Angeles County due to the ongoing natural gas leak.

“The gas leak and Aliso Canyon has affected many lives,” said Jeff Reeb, Director of Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management. “Now it’s time to help as many residents, businesses and stakeholders confidently reenter their community and resume their day to day activities.”

The panel of speakers at the Feb. 18 press conference included:

  • Mark Ghilarducci, Director, California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services
  • Mark Savage, Public Information Officer, Los Angeles County Fire Department
  • Jason Marshall, Chief Deputy Director, California Department of Conservation
  • Daryl Osby, Fire Chief, Los Angeles County Fire Department
  • Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, Interim Health Officer, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
  • Melanie Marty, Acting Deputy Director for Scientific Affairs, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment
  • Michael Picker, President, California Public Utilities Commission
  • Robert Weisenmiller, Chair, California Energy Commission
  • Bart Croes, Chief of Research, Air Resources Board
  • Jeff Reeb, Director, Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management
  • Dennis Arriola, President/CEO, SoCalGas
  • Gillian Wright, V.P. Customer Services, SoCalGas

Watch the press conference in its entirety here.

State Regulators Confirm Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Well Permanently Sealed

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Media Release from the California Department of Conservation 

After reviewing the results of multiple tests developed in consultation with independent experts, state regulators today confirmed that a leaking natural gas storage well has been permanently sealed. The well, owned by Southern California Gas (SoCalGas) and located in the Aliso Canyon storage field near the Porter Ranch neighborhood of Los Angeles, had been leaking since October 23. A temporary seal of the leaking well was established on February 11 and a permanent cement seal was established February 17.

“After independently reviewing multiple tests on the leaking well — including temperature tests, noise tests and cement-bond test — we have confirmed that the Standard Sesnon 25 well at the Aliso Canyon Storage Field is no longer leaking and the well is sealed,” said Jason Marshall, chief deputy director of the California Department of Conservation (DOC). The Department houses the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR), which along with other regulatory agencies has overseen the work of SoCalGas and its contractors through the well closure process.

The testing process to confirm that the well is sealed was developed in consultation with independent technical experts from the Lawrence Berkeley, Livermore and Sandia National Laboratories. That process and DOGGR’s confirmation of the testing results can be found at www.conservation.ca.gov.

Investigators from DOGGR and the California Public Utilities Commission, as well as independent investigators, will continue to work at the Standard Sesnon 25 well site to determine the cause of the leak and whether violations of state regulations occurred.

The California Air Resources Board, working with the South Coast Air Quality Management District, has measured gas emissions from the leaking well since the well was initially sealed on February 11. Air measurements that have been collected using air flights, on-site observations, and monitors in the nearby communities all confirm that the leaking gas has diminished consistent with successfully controlling the leak. The Air Resources Board and the Air Quality Management District have also established objective criteria to determine when air quality in Porter Ranch and surrounding communities has returned to normal. Since February 15, 2016 these criteria have been met. Thus, air quality has returned to normal for three consecutive days. Both agencies will continue to conduct to air quality monitoring in and around Porter Ranch for the foreseeable future with results posted here.

The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has independently validated the criteria established by the Air Resources Board and Air Quality Management District and has determined that the residents of Porter Ranch and the surrounding communities should not experience adverse health impacts from air quality satisfying the criteria standards.

Currently, no new injection of gas is allowed into the Aliso Canyon facility. Under Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s Emergency Order, SoCalGas must complete a comprehensive safety review of the Aliso Canyon facility and its wells before further injection is allowed. The criteria for that well-by-well review can be found at www.conservation.ca.gov.

Also under Governor Brown’s January order, all gas storage wells throughout the state are subject to new emergency regulations.

“We are implementing new rules and safeguards to ensure the safety of not only the Aliso Canyon facility, but all of California’s natural gas storage facilities,” said Marshall. “Each well at Aliso Canyon will have to pass a thorough a comprehensive battery of safety tests or be taken out of service. And statewide, each well within all of the state’s gas storage facilities must be monitored on a daily basis.”

State agencies remain committed to providing frequent public updates on regulatory activities related to Aliso Canyon. For more information, click here or go to http://www.caloes.ca.gov.

Video version from today’s  Aliso Canyon Gas Leak announcement click HERE for part one and HERE for part two.

Audio only version click HERE.

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Fight the Bite Against Zika Virus

 

Most mosquito bites are relatively painless, annoying but not terrifying.

Yet, health organizations indicate there may be new and profound dangers associated with invasive mosquitoes that have found their way into California.

The new threat is Zika virus, which is transmitted to people by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes (also known as yellow fever mosquito and Asian tiger mosquito, respectively), and since early last year, the virus has spread across Brazil and other countries and territories from South America northward into Mexico and the Caribbean.

Originally discovered in Africa and thought to be a cause of only very mild disease, Zika has become a much bigger problem in recent years, causing outbreaks since 2007 across many islands in the Pacific Ocean. The biggest cause for alarm has been the evidence emerging from South and Central America that point to Zika as a likely cause of neurological impairment in adults and microcephaly – small head and small brain – in newborn infants. Because of this possible link, the Department of Public Health recommends travel precautions for pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant.

The main mosquitoes that transmit Zika virus are not native to California, but they have been found here in growing numbers since 2011, and local mosquito control agencies and the California Department of Public Health are working constantly to track and limit their spread. These mosquitoes are now found throughout much of Southern California, north to Madera County in the Central Valley and with smaller populations near the southern end of the San Francisco Bay.

In the areas where these mosquitoes are found, there is a risk that local transmission of Zika virus could occur if the mosquitoes were to bite an infected traveler who has this virus in their blood.

We are fortunate in California to have some of the world’s best mosquito control programs, and they are actively trying to reduce mosquito populations,” said Dr. Chris Barker, a UC Davis researcher in the School of Veterinary Medicine’s Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology who studies the epidemiology of mosquito-transmitted diseases and conducts NASA-funded research on the Zika virus vectors in our state. “For these programs to be most effective, it is essential that information on newly diagnosed Zika cases should be conveyed to mosquito control and public health officials immediately to allow for the fastest possible response.”

It is important to note that all nine confirmed cases in California, as of Feb. 12, have been documented with Zika infections after traveling outside of the United States, and, in winter, risk for local transmission is lowered due to cooler temperatures and smaller numbers of mosquitoes.

“The weather definitely affects mosquito abundance and distribution,” said Dr. Vicki Kramer, Chief of Vector-Borne Disease Section with the Department of Public Health. “There’s always going to be a connection between weather and mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases. Mosquitoes, in general, are less of a concern this time of year. As it heats up, the concerns with mosquitoes, as with most insects, increases.”

Tips to avoid mosquito bites include:

  • Apply a repellent that contains DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. Protection time varies on the type and percentage of active ingredient in these products.
  • Wear protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts and pants.
  • Check and repair all window screens and screen doors to keep mosquitoes out of the house.
  • Minimize outdoor activities at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.

“The public can reduce their own risk of mosquito biting through use of repellents and wearing long clothing, and they can keep mosquitoes and the risk for local Zika virus transmission low by removing all sources of standing water from their own backyards,” said Barker. “Most people think of mosquitoes as one thing, but we have many species in California that vary in their ability to transmit pathogens. Know what the daytime-biting mosquitoes that transmit Zika virus looks like, and if you notice them in your area, report them to your local mosquito control agency. This is a key way that the agencies find new populations and track the mosquitoes’ spread across the state.”

The Department of Public Health details additional information on mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases here.

Earthquake Brace and Bolt Program Eases Stress for Homeowners

 

Devastation from an earthquake is life altering.

From the stress on families and finances to rebuilding, the Earthquake Brace and Bolt (EBB) program is designed to prevent houses from sliding off its foundation.

EBB offers homeowners up to $3,000 to cover costs associated with earthquake retrofitting. A residential seismic retrofit strengthens an existing house, making it more resistant to earthquake activity such as ground shaking and soil failure, according to the California Residential Mitigation Program (CRMP).

The seismic retrofitting involves bolting the house to its foundation and adding bracing around the perimeter of the crawl space.

CRMP, a joint powers authority created by the California Earthquake Authority and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), was established in 2011 to help Californians strengthen their homes against damage from earthquakes.

“Many California homes are at risk to earthquake damage,” said Tina Curry, who oversees Planning and Preparedness programs for Cal OES. “EBB is an important step to help build overall disaster resilience – neighborhood by neighborhood.”

A typical retrofit may cost between $3,000 and $7,000 depending on the location and size of the house, contractor fees, and the amount of materials and work involved. The requirements for this work are outlined in a statewide building code, known as Chapter A3, that sets prescriptive standards for seismic retrofits of a specific type of older house.

Homeowners in specific ZIP codes are eligible to register for the EBB program prior to the Feb. 20 deadline.

California ZIP codes are chosen with equal consideration of these criteria:

  • Earthquake Hazard: Hazard exposure based on the United States Geological Survey (USGS) earthquake hazard map for California.
  • Earthquake Vulnerability: Inventory of California houses built before 1940. Older houses are more likely to require earthquake bracing and bolting.

Check EBB for a current list of available ZIP codes.

Once homeowner registration ends, an electronic system will randomly select participants in each city.

All homeowners who have successfully registered will be notified by email whether they have been selected to become a participating homeowner or whether they have been placed on the waiting list, EBB outlines on its website.

“We estimate there are approximately 1.2 million homes in high hazard areas that could benefit from this type of retrofit,” said Janiele Maffei, Chief Mitigation Officer of CEA and Executive Director of EBB. “You wouldn’t feel safe driving a car that has no seat belts, and you shouldn’t feel safe living in a house that hasn’t been bolted to its foundation.”

In 2015 participating homeowners completed nearly 600 retrofits. With an additional $3 million in funding from the state, this year EBB is planning for 1,600 retrofits and the program is being offered in 18 cities.

More about EBB can be found in an FAQ.

“EBB continues to expand to reach high hazard areas in the state,” said Curry. “In 2015 the program reached 286 zip codes, and in 2016 more than 100 ZIP codes have been added. The program over time will expand to other areas in the state and continue to improve the safety of California homes.”

Preventative measures can be taken to improve chances of earthquake survival and recovery. Cal OES recommends being prepared to be isolated for at least three days and nights. There will likely be the loss of utilities after a disaster. It is possible the power will be out, water may be scarce, gas lines may break, phones and cell towers could become inoperable and roads might be impassible, among other inconveniences.

Home and family preparations also include:

  • Identify and fix potential hazards in the home.
  • Create a disaster-preparedness plan.
  • Create disaster kits.
  • Identify and fix the building’s potential weaknesses.
  • Adhere to shelter recommendations during earthquake shaking.
  • After the quake, check for injuries and damage.
  • When safe, continue to follow the disaster-preparedness plan.

Preparedness, recovery and additional information regarding earthquakes, as well as tsunamis and volcanoes, can be viewed on the Cal OES site.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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