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All hands on deck? 召集一切力量

中国日报网 2020-12-29 12:18

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Reader question:

What is an “all-hands-on-deck moment”?


My comments:

An all-hands-on-deck moment is a moment of emergency, a moment of crisis, a moment of truth.

The question is, of course, what “deck”?

Deck in “all hands on deck” refers to the deck of a ship, the open platform or space where people meet and mingle.

When the captain of a ship wants to summon his crew, he says: “All right, all hands on the deck. Let’s talk it over.”

Hands, of course, refer to persons, i.e. all members of the crew, all useful, available hands.

Now, the captain doesn’t always call for crew members to come to the deck, of course. Of course, it doesn’t make sense. Crew members all have different jobs and responsibilities. They cannot be all loitering on the deck, as if there’s nothing to do.

Hence, it’s inferable that only when something extraordinary happens does the captain summon the crew to the deck.

Such as? Such as during a storm or when a pirate ship is seen approaching, things like that.

Hence and therefore, an “all-hands-on-deck moment” refers to a moment of crisis; a moment when some considerable decision making is expected.

In short, “all hands on deck” implies something is going to happen, often something ominous. Hence, an important decision must be made to prevent it from doing damage.

In other words, get ready and get ready to fight.

All right, here are media examples of “all hands on deck” or “all hands on the deck”:


1. Ugo Aliogo wonders if Nigeria achieve self-sufficiency in rice production especially with the huge damages caused by flood in Kebbi State.

Flooding has remained a major environmental challenge to the country.

Despite the several interventions by the federal government, the issue remains a challenge, especially to food security. Although flooding is a fallout of the climate change crisis facing the globe, with concerted efforts government can mitigate the crisis, if there is sincerity of purpose on it part.

In 2020, Nigeria experienced one of the worst flooding in recent years especially the huge damage it has caused rice farms in Kebbi State.

The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) has warned that the country still has many weeks of rainfall in the course of the year and more floods are still expected in the months of September and October.

The Director General of the agency, Mr. Clement Nze, said the current flood level sighted in Niamey, Niger Republic, poses a dangerous threat to Nigeria.

He explained that any release of excess water from the dams in countries upstream rivers Niger and Benue this year will have more negative impact on Nigeria which is located downstream of countries in the Niger Basin.

According to him, the highly vulnerable States are Kebbi, Niger, Kwara, Kogi, Anambra, Edo, Delta, Rivers and Bayelsa.

Nze posited that the flood that ravaged Kebbi State, just about a week ago, left so much to be told, therefore the current flooding situation calls for vigilance on the part of all the stakeholders.

He advised states, local governments, multi-national companies and public-spirited individuals to put all hands on the deck to save the country from the consequences of a, “twin pandemic” (COVID-19 and flood) in the year 2020.

- Flood as Threat to Rice Production, ThisDayLive.com, October 29, 2020.


2. First responders and city officials appeared to have been well-prepared for winter storm Gail, and they advised residents to help each other clear snow for emergency access, be mindful of plow routes and use space heaters with caution.

The National Weather Service said the region could expect to see up to 22 inches of snow by this morning. At times, snow fell at a rate of more than 2 inches per hour.

For AMED, preparations for the storm began early in the week.

“Our vendors were putting studded snow tires on our vehicles (Tuesday) in anticipation of the storm,” AMED Executive Director Gary Watters said.

The department also increased staffing for the storm to ensure ample coverage was available, he said.

“The biggest impact snowstorms have on us is delays in our response time,” Watters said. “Snow on the roads, in long driveways and on unshoveled walks provide obstacles for crews to get people from their homes to the ambulance.”

Watters said residents can help emergency responders by clearing sidewalks of snow, especially for elderly neighbors, who are at higher risk of needing emergency assistance during a snowstorm.

At the Altoona Public Works Department, large winter snowstorms means “all hands on deck,” said Nathan Kissell, the public works director.

“We recall people from vacation to help with a storm like this,” Kissell said. “And with all of our routes, we always try to keep 13 trucks plowing, and we have a couple in reserve in case of mechanical failure.”

- ‘All hands on deck’, AltoonaMirror.com, December 17, 2020.


3. From point of pick up to point of arrival, Georgia Department of Natural Resources has been on hand, helping get the COVID-19 vaccine into the hands of those who need it.

“When the vaccine started becoming a reality, we began preparing and leaning forward so as soon as it became available to the citizens of the state, DNR, DPH and public safety and state partners were doing nothing but speeding up the process,” Major Stephen Adams of Georgia DNR told 11Alive.

Adams said DNR is honored to be part of the distribution process, an effort that included a delivery to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta this week.

“We just want to make sure the shipments of vaccine get to the medical providers unimpeded and intact and on time,” Adams said.

The agency has been involved with COVID efforts on a statewide scale since March, according to Adams. DNR has delivered medical supplies, testing supplies, and PPE throughout Georgia.

“With COVID-19, it’s all hands on deck so that we can get it behind us,” Adams said.
Now, the focus falls on the vaccine.
“The quicker the vaccine can get out, hopefully we can start getting back to normal,” Adams said.

- ‘All hands on deck:’ DNR delivers COVID vaccine to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, 11Alive.com, December 18, 2020.

本文仅代表作者本人观点,与本网立场无关。欢迎大家讨论学术问题,尊重他人,禁止人身攻击和发布一切违反国家现行法律法规的内容。

About the author:

Zhang Xin is Trainer at chinadaily.com.cn. He has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.

(作者:张欣 编辑:丹妮)

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