Home & Personal Safety Old



Carbon Monoxide Signs

Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning occurs when an internal combustion engine or improperly adjusted fuel-burning appliance is operated in a closed area without fresh air.
The early stages of CO exposure includes headaches, dizziness, drowsiness. A conscious victim may look or act intoxicated. Other symptoms include blurred vision, irritability, and an inability to concentrate. Severe cases cause nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath, convulsions, unconsciousness, and eventually death.
If the victim is unconscious, move him/her to an area with fresh air and place him/her on his/her side with his/her head resting on an arm. If the victim is not breathing, begin mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and CPR if necessary and call 911.

Carbon monoxide signs

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First Aid Tips

CPR and first aid are often required in emergencies. Administer CPR only if you are trained. Contact the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, or the YMCA for information about training.

Immediate Actions

1. Breathing and Circulation. Begin rescue breathing if the victim is not breathing; begin CPR if there is no pulse and you are trained.
2. Bleeding. Apply direct pressure to the wound and elevate it to stop persistent bleeding.
3. Shock. Lay the victim on his/her back and give assurance. Position the feet above the head. Monitor breathing and circulation. If neck or spinal injuries are evident or suspected, move the victim only if:
a. it is necessary to establish or maintain a vital function such as breathing, or
b. it must be done to avoid further injury
4. Chest Pain. Help a conscious victim into a comfortable position with the head raised. Loosen tight clothing. Help the victim take prescribed medication if necessary If the victim loses consciousness and is not breathing, proceed with the ABCs of rescue breathing. If victim has no pulse, begin CPR if you are trained.

Follow-Up Actions

2. Call 911. Have someone call 911. Rescuers must not leave victims before first aid is administered to relieve the crisis. (Exception: If you are alone with an unconscious, unresponsive adult, call 911 before beginning rescue breathing.)
3. Other Health Problems. Check the victim for emergency medical ID tags and medications.
4. Food and Liquids. Never give food or liquids to victims who are unconscious, semiconscious, nauseated, or severely injured.

When Calling 911 For Medical Help

1. Give the location. Mention a landmark at or near the scene to help medics find it.
2. Give the facts. If feasible, give information about what happened, the number of injured persons, first aid given, and additional equipment needed. [NOTE: If someone else places the call for help, confirm that the call has been made.]

What to Do Until Help Arrives

Administer the ABCs of Rescue Breathing as follows:

Determine Responsiveness

  • If the victim appears unconscious, gently tap a shoulder and shout “Are you OK?”
  • If no answer, yell for help from someone near. If alone, call 911 for help, then proceed with the ABCs:

A is for AIRWAY
  • Roll victim onto his or her back. Don’t allow the body to twist.
  • Open the airway by tilting the head and lifting the chin
  • Look, listen, and feel for breathing for 3-5 seconds. If none, continue.
  • B is for BREATHING
  • Pinch victim’s nose. Put your mouth over victim’s and make a good seal.
  • Give two full breaths
  • Allow victim’s lung to deflate between breaths
  • C is for CIRCULATION
  • Check the carotid pulse for 5-10 seconds
  • If there is a pulse but no breathing, give one breath every five seconds until the victim revives
  • If there is no pulse, begin CPR if you are trained.
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    Flash Floods & Flooding


    FLASH FLOOD OR FLOOD WATCH: Flash flooding or flooding is possible within the designated WATCH area-be alert.
    FLASH FLOOD OR FLOOD WARNING: Flash flooding or flooding has been reported or is imminent, take necessary precautions at once.
    URBAN AND SMALL STREAM ADVISORY: Flooding of small streams, streets, and low-lying areas, such as; railroad underpasses and urban storm drains, is occurring.
    FLASH FLOOD OR FLOOD STATEMENT: Follow-up information regarding a flash flood/flood event.

    The rule for being safe in a flooding situation is simple:


  • Get out of areas subject to flooding, including dips, low spots, canyons, washes, etc.
  • Do not attempt to cross flowing streams.
  • If driving,NEVER drive through flooded roadways!
  • If the vehicle stalls, leave it immediately and seek higher ground. Rapidly rising water may engulf the vehicle and its occupants and sweep them away.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.
  • Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams and washes, particularly during threatening conditions.
  • Children should NEVER play around high water or storm drains.
  • Flood preparation at home

  • Know your flood risk and elevation above flood stage.
  • Know your evacuation routes.
  • Keep your automobile fueled.
  • Store drinking water in clean bath tubs and in various containers.
  • Keep a stock of nonperishable food.
  • Keep first aid supplies on hand.
  • Keep a NOAA Weather Radio, a battery powered portable radio, emergency cooking equipment, and flashlights in working order.
  • Install check valves in building sewer traps to prevent flood water from backing up into drains of your home.
  • What consumers should know about flood insurance:

    1. Everyone lives in a flood zone.
    2. Flood damage is not covered by homeowners insurance policies.
    3. You can purchase flood insurance regardless of your level of flood risk. There is usually a 30-day waiting period before the coverage goes into effect.
    4. There is a low-cost policy for homes in low to moderate risk areas.
    5. Contents coverage is separate, so renters can insure their belongings.

    National Flood Insurance Program

    If you live in a flood-prone area, consider purchasing Federal flood insurance, which will cover the value of a building and its contents. You can call 888-FLOOD-29 to learn more about Federal flood insurance.

    To learn more about flood hazard mitigation, visit FEMA’s website at: http://www.floodsmart.gov

    Flash flood and floods

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    Heat Wave Safety

    Strenuous activities should be reduced, eliminated, or rescheduled to the coolest time of the day. Individuals at risk should stay in the coolest available place.
    Take Cool Baths Or Showers. Cool water can remove body heat 25 times faster than cool air.
    Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing that reflects heat and sunlight.

    Drink plenty of water or other non-alcohol fluids. Drink water, fruit juices or sport drinks that can help replenish lost salts and minerals. These are preferable to soft drinks, coffee or alcohol, which can further dehydrate you.

    Heat Exhaustion Signs and Symptoms:

  • Moist and clammy skin, usually pale
  • Pupils dilated
  • Normal or subnormal temperature
  • Weak, dizzy or faint
  • Headache
  • No appetite, nausea
  • Rapid, shallow breathing

    Lay down and loosen clothing.
    Apply cool, wet cloths.
    Fan or move victim to an air conditioned room.
    Provide sips of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue. If vomiting continues, seek immediate medical attention.

    Heat Stroke Signs and Symptoms


  • Dry hot skin, usually red
  • Pupils constricted, later become dilated
  • Very high body temperature
  • Coma or near coma
  • Pulse strong and rapid, becomes weak as damage progresses
  • Mental confusion, anxiety, agitation
  • Initially deep, rapid breathing becomes shallow and weak as damage progresses.
  • Headache, dry mouth, shortness of breath.
  • Loss of appetite, nausea, or vomiting.
  • Increasing dizziness and weakness, decreased blood pressure.
  • Convulsions, sudden collapse, and possible  unconsciousness
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    Home Fire Safety

  • Install an early fire/smoke detection system and an approved home alarm system. A smoke detector should be placed as close as possible to bedrooms.
  • Close the doors to all bedrooms when you go to bed at night. It can keep fire out long enough to allow escape through windows.
  • Extension cords should not be overloaded. Check cords often for fraying and avoid running them under rugs. An extension cord used to connect an appliance should always be the proper size and capacity for the appliance.
  • Check your home’s cooling and heating systems to make sure they are clean and in good working order.
  • Store flammable liquids in approved containers, outside the home if possible. Never use gasoline, benzene, naphtha, and similar liquids indoors. Their fumes will readily ignite from any kind of spark. Rags soaked with cleaning fluids or turpentine sometimes catch fire by themselves (this is called spontaneous combustion) and they should be safely discarded after use. Also, never smoke while handling flammable liquids.
  • When using any type of room or area heating device be sure there is proper ventilation to the outside. Also make sure there is adequate space around the heater and that the floor and nearby walls are properly insulated. Use only the fuel designated for your unit: don’t substitute. Properly store ashes in a metal container outside and away from buildings.
  • Develop and practice an emergency escape plan, which gives everyone two ways out of the house: a normal exit, and an alternate one.
  • Agree on a way that everyone can sound the alarm.
  • Holding a family fire drill is a must. Try your escape plan with the whole family until it works well, and keep practicing it frequently.
  • Don’t smoke when you are lying down, or when your judgment is impaired by fatigue, medication, or alcohol.
  • Don’t leave young children alone.
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    Home Heating Safety

  • Read labels and follow all warning and lighting instructions.
  • Keep clear space around heating equipment.
  • All home fuel burning equipment should be inspected yearly by an expert. Fuel burning heaters used to warm the house should be vented to the outside. If you must use an unvented heater, be sure to leave a window open at least one inch and turn off at night.
  • Do not use a gas range or oven for heating a room. Never use a charcoal grill inside. Never close a fireplace vent until the fire is completely extinguished.
  • Internal combustion engines; such as automobiles, boats, lawnmowers, and generators produce lethal amounts of CO. Never run these engines in a closed or confined area
  • Inspect chimneys, stovepipes, flues, and connectors to be sure they are clean and in good repair.
  • If you smell a strong gas odor, turn off the pilot light, and do not operate electrical switches. Call the gas company from another location.
  • Turn off heating equipment if you smell fumes, your eyes sting, or you become dizzy or nauseous while it is operating, or if it has a fluttering or yellow flame.
  • Do not use a space heater if the ceramic radiants are broken or out of place.
  • Never store or use flammable liquids like gasoline, cleaning fluid or paint thinners near heating equipment.
  • Never smoke while working with gas powered equipment.
  • If your heating equipment has a pilot light and you have trouble keeping it lit or if the control valve is hard to operate, call the gas company to have it serviced.
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    Pipeline Safety

    How can you tell where a pipeline is located?

    Since pipelines are buried underground, line markers like the ones shown here are used to indicate their approximate location along the route. The markers can be found where a pipeline intersects a street, highway, or railroad.

    The markers display the material transported in the line, the name of the pipeline operator, and a telephone number where the operator can be reached in the event of an emergency.



    Do Not Remove or Deface

    Pipeline marker signs such as those pictured above are important to public safety. They are so important, in fact, that Congress in 1988 passed a law making it a federal crime to willfully deface, damage, remove, or destroy any pipeline sign or right-of-way marker that is required by federal law.

    Are markers always placed on top of the pipeline?

    Markers indicate the general location of a pipeline. They cannot be relied upon to indicate the exact position of the pipeline they mark. Also, the pipeline may not follow a straight course between markers. And, while markers are helpful in locating pipelines, they are limited in the information they provide. They provide no information, for example, on the depth or number of pipelines in the vicinity.

    How can you recognize a pipeline leak?

    Sight, sound, and smell are helpful in detecting pipeline leaks.

    Look for:

  • Crude oil or liquid petroleum products on the ground
  • A dense white cloud or fog
  • A spot of dead vegetation in an otherwise green location may indicate a slow leak
  • Flames (if the leak has ignited)
  • Listen for:

  • A roaring or hissing sound
  • Smell for:

    • A pungent odor, sometimes like “rotten eggs”
    • A gasoline-type odor

    What should you do if you suspect a leak?

    Your first concern should be for your personal safety and that of those around you if you suspect a leak.
    Leave the area immediately
    Avoid driving into vapor clouds
    Avoid direct contact with escaping gases or liquids
    Avoid creating sparks or other sources of heat, which could cause the escaping liquids or vapor to ignite and burn. If you find yourself in an area where you suspect hydrocarbon vapors are present, do not light a match, start an engine, or even switch on an electric light.
    Call 9-1-1
    Notify the pipeline operator

    Pipeline contents can vary greatly

    Pipelines carry both gaseous and liquid materials
    Many liquids form gaseous vapor clouds when released
    Many pipelines contain colorless and odorless products
    Some pipeline gases are lighter than air and will rise
    Other heavier-than-air gases and liquids will stay near the ground and collect in low spots
    All petroleum gases and liquids are flammable
    Any pipeline leak can be potentially dangerous
    Excavators and homeowners should dial 811 is 1-800-272-3020 to reach LA One Call before starting any digging projects on or near any pipelines These projects include fences, flagpoles, landscaping, storage buildings, foundations, swimming pools, ground clearing, deep plowing, laying underground pipe or wiring, or any other “digging” projects.


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    Preparing for Electrical Outages

    First, use perishable food from the refrigerator, then use food from the freezer. To minimize the number of times you open the freezer door, post a list of contents on the freezer door. In a well-insulated freezer, foods will usually still have ice crystals in their centers (meaning the foods are safe to eat) for at least three days. Finally, begin to use nonperishable foods and staples.

    Short term food supplies – use within six months:

  • Powdered milk (boxed)
  • Dried fruit (in metal container)
  • Dry, crisp crackers (in metal container)
  • Potatoes
  • Whole dry milk
  • Canned fruit juices
  • Canned meats and fish (example: Vienna sausage, meat spread or tuna)
  • Meat substitutes, like beans
  • Bread and crackers
  • Peanut butter
  • Dry cereals
  • Granola bars or cookies
  • Staples-sugar, salt, pepper
  • High energy foods–peanut butter, jelly, crackers, nuts, health food bars, trail mix
  • Stress foods-sugar cookies, hard candy, sweetened cereals
  • Vitamins
  • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables
  • Smoked or dried meats; such as beef jerky
  • Juices-canned, powdered, or crystalized
  • Soups-bouillon cubes or dried “soups in a cup”
  • Long term food supplies – may be stored indefinitely (in proper containers and conditions):

  • Wheat
  • Corn
  • Soybeans
  • Vitamin C
  • Salt
  • White rice
  • Powdered milk (in nitrogen-packed cans)
  • Vegetable oils
  • Dry pasta
  • Instant coffee, tea and cocoa
  • Noncarbonated soft drinks
  • Bouillon products
  • Baking powder
  • Use within one year:

  • Canned condensed meat and vegetable soups
  • Canned fruits, fruit juices, and vegetables
  • Ready-to-eat cereals and uncooked instant cereals (in metal containers)
  • Peanut butter
  • Jelly
  • Hard candy, chocolate bars, and canned nuts
  • Emergency cooking options

    For emergency cooking, you can use a fireplace, a charcoal grill, or camp stove outdoors only. You can also heat food with a candle warmer, chafing dishes, and fondue pots. Canned food can be eaten right out of the can. If you heat it in the can, be sure to open the can and remove the label first. Rotate your food supply. Use foods before they go bad and replace them with fresh supplies, dated with ink or marker. Place new items at the back of the storage area and older ones in front.
    Your emergency food supply should be of the highest quality possible. Inspect your reserves periodically to make sure there are no broken seals or dented containers.
    Place paper or waxed packages in a watertight container, such as a larger plastic bag. This will keep them dry and make them easier to carry.


    Preparing for electricity outages

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    Preventing Pediatric Poisoning

    Preventative actions:

    Some of the products that should be locked up and out of sight and reach of children and pets include:

    • medicines
    • vitamins
    • chemicals such as those for cleaning
    • cigarettes
    • matches
    • alcoholic beverages
    • purse
    • perfume
    • covered trash receptacles

    NEVER tell children that medicine is candy, or that it tastes good. Don’t take medicine in front of children since they like to imitate adults.
    Have Syrup of Ipecac on hand and only use if instructed to do so by Poison Control or a physician.
    When speaking with Poison Control or the doctor, have the container and pills, or object that was in the mouth, and, if possible, the child with you.
    For pet poisoning, contact your veterinarian or Poison Control.


  • Behavioral changes: clumsiness, drowsiness, coma, convulsions, dizziness, mental disturbances, delirium, and level of consciousness.
  • Look for color, temperature of skin, lips, and mucous membranes.
  • Also temperature, blood pressure, pulse rate, respiratory alterations, sweating
  • Paralysis
  • Eyes: the size and reaction of the pupils.
  • Oral signs: burns, discoloration, dryness, excessive salivation, stains, breath odors, pain on swallowing
  • Nausea, vomiting: appearance odor, presence of blood, upset stomach
  • Diarrhea: appearance, odor, presence of blood.
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    Preventing West Nile Virus

    The West Nile virus naturally infects many different species of birds and can be spread to humans and other animals by mosquito bites.

    Prevention & Protection

  • Get rid of standing water; empty, remove, cover, or turn upside down any receptacle that would hold water.
  • Make sure air conditioner condensation drains
  • Keep downspouts and gutters cleared of debris and drain flat roofs
  • Stock ornamental ponds with mosquito eating fish
  • Change water or scrub vases holding flowers or cuttings and water in bird baths twice each week
  • Fill or drain low areas on your property that hold water for longer than 4 to 7 days
  • Wear mosquito repellent with DEET
  • Avoid being outdoors during peak mosquito activity periods and cover up with long sleeves and long pants when you are outside
  • Educate yourself by visiting the West Nile-related web page at: http://new.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/faq/category70
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    Protecting Your Home From Weather Hazards

    RETROFITTING – Protecting your home from hazards

    Retrofitting means making changes to existing buildings to protect them from hazards. More information on retrofitting can be found in Homeowner’s Guide to Retrofitting: Six Ways to Protect Your House from Flooding, FEMA publication 312: available from FEMA Publications 800-480-2520 or http://www.fema.gov/rebuild/mat/fema312.shtm


    The force of a windstorm pushes against the foundation of your home. This force is transferred from your roof to the exterior walls and finally to the foundation. Homes can be damaged or destroyed when the energy from the wind is not properly transferred to the ground.
    If you live in an area prone to high winds, make sure your roof is firmly secured to the main frame of the residence. Consider building a wind-safe room or shelter in your home to protect yourself. For more information, see Taking Shelter From the Storm: Building a Safe Room Inside Your House, FEMA publication 320: available from FEMA Publications 800-480-2520 or http://www.fema.gov/library/viewRecord.do?id=1536

    There are several additional steps you can take to reduce wind damages and losses, including the following:

  • Apply roof bracing using truss bracing, gable end bracing, and hurricane straps.
  • Secure light fixtures and other items that could fall or shake loose in such events.
  • Move heavy or breakable objects to low shelves.
  • Anchor water heaters and bolt them to wall stud.
  • Purchase storm shutters for exterior windows and doors to protect your home against high winds.

    To learn more about hazard mitigation measures that you can take to reduce your risk from disasters, visit FEMA’s website, http://www.fema.gov, or call 1-800-480-2520 to have a list of available mitigation publications mailed to your home or office.

    Other hazard mitigation contacts for Iberville Parish include:Iberville Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness

    P.O. Box 324
    Plaquemine, LA 70764
    Phone: 225-687-5140

    Iberville Parish National Flood Insurance
    Program Coordinator
    Brian Romero
    Building Inspector
    58050 Meriam Street
    Plaquemine, LA 70764
    Phone: 225-687-5150

    Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness

    7667 Independence Boulevard
    Baton Rouge, LA 70806
    Phone: 225-925-7500

    FEMA Region VI Federal Regional Center

    800 North Loop 288
    Denton, TX 76209-3606
    Phone: 940-898-5399

    FEMA Headquarters

    500 C Street, SW
    Washington, D.C. 20472
    Phone: 800-621-3362

    protecting your home from weather hazards

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    Thunderstorms and Lightning

    Severe Thunderstorm Watch: advises when and where severe thunderstorms are most likely to occur. Watch the sky and stay tuned to TV or radio to know when warnings are issued.
    Severe Thunderstorm Warning: issued when severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property for those in the path of the storm.

    What To Do When Thunderstorms Approach:

  • Go to safe shelter immediately!
  • Move to a sturdy building or car.
  • Do not take shelter in small sheds, under isolated trees, or in convertible automobiles.
  • Get out of boats and away from water.
  • Turn off air conditioners.
  • Get to higher ground if flash flooding or flooding is possible. Once flooding begins, abandon cars and climb to higher ground.
  • If caught outdoors and no shelter is nearby, find a spot away from trees, fences, and poles.
  • Ways to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Lightning:

  • When outdoors, rush to safety at the first flash of lightning, crack of thunder or even darkening of the sky. Be aware – Hazy skies, especially in the East, can often hide thunderstorms.
  • All thunderstorms are dangerous.
  • Cars can offer shelter from lightening if necessary.
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    Tornado Safety



    What to know about tornadoes

    • No place is safe from tornadoes.
    • Leave the windows closed; and immediately go to a safe place.
    • In a home or building, move to an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor and get under a sturdy piece of furniture.
    • Do not try to outrun a tornado in your car; instead, leave it immediately.
    • Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes and should be abandoned.

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    Water Storage and Purification

    Water – The absolute necessity

    Stocking water reserves and learning how to purify contaminated water should be among your top priorities in preparing for an emergency.
    You should store at least a two-week supply of water for each member of your family. Everyone’s needs will differ, depending on age, physical condition, activity, diet and climate.
    A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day. Hot environments can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers, and ill people will need more.
    You will need additional water for food preparation and hygiene. Store a total of at least one gallon per person, per day. If your supplies begin to run low, remember: Never ration water. Drink the amount you need today and try to find more for tomorrow.

    Emergency water supplies

    STORING WATER: Store water in thoroughly washed plastic, glass, fiberglass, or enamel-lined metal containers. Never use a container that has held toxic substances because tiny amounts may remain in the container’s pores. Sound plastic containers, such as soft drink bottles, are best.
    Before storing your water, treat it with a preservative such as chlorine bleach to prevent the growth of microorganisms. Use liquid bleach that contains 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite and no soap. Some containers warn, “Not for Personal Use.” You can disregard these warnings if the label states sodium hypochlorite is the only active ingredient and if you use only the small quantities in these instructions.

    Three easy ways to purify water

    Purification Tablets release chlorine or iodine. They are inexpensive and available at most sporting goods stores and some drug stores.

    Boiling is the safest method of purifying water. Bring water to a rolling boil for 10 minutes, keeping in mind that some water will evaporate. Let the water cool before drinking. Boiled water will taste better if you put oxygen back into it by pouring it back and forth between two containers. This will also improve the taste of stored water.

    Chlorination uses liquid chlorine bleach to kill microorganisms. Add two drops of bleach per quart of water (four drops if the water is cloudy), stir and let stand for 30 minutes. If the water does not taste and smell of chlorine at that point, add another dose and let stand another 15 minutes.


    Water storage and purification

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    What To Do When Fire Strikes

    Vital steps when fire strikes

    1. Alert others by shouting “Fire.” If a fire starts in your home, awaken all occupants in your home and immediately get out!
    3. Once you and your family are outside, contact 911 and be sure the dispatcher has the location of your home.
    4. Walk in a crouched position.
    5. Escape through nearest exit.
    6. Don’t waste time dressing.
    7. Don’t try to gather valuables.
    8. Never open a hot door.
    9. If possible, place a wet cloth over nose and mouth.
    10. Close all doors behind you.
    11. Meet at a pre-established location outside your home.
    12. Call fire department from a neighbor’s phone.
    13. Never go back into a burning house.

    when fire strikes

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