• Wellness Coordinators: 5 Reasons Employees Don’t Participate In Your Worksite Wellness Program

    Having the best programming and interventions in the world won’t matter if employees don’t participate in the program, right?

    Here are five common reasons why employees don’t participate:

    Reason #1: Failure to Leverage Worksite Champions

    Chances are good that you have a core group of participants who use each of your program’s services. These folks are your natural program champions, even if they are not organized into a formal worksite wellness program champion network. If you are not yet capitalizing on these key natural champions, you are squandering an important resource.

    There is no question that the personal connection can be a huge motivator or “nudge” factor. Word of mouth marketing and promotion can’t be beat when it comes to both existing programming or trying something new.

    Consider using the following strategies for tapping into your natural champions:

    • Ask these champions for testimonials (written, verbal, or video)

    • Reach out to the champions and ask them to specifically invite a co-worker to join them in an upcoming event or activity

    • Build a refer a friend or co-worker strategy into your next event or activity launch. Recognize all who refer someone.

    Reason #2: Remaining In Your Silo

    Wellness is a holistic, multi-dimensional concept/construct. But your wellness program can’t do it all. Link the wellness program with all the other employee benefits and services offered in the workplace. Maximize your use of the resources available through the other benefits and services.

    Playing well with other programs and services better serves both employees and the employer. Look for ways you can cross promote other services/benefits and their core messages. Create a cross-referral program.

    Reason #3: Not Meeting Employee Needs, Wants, Interests, or Desires

    You need to know what employee needs, interests, and expectations are. You can survey employees, use focus groups, or laser focused corridor conversations to obtain employee input.

    Remember that wellness is about more than employee health. Be sure to inquire about all the dimensions of wellness and not just physical health.

    Reason #4: You Are Overlooking Volunteers

    As a resource for your program, use volunteers to supplement staff resources. While employees may not be interested in making a long-term volunteer commitment such as serving on the wellness committee or as a wellness champion, many may be willing to volunteer for a one-time event, activity or task. When asking someone to volunteer, have a specific task in mind for them to complete. Be sure to fully explain it to them. Many small activities or initiatives can be completely led by volunteers, freeing up staff time for bigger projects or initiatives.

    Reason #5: You Don’t Know What Is Working

    Far too many worksite wellness programs today do not monitor, measure, or evaluate what they do. How can you continually improve your program if you don’t know what is working and what is not? You can also better manage what you measure.

    Addressing these five reasons will go a long way towards elevating what you offer and evolving your program over time to a great program.


  • WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A portion of Route 20 is closed while police try to figure out what caused a serious accident.

    Shortly after 6:00PM Sunday, a man was struck by another vehicle while riding a scooter. The man suffered serious injuries and was taken to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield.

    Westfield Police Sgt. Michael Chechily told 22News the accident happened near 154 Franklin Street.

    The State Police Accident Reconstruction team was called to determine what led up to the accident. So far, no charges or citations have been issued to the driver of the vehicle that hit the man on the scooter.


  • Primitive Technology: Bow and Arrow



    I made this bow and arrow using only primitive tools and materials.The bow is 1.25 m (55 inches) long and shoots 60 cm (2 feet) long arrows. I don’t know the draw weight – safe to say greater than 15 kg (35 pounds) perhaps? The stave was made from a tree that was cut with a stone axe and split in half with a stone chisel. I don’t know it’s name but it’s common here and is the same wood I use for axe handles (probably Northern Olive (Chionanthus ramiflora). One half was used for the bow and was cut to a length of 1.25 m (50 inches). The limbs of the bow were carved with various stone blades so that the limbs tapered in width, and to a lesser extent depth, towards the tips. The middle of the bow was narrowed in width to form a handle about 12.5 cm (5 inches) long.
    The string was made from the inner bark of a fibrous tree. It was separated into thin strips and left to dry. Then it was twisted into cordage.
    Arrows were made of the same wood as the bow and were 60 cm (2 feet) long. A notch was carved into the back to accept the bow string. They were fletched with bush turkey feathers picked up from the ground (no turkeys were harmed in the making of this video). A feather was split in half and cut into 3 lengths then resin and bark fiber attached the fletching on to the arrows. The tip of the arrow was fire hardened and sharpened to a point. The fletching was trimmed using a hot coal. Each arrow took about an hour to make. A quiver was made of bark to hold the arrows. Importantly, the quiver was worn on the back in the historically accurate style of native American and African archers- not on the hip like medieval European archers (see back quiver: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quiver ).
    I cleared a shooting range with a semi rotten log as a target instead of a hay bale. At 10 meters the accuracy was better than 50 % for this narrow target and the arrows stuck into the wood enough so that they were difficult to pull out. The bow was durable, shooting about 200-300 times with the string breaking only 3 times. I made a back up string and repaired them by splicing the ends back together.
    In conclusion this was an easy bow to make. The short design makes it easy to find a straight piece of wood for the stave. A short string is also easy to make and short arrow shafts are easy to find. Short bows shoot fast and are easy to carry in thick forest. The dimensions of the bow were based on those given in the SAS Survival Handbook by john Lofty Wiseman. but instead of carving it from a stave from the start, I split the stave and then carved it. I think this requires less time, effort and skill. It also gives a flat bow design that’s unlikely to break. It does require wood that doesn’t twist much when split though.
    Wordpress: https://primitivetechnology.wordpress.com/
    Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=2945881&ty=h
    I have no face book page. Beware of fake pages.


  • [SKYWARN_Announce] Blizzard/Storm Coordination Message #4

    Hello to all…

    ..Potential Blizzard and Major Winter Storm for Southern New England Late Monday Night through Late Tuesday Night. Preparations for this potential blizzard and major winter storm should be completed late Monday Night/early Tuesday Morning. Model consensus shifts slightly westward with the track..
    ..A Winter Storm Warning is in effect from from 5 AM to 1 PM EDT Tuesday and a Blizzard Watch is in effect from Tuesday Afternoon through late Tuesday Night for Essex, Central and Southeast Middlesex, Southern Worcester, Norfolk, Suffolk, Counties of Massachusetts and Providence, Western Kent, Newport and Windham County of Northeast Connecticut for 12-18″ of snow with an isolated band of 18-24″ of snow potentially in the northern and northeast parts of the area, the potential for blizzard and whiteout conditions including thundersnow and winds of 25-35 MPH with gusts in the 55-65 MPH range. The strong to damaging winds will have the potential for isolated to scattered pockets of tree and wire damage and isolated to scattered power outages..
    ..A Winter Storm Warning is now in effect from 5 AM-3 PM EDT Tuesday for Bristol, Eastern Kent, Washington and Newport Counties of Rhode Island for 8-12″ of snow, the potential for near blizzard and near whiteout conditions with thundersnow potential and sustained winds of 25-35 MPH with gusts of 55-65 MPH. The wet snow and strong winds will have the potential to cause isolated to scattered pockets of tree and wire damage and isolated to scattered power outages. The Blizzard Watch for this area has been cancelled. The slightly lower snow amounts and cancellation of the Blizzard Watch is due to a wetter snow expected for this area and the possibility of a mix or change to sleet/rain before ending precluding requirements to meet blizzard conditions. Nonetheless, this still has the potential to be a high impact event for this area..
    ..A Winter Storm Warning is in effect from 5 AM Tuesday to 2 AM Wednesday for the rest of the NWS Taunton Coverage Area for 12-18″ of snow with isolated higher amounts of 18-24″ either in a few locations or in a band within this area, the potential for near blizzard and near whiteout conditions with thundersnow potential and sustained winds of 25-35 MPH with gusts of 40-50 MPH. The winds will have the potential to cause isolated to scattered pockets of tree and wire damage and isolated to scattered power outages..
    ..A Winter Storm Watch is in effect for Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard from late Monday Night through late Tuesday Night for 4-8″ of snow. In this area, the amount of snow is the most uncertain and will be more track dependent and depending on track could be closer to the current forecasted amounts or will be much less if the track is slightly further west or much higher if a more offshore track is favored. There is the potential for a brief period near blizzard and near whiteout conditions and winds of 35-45 MPH with gusts 60-65 MPH. The combination of heavy snow that would be a wet snow and strong to damaging winds will have the potential for isolated to scattered pockets of tree and wire damage and isolated to scattered power outages..
    ..A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for Nantucket for 5 AM-Noon EDT for 2-5″ of snow. Snow will change to rain in this area by Noon time..
    ..A High Wind Warning is now in effect from 8 AM-6 PM Tuesday for South Coastal Massachusetts and Rhode Island through Eastern Plymouth County Massachusetts and Cape Cod and the Islands for sustained winds of 30-45 MPH with gusts to 60-65 MPH. These strong to damaging winds coupled with any wet snowfall will have the potential for isolated to scattered pockets of tree and wire damage and isolated to scattered power outages..
    ..A Coastal Flood Warning is now in effect from 11 AM-3 PM Tuesday for Eastern Essex, Eastern Plymouth, Barnstable County Marthas Vineyard and Nantucket Island for Cape Cod and Nantucket for widespread minor to pockets of moderate coastal flooding at the time of the early Tuesday Afternoon high tide cycle. A Coastal Flood Advisory is in effect for Suffolk and Eastern Norfolk County of Massachusetts from 11 AM-3 PM Tuesday for pockets of minor coastal flooding. A Coastal Flood Advisory is in effect for Washington County RI from 1000 AM-100 PM Tuesday for minor coastal flooding at the midday high tide cycle..
    ..A Coastal Flood Watch is now in effect for late Tuesday Night for Cape Cod particularly north facing areas for minor to moderate coastal flooding at the time of that high tide cycle..
    ..Upgrades to warnings and advisories and other adjustments to the current watches are likely as we get closer to this potential blizzard..
    ..SKYWARN Activation with Ops at NWS Taunton will occur with this potential blizzard potentially as early as 5-6 AM Tuesday and will last through late Tuesday Night. The timing of the activation and Amateur Radio Operations may be fine-tuned as we get closer to this event..
    ..ARES, RACES and Emergency Communications groups should closely monitor the progress of this potential blizzard and seek advice from their local leadership on any potential activation as they get closer to the potential blizzard event..
    ..Pictures from this major storm event will likely be helpful for situational awareness and disaster intelligence purposes. They can be sent via our WX1BOX social media Facebook and Twitter feeds, as a reply to this message or to the email address pics@nsradio.org with credit given to the spotter or Ham Operator for sending the pictures unless otherwise noted..

    The headlines of this coordination message depict the potential for a major winter storm/blizzard for the region based on the current weather model projections. In this update,  a track slightly closer to Cape Cod is favored which has resulted in the Blizzard Watches being dropped in Southeast Massachusetts and South Coastal Rhode Island areas and an expansion of the Blizzard Watches into Northeast Connecticut and South-Central Massachusetts. Also, the Winter Storm Watch for Nantucket has been converted to a Winter Weather Advisory for Tuesday Morning and the High Wind Watch for the Cape and Islands has been converted to a High Wind Warning and expanded to include areas of Southeast Massachusetts and Rhode Island no longer under the blizzard watch. Confidence is increasing on the overall track, intensity and snowfall amounts for this storm for much of the area with the highest uncertainty over Cape Cod and the Islands. The track has shifted a bit west and may be as far west a
    s the Cape Cod Canal to as far east as the Outer Cape and Nantucket. Most details are falling into place with the exception of snowfall amounts and precip type over Cape Cod and the Islands and how much mixxing occurs just to the southeast of the I-95 corridor. The key items to be sorted as we watch the potential for this major winter storm/blizzard include:

    1.) Exact storm track is key. There was a wobble west in the models to between the Cape Cod Canal and the Outer Cape/Nantucket with the low center. More wobbles can be expected in the model track. This means the possibility of a bit more mixing and dry slotting in Southeast New England and has led to the current headline changes. Timing the onset of the snow, its expected to start from 4-8 AM Tuesday from southwest to northeast and rapidly become heavy with snowfall rates of 2-4″ per hour expected for several hours. The greatest uncertainty with these track differences is whether or not the Cape and Islands region remains all snow or if there is any mix or change to rain. That will make the difference in the current forecasted 4-8″ of snow for that area or much higher or much lower amounts. For the rest of the region, a widespread 12-18″ is likely with a band or isolated higher amounts of 18-24″ somewhere in that wide swath with northeastern and north-central parts of Massach
    usetts currently favored but this could change as we get closer to the storm event.
    2.) The strong to damaging wind potential of this system is high. The consistency of the snow and how wet it is and whether a zone of heavy wet snow sets up will determine the extent of any tree and wire damage in the region. This will bear close watching and the greatest risk is over South Coastal Rhode Island and Southeast Coastal Massachusetts. While snow amounts have been lowered slightly in this area, the concern for a heavier, wetter snow has if anything increased since the last update and will bear close watching.
    3.) How widespread the blizzard conditions will be. The current watch configuration trimming back the watch in southeast New England and the expansion of the Blizzard Watch into Northeast Connecticut and South-Central Massachusetts is based on where the highest confidence is for blizzard conditions. This could be adjusted in future updates.
    4.) Extent of coastal flooding and if the strongest winds coincide with either high tide cycle. This will impact the level of coastal flooding along north and east facing areas. There could also be some impact to the high tide cycle late Tuesday Night. Coastal Flood Warnings/Advisories have been issued along much of East Coastal Massachusetts and Washington County RI for the early Tuesday Afternoon high tide cycle with a Coastal Flood Watch for Cape Cod for the late Tuesday Night high tide cycle.

    People should prepare for this major storm similar to other past major winter storms for the region. Have plenty of batteries and battery powered equipment on hand and test out this equipment and any generator equipment. Make sure you have gas for your generator as well. If it turns out that you do not lose power in the storm, you will be better prepared for the next storm system.

    Pictures from this major storm event will likely be helpful for situational awareness and disaster intelligence purposes. They can be sent via our WX1BOX social media Facebook and Twitter feeds, as a reply to this message or to the email address pics@nsradio.org with credit given to the spotter or Ham Operator for sending the pictures unless otherwise noted.

    SKYWARN Activation with Ops at NWS Taunton will occur with this potential blizzard potentially as early as 5-6 AM Tuesday and will last through late Tuesday Night. The timing of the activation and Amateur Radio Operations may be fine-tuned as we get closer to this event. ARES, RACES and Emergency Communications groups should closely monitor the progress of this potential blizzard and seek advice from their local leadership on any potential activation as they get closer to the potential blizzard event. Another coordination message will be posted by 1130 PM EDT Monday Evening. Below is the NWS Taunton Blizzard Watch/Winter Storm Warning/Watch Statement, High Wind Warning Statement, Coastal Flood Warning/Advisory/Watch Statement, Hazardous Weather Outlook and Winter Weather Graphics: