behind UTC alerts

U-T-C has policies put into place in the case of emergency. The office of safety and risk management is in charge of these emergency responses.

They send out e-mails to all students and text messages to those who have signed up for U-T-C alerts.  Shelby Thompson has been working in the office since February.  She is working to make sure everyone on campus is prepared for emergency situations.

For many students, the most recent memorable emergency could easily be the Tornados last April. Thompson remembers them too. She remembers the stages  in which the storms progressed, how school was cancelled, then opened again, then cancelled once more, and how the office handled the confusion.

Not everyone receives these messages though because not everyone has signed up for U-T-C alert text messages. Nashville, Freshman Katrina Ferrier has not because she claims that the University already sends her too many messages about things she doesn’t care about and she doesn’t want any more.

Former student, Carol Meck, however, found the alert text messages very useful while she was a student last year mainly because she wanted to know if class was canceled before she got out of bed.

# # #Click here to listen to Shelby Thompson talk about what to do during a tornado

World’s worst air

by: Rachel Koch

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (AP/The Loop) —  Cities in Iran, India, Pakistan and the capital of Mongolia rank among the worst on the planet for air pollution, while those in the U.S. and Canada are among the best, according to the first global survey, released Monday by the World Health Organization.

The southwest Iranian city of Ahvaz walked away with the unfortunate distinction of having the highest measured level of airborne particles smaller than 10 micrometers.

WHO released the list to highlight the need to reduce outdoor air pollution, which is estimated to cause 1.34 million premature deaths each year. The global body said investments to lower pollution levels quickly pay off due to lower disease rates and, therefore, lower healthcare costs.

The list, which relies on country-reported data over the past several years, measures the levels of airborne particles smaller than 10 micrometers — so-called PM10s — for almost 1,100 cities.

WHO recommends an upper limit of 20 micrograms for PM10s, which can cause serious respiratory problems in humans. They are mostly sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide from power plants, auto exhausts and industry.

Ahvaz’s annual average of PM10s was 372 micrograms per cubic meter.

The study found that the Mongolian capital Ulan Bator had an annual average PM10s density of 279 micrograms per cubic meter, followed by another west Iranian city, Sanandaj, with 254 micrograms.

Cities in Pakistan and India, such as Quetta and Kanpur, as well as Botswana’s capital Gaborone, also ranked high on the pollution scale.

WHO said the reasons for the high pollution levels varied, but that often rapid industrialization and the use of poor quality fuels for transportation and electricity generation are to blame.

At the other end of the list are cities in Canada and the United States, which benefit from lower population density, favorable climates and stricter air pollution regulation.

Yukon territory’s capital Whitehorse had a yearly average of just 3 micrograms of PM10s per cubic meter, while Santa Fe, New Mexico, measured 6 micrograms.

Washington, D.C., had a level of 18 micrograms, Tokyo measured 23 micrograms, and Paris had 38 micrograms of PM10s per cubic meter.

WHO also released a shorter table comparing levels of even finer dust particles, known as PM2.5s. The level considered harmful there is 10 micrograms per cubic meter.

This list contained no measurements from Asia apart from Ulan Bator, which again ranked worst with 63.0 micrograms.