LDS Emergency Preparedness

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How to Chart Your Family Health History

Posted by Elise on February 18, 2019


This holiday season, many of us would probably like to avoid discussing politics at family gatherings. So here’s an idea: Talk family health history instead.

Since many health problems run in families, a holiday gathering is a good time to delve into a discussion about the health of your blood relatives, both living and deceased. This exercise can offer a glimpse of any conditions or illnesses to which you and your family may be predisposed, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, certain cancers (including breast, ovarian, and colorectal), osteoporosis, and asthma.

Having a family history of a disease doesn’t mean you’ll also develop the same condition. But, since some diseases do run in families, you can share your genetic background with your doctor, who can advise you of any measures that could prevent or decrease the risk of a particular disease or detect it at an early stage when therapy is likely to be most effective.

What to include and where to find it Read the rest of this entry »


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First Ever “Presidential Alert” Coming to your Phone on October 3rd, 2018

Posted by Elise on September 18, 2018

Something unprecedented is about to happen on your phone soon. Here’s what you need to know…

You’re probably familiar with Amber Alerts about missing children on your phone, but have you ever heard of WEA alerts?

What does WEA stand for?

WEA stands for Wireless Emergency Alert and it’s part of our nation’s broader Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS), which also includes the familiar Emergency Alert System (EAS).

The EAS is what you see and experience when your TV or radio broadcast is interrupted for about a minute with a monthly test.

What distinguishes a WEA alert from the EAS alert? Read the rest of this entry »

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What is Emergency Preparedness?

Posted by Elise on September 9, 2018

The term refers to the steps you take to make sure you are safe before, during and after an emergency or natural disaster. These plans are important for your safety in both natural disasters and man-made disasters. Examples of natural disasters are floods, blizzards, tornadoes and earthquakes. Man-made disasters can include explosions, fires, chemical and biological attacks.

Read the rest of this entry »

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How to Jump from a Moving Car

Posted by Elise on February 28, 2017


Hurling yourself from a moving car should be a last resort, for example if your gbrakes are defective and your car is about to head off a cliff or into a train.

  1.  Apply the emergency brake.  This may not stop the car, but it might slow it down enough to make jumping safer.
  2. Open the car door.
  3. Make sure you jump at an angle that will take you out of the path of the car.  Since your body will be moving at the same velocity as the car, you’re going to continue to move in the direction the car is moving.  if the car is going straight, try to jump at an angle that will take you away from it.
  4. Tuck in your head and your arms and legs.
  5. Aim for a soft landing site: grass, brush, wood chips, anything but pavement – or a tree.  Stunt people wear pads and land in sandpits.  You won’t have this luxury, but anything that gives a bit when the body hits it will minimize injury.
  6. Roll when you hit the ground. 

Source: The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook by Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht

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How and Where to Replace Your Important Documents

Posted by Elise on November 10, 2013

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DENVER – Not only were Colorado homes damaged by the recent severe storms, flooding, landslides or mudslides, but many survivors also lost valuable personal documents.  The documents include everything from Social Security cards to driver licenses to credit cards.

The following is a partial list of ways to get duplicates of destroyed or missing documents: Read the rest of this entry »

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Afraid to Give a Talk in Sacrament Meeting?

Posted by Elise on May 13, 2013

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Fear of Public Speaking? Talk Yourself Out of It

Do you dread public speaking? There’s a simple but very effective way to reduce your anxiety. It doesn’t involve any drugs and it works quickly. The secret: An anxiety-reducing form of “self-talk” that makes it much easier to address a crowd without feeling as though you’re going to explode, pass out or throw up from nervousness.

In fact, a new study reveals that this technique works not only for people who simply feel anxious about speaking in public, but also for those with social anxiety disorder, for whom public speaking and other social situations provoke severe distress. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sinkhole Danger!

Posted by Elise on May 1, 2013


How to tell if there could be one in your yard

After a Florida man was killed in February when a 20-foot-wide sinkhole opened under his bedroom, many people wondered, Could that happen to me?

Thousands of sinkholes appear in the US each year—but sinkhole deaths are very rare. Only two other people are known to have been killed by sinkholes in the past 40 years in the US. Both were in Florida, and both people were operating heavy well-drilling equipment at the time. Serious injuries are rare, too, though minor injuries such as twisted ankles from small, overlooked holes do occur. In March, a man playing golf suffered a dislocated shoulder after he fell into an 18-foot-deep sinkhole on a golf course near Waterloo, Illinois.

While the risk to life is low, the risk to property can be considerable. What you need to know… Read the rest of this entry »

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How to Comfort the Bereaved

Posted by Elise on June 17, 2011

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How to Comfort a Bereaved Friend or Relative

Thirty years after her son’s death, my friend still smarts when she remembers all the people who pointed out how lucky she was to have two other children. Another friend, whose brother recently died, grumbles that everyone keeps telling her it will get better with time. Having received my share of insensitive, even hurtful, comments after my son, Michael, died 13 years ago, I certainly understand. Even people with good intentions often say and do the wrong thing.

If you want to comfort a grieving friend or relative, your primary task is to validate his/her feelings. Don’t say anything that minimizes those feelings — which, in effect, “de-legitimizes” them.


I’ve found that “de-legitimizers” can be divided into six categories… Read the rest of this entry »

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U.S. City Most Prone to Natural Disasters

Posted by Elise on June 16, 2011

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The US city most prone to natural disasters is Miami. It lies on an exposed peninsula and is vulnerable to major hurricanes and storm-surge flooding.

New Orleans is second riskiest.

Least risky:  Mesa, Arizona…Milwaukee…Cleveland.

Source:  James Elsen, president and CEO,, San Francisco, an on-line green company.

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How to Survive in the Intensive Care Unit

Posted by Elise on May 5, 2011

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If we’ve learned one thing about hospital care in recent years it’s this — being a patient can be more dangerous than whatever medical problems you already had! It’s one of those perplexing ironies, but the intensive care unit (ICU), in particular, can be destructive to one’s health and well-being. As many as 80% of patients who have survived a critical illness that required a stay in intensive care paid a price. While recovering from the immediate problem — such as a heart attack or pneumonia — many patients develop cognitive problems, for example, trouble with focus and concentration. They may also have difficulty performing simple, everyday tasks and experience a decreased quality of life, and once they’ve left the hospital, they may find themselves unable to return to work. In some cases, individuals continue to feel these ill effects up to one or two years later… and for an unlucky few, the impact is even longer term.

Memory and thinking difficulties after a stay in the ICU can make it seem as if your brain is stuck in molasses, observes E. Wesley Ely, MD, MPH, an expert in critical care at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Now he and his colleagues have designed a five-step protocol to improve care and outcomes for ICU patients.

 THE CODE: A-B-C-D-E Read the rest of this entry »

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Nuclear Disaster Preparedness

Posted by Elise on April 4, 2011

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano (2nd R) inspects a devastated area in Minamisoma, about 12 miles from Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) (Reuters)

Japan is a country known for its state-of-the art technology and particularly for its preparedness for earthquake damage. Who could have imagined that the quake of March 11, 2011, would be so intense… the tsunami so devastating… the nuclear power plants’ safety systems rendered so frighteningly useless? The takeaway here is that the worst-case scenario can surprise any of us — and preparedness is essential. A 2010 survey of state health departments, published in the March 14, 2011 issue of Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, warned that most US states are not prepared to deal with a nuclear emergency. That may start to change for the better now, but no matter where you live, you can and should take your own steps to protect yourself and your family. Here’s what you need to know to survive a release of radiation from a nuclear power plant, whether due to an earthquake, a malfunction in an aging plant — or even a terrorist attack…


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Tsunami Facts

Posted by Elise on March 12, 2011

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  • A tsunami is not just one wave but a series of waves or a “wave train.”
  • Many witnesses say a tsunami sounds like a freight train.
  • When the ocean is deep, tsunamis may be less than a foot high on the ocean’s surface, can travel at speeds up to 500 mph without being noticed and cross the entire ocean in less than a day.
  • Once a tsunami reaches the shallow water near the coast, it slows down. The top of the wave moves faster than the bottom, causing the sea to rise dramatically, as much as 100 feet at times.
  • Tsunami waves can be as long as 60 miles and be as far as an hour apart. These waves can cross entire oceans without losing much energy.
  • Flooding can reach land 1000 feet (300 meters) from the coastline and the dangerous waves have enough force to lift giant boulders, flip vehicles, and demolish houses.
  • Scientists can accurately estimate the time when a tsunami will arrive almost anywhere around the world based on calculations using the depth of the water, distances from one place to another, and the time that the earthquake or other event occurred.
  • Hawaii is the U.S. state at greatest risk for a tsunami – they get about one per year and a damaging one every seven years. The biggest tsunami that occurred Hawaii happened on April 1, 1946, where the coast of Hilo Island was hit with 30 foot waves coming in at 500 miles per hour. 170 people died as a result.
  • In 2004, the Indian Ocean tsunami was caused by an earthquake that is thought to have had the energy of 23,000 atomic bombs. Within hours of the earthquake in 2004, killer waves radiating from the epicenter slammed into the coastline of 11 countries, damaging countries from east Africa to Thailand. By the end of the day, the tsunami had already killed 150,000 people. The final death toll was 283,000.
  • Not counting the 2011 tsunami in Japan, there were 26 tsunamis that killed at least 200 people or more in the last century.


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The Prophet’s Warning

Posted by Elise on February 27, 2011

To the Boys and to the Men

President Gordon B. Hinckley

Ensign, Nov. 1998

Gordon B. Hinckley

I am suggesting that the time has come to get our houses in order.

I wish to speak to you about temporal matters.

As a backdrop for what I wish to say, I read to you a few verses from the 41st chapter of Genesis.

Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt, dreamed dreams which greatly troubled him. The wise men of his court could not give an interpretation. Joseph was then brought before him: “Pharaoh said unto Joseph, In my dream, behold, I stood upon the bank of the river:

“And, behold, there came up out of the river seven kine, fatfleshed and well favoured; and they fed in a meadow:

“And, behold, seven other kine came up after them, poor and very ill favoured and leanfleshed. …

“And the lean and the ill favoured kine did eat up the first seven fat kine: …

“And I saw in my dream … seven ears came up in one stalk, full and good:

“And, behold, seven ears, withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them:

“And the thin ears devoured the seven good ears: …

“And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, … God hath shewed Pharaoh what he is about to do.

“The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one. …

“… What God is about to do he sheweth unto Pharaoh.

“Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt:

“And there shall arise after them seven years of famine;

“… And God will shortly bring it to pass” (Gen. 41:17–20, 22–26, 28–30, 32).

Now, brethren, I want to make it very clear that I am not prophesying, that I am not predicting years of famine in the future. But I am suggesting that the time has come to get our houses in order.

So many of our people are living on the very edge of their incomes. In fact, some are living on borrowings.

We have witnessed in recent weeks wide and fearsome swings in the markets of the world. The economy is a fragile thing. A stumble in the economy in Jakarta or Moscow can immediately affect the entire world. It can eventually reach down to each of us as individuals. There is a portent of stormy weather ahead to which we had better give heed.

I hope with all my heart that we shall never slip into a depression. I am a child of the Great Depression of the thirties. I finished the university in 1932, when unemployment in this area exceeded 33 percent.

My father was then president of the largest stake in the Church in this valley. It was before our present welfare program was established. He walked the floor worrying about his people. He and his associates established a great wood-chopping project designed to keep the home furnaces and stoves going and the people warm in the winter. They had no money with which to buy coal. Men who had been affluent were among those who chopped wood.

I repeat, I hope we will never again see such a depression. But I am troubled by the huge consumer installment debt which hangs over the people of the nation, including our own people. In March 1997 that debt totaled $1.2 trillion, which represented a 7 percent increase over the previous year.

In December of 1997, 55 to 60 million households in the United States carried credit card balances. These balances averaged more than $7,000 and cost $1,000 per year in interest and fees. Consumer debt as a percentage of disposable income rose from 16.3 percent in 1993 to 19.3 percent in 1996.

Everyone knows that every dollar borrowed carries with it the penalty of paying interest. When money cannot be repaid, then bankruptcy follows. There were 1,350,118 bankruptcies in the United States last year. This represented a 50 percent increase from 1992. In the second quarter of this year, nearly 362,000 persons filed for bankruptcy, a record number for a three-month period.

We are beguiled by seductive advertising. Television carries the enticing invitation to borrow up to 125 percent of the value of one’s home. But no mention is made of interest.

President J. Reuben Clark Jr., in the April 1938 general conference, said from this pulpit: “Once in debt, interest is your companion every minute of the day and night; you cannot shun it or slip away from it; you cannot dismiss it; it yields neither to entreaties, demands, or orders; and whenever you get in its way or cross its course or fail to meet its demands, it crushes you” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1938, 103).

I recognize that it may be necessary to borrow to get a home, of course. But let us buy a home that we can afford and thus ease the payments which will constantly hang over our heads without mercy or respite for as long as 30 years.

No one knows when emergencies will strike. I am somewhat familiar with the case of a man who was highly successful in his profession. He lived in comfort. He built a large home. Then one day he was suddenly involved in a serious accident. Instantly, without warning, he almost lost his life. He was left a cripple. Destroyed was his earning power. He faced huge medical bills. He had other payments to make. He was helpless before his creditors. One moment he was rich, the next he was broke.

Since the beginnings of the Church, the Lord has spoken on this matter of debt. To Martin Harris through revelation He said: “Pay the debt thou hast contracted with the printer. Release thyself from bondage” (D&C 19:35).

President Heber J. Grant spoke repeatedly on this matter from this pulpit. He said: “If there is any one thing that will bring peace and contentment into the human heart, and into the family, it is to live within our means. And if there is any one thing that is grinding and discouraging and disheartening, it is to have debts and obligations that one cannot meet” (Gospel Standards, comp. G. Homer Durham [1941], 111).

We are carrying a message of self-reliance throughout the Church. Self-reliance cannot obtain when there is serious debt hanging over a household. One has neither independence nor freedom from bondage when he is obligated to others.

In managing the affairs of the Church, we have tried to set an example. We have, as a matter of policy, stringently followed the practice of setting aside each year a percentage of the income of the Church against a possible day of need.

I am grateful to be able to say that the Church in all its operations, in all its undertakings, in all of its departments, is able to function without borrowed money. If we cannot get along, we will curtail our programs. We will shrink expenditures to fit the income. We will not borrow.

One of the happiest days in the life of President Joseph F. Smith was the day the Church paid off its long-standing indebtedness.

What a wonderful feeling it is to be free of debt, to have a little money against a day of emergency put away where it can be retrieved when necessary.

President Faust would not tell you this himself. Perhaps I can tell it, and he can take it out on me afterward. He had a mortgage on his home drawing 4 percent interest. Many people would have told him he was foolish to pay off that mortgage when it carried so low a rate of interest. But the first opportunity he had to acquire some means, he and his wife determined they would pay off their mortgage. He has been free of debt since that day. That’s why he wears a smile on his face, and that’s why he whistles while he works.

I urge you, brethren, to look to the condition of your finances. I urge you to be modest in your expenditures; discipline yourselves in your purchases to avoid debt to the extent possible. Pay off debt as quickly as you can, and free yourselves from bondage.

This is a part of the temporal gospel in which we believe. May the Lord bless you, my beloved brethren, to set your houses in order. If you have paid your debts, if you have a reserve, even though it be small, then should storms howl about your head, you will have shelter for your wives and children and peace in your hearts. That’s all I have to say about it, but I wish to say it with all the emphasis of which I am capable.

I leave with you my testimony of the divinity of this work and my love for each of you, in the name of the Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.


This talk was delivered during General Conference of October 1998.


The early 2000s recession was a decline in economic activity which mainly occurred in developed countries. The recession affected the European Union during 2000 and 2001 and the United States in 2002 and 2003.

The Great Recession (also referred to as the Lesser Depression, the Long Recession, or the global recession of 2007-2009 is a marked global economic decline that began in December 2007 and took a particularly sharp downward turn in September 2008.

The Recession of 2008 (also called the Recession of the late 2000′s or the Great Recession) is a major worldwide economic downturn that began in 2008 and continued into 2010. It was caused by the Financial Crisis of 2008; it is by far the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s. It appears the worldwide recession hit bottom around September 2009; however there are few signs that the American or world economies have started to move upward again.

A general slowdown in economic activity, a downturn in the business cycle, a reduction in the amount of goods and services produced and sold—these are all characteristics of a recession. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research (the official arbiter of U.S. recessions), there were 10 recessions between 1948 and 2011. The most recent recession began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009, though many of the statistics that describe the U.S. economy have yet to return to their pre-recession values. In this Spotlight, we present BLS data that compare the recent recession to previous recessions.


Bottom Line Publication, editor: Karen Larsen, June 1, 2013 (excepts)

Are You Prepared for a Stock Market Plunge?

It may be days, weeks, months or even years away, but inevitably the stock market—which has more than doubled over the past four years and hit new record highs this year—will descend, as many analysts warn and as history has shown.

How big that drop will be and how long it will last are open to debate. In fact, a large number of analysts contend that the bull market still has plenty of pep, which would mean that you don’t have to take extreme defensive steps for a while (see below).

But even so, it’s important to think about your own financial situation and how it could be affected by an extended pullback, especially because the traditional strategy of shifting toward bonds or bond funds may not work as well this time as in the past. Interest rates are so low that they could surge—hurting bond prices badly. That could happen in the next few years as the economy strengthens and the unemployment rate drops.


The Bull Market Isn’t Over Yet

Just because this aging bull market, already four years old, has hit record highs this year doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s about to end. In fact, although only about one-third of bull markets since 1945 have lasted this long, 83% of those that were able to celebrate their fourth birthday continued to run for at least another year, gaining an average of 21% in that fifth year.

Reasons this bull market will likely notch further gains…

Stock valuations are not frothy. At recent levels, the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index was less pricey than at any other time when it reached record highs since 1980. The average stock price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) when the S&P 500 was at peak levels in past bull markets was 19.9. Recently, it was just 15.

Irrational exuberance is missing. Many skeptical investors are just now getting back into the stock market. There are few signs of consumer overspending and overborrowing. The ratio of payments on personal debt to disposable personal income has fallen to its lowest level since 1983.

The economic recovery is slow but steady. Typically, at the peak of bull markets, the economy is growing at a brisk 4% annual rate and the unemployment rate is below 5%. In 2013, however, the economy is expected to grow by just 2.7%, and the unemployment rate recently was 7.6%. As long as there is some economic growth, even if it has slowed in recent months, investors see it as a positive signal to get into or stay in the market.

The Federal Reserve has our backs. Its monetary easing policies—aimed at strengthening the economy—continue to pump an average of $4 billion of new money into the financial system every business day. As a result, short-term interest rates aren’t likely to go up until mid-2015 or beyond. Many bull markets die when the Fed raises rates to stem inflation—but today there is little evidence of inflationary pressure.

Source: Sam Stovall, chief equity strategist for S&P Capital IQ, a global provider of financial information to institutional investors and investment advisers, New York City. He is author of  The Seven Rules of Wall Street

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Fixing Your Own Car – gadgets to make it easier

Posted by Elise on November 30, 2010

Fixing Your Own Car Just Got Easier

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If you like to make auto repairs yourself, here are a few gadgets, including diagnostic tools, that could make it easier… Read the rest of this entry »

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Safe Holiday Travel For Those With Health Problems

Posted by Elise on November 10, 2010

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Travel can be stressful for everyone, but it poses particular challenges for those with health problems. To travel safely… Read the rest of this entry »

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Survival Guilde for Outpatient Surgery

Posted by Elise on October 24, 2010

Of the approximately 35 million annual surgeries in the US, outpatient procedures account for at least 60% of them. Advances in pain management and surgical techniques (such as laparoscopic procedures, which require only a small incision) mean that patients who once would have spent several days in the hospital now can be discharged the same day from an outpatient facility.
Complication rates typically are very low for these procedures, but patients can further reduce their risks — and recover faster after the surgery — by taking an active role… in advance. Before scheduling your procedure, be sure to… Read the rest of this entry »

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Surviving any Disaster

Posted by Elise on October 6, 2010

On January 15, 2009, Captain Chesley Sullenberger landed US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River after a collision with a flock of Canadian geese knocked out his aircraft’s engines. In what would become celebrated as the “Miracle on the Hudson,” all 150 passengers and every crew member survived. 

Sullenberger’s water landing was only the beginning of this incredible story of survival. The less publicized rest of the story is how the passengers of Flight 1549 reacted to the disaster…  Read the rest of this entry »

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What to do if you are in a Runaway Vehicle

Posted by Elise on August 26, 2010

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 Stop That Car!

Tragically, runaway vehicles have been in the news in recent months, as a series of crashes caused by stuck accelerator pedals has led to several deaths in the US and to the recall of millions of vehicles.

Runaway vehicles are relatively rare, but they are possible with any vehicle make and model. They may occur because Read the rest of this entry »

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Should Your Ambulance Slow Down?

Posted by Elise on August 19, 2010

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Your husband is cleaning gutters and falls off the ladder, losing consciousness briefly, and it looks like he broke his leg. Or you awaken one morning and you can’t speak clearly or move the right side of your face — you suspect stroke and know you need medical attention fast. The right response in both these situations, and countless other medical emergencies, is to call 9-1-1 so that you can be raced to the hospital by ambulance — lights flashing, sirens blaring, no time to stop for traffic signals. Right?

Actually — Read the rest of this entry »

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