Monday, November 30, 2015

Six Steps for Protecting Your Home from Snow

As your family prepares for the upcoming winter season, you might be excited about the prospect of the first snows. The cold white flakes can be a beautiful sight, and a promise of the holidays and activities to come. Although snow provides an opportunity to spend more time in front of a warm fireplace, it can pose hazards to your home. Snow storms can damage your home's roof, gutters, and siding in extreme conditions. Here are a six tips to help you protect your home from harsh snow this winter.

Wrap Your Pipes

During the winter season, pipes have the tendency to freeze. When this happens, there can be serious financial consequences since frozen pipes can burst and cause significant water damage. Protect your pipes from freezing by wrapping them in insulated wrap. Another thing you can do is to keep water flowing through them. If you know you won’t be using that downstairs bathroom much, consider wrapping those pipes or cutting off the water supply temporarily.

Remove Snow from Your Roof

Depending on the condition of your roof, accumulated snow can cause damage over time. The heavy snow can burden struts if the roof isn’t slanted and allows for melting. If you notice a large amount of snow on your roof, call a company for help with removal.

Purchase New Windows

Most windows have a life expectancy of 10 to 20 years. If you have older windows, protect your home from snow damage by installing new ones when possible. This will be an airtight solution to keep winter snow and drafts from coming into your home and zapping the heat you try to keep inside. Companies like Gilkey Windows can often help install new ones on many different window frame types.

Seal Cracks and Holes

Homes that have cracks and holes in the walls or floors have the potential to be damaged by snow, not to mention bothered by pests. The water from melted snow often leaks through these holes and can cause structural damage. Protect your home by sealing all cracks and holes.

Check Your Windows

The frozen icicles that form on the window can provide the setting for a perfect winter portrait. However, icicles can accumulate quickly and become large and heavy. Make sure you knock down big icicles when you can, and if they aren’t melting fast enough.

Secure Roof Shingles

Winter preparation begins months before the first snowfall. If you have shingles that are loose, call for repairs as soon as possible. Make sure everything is secured and ready for the first storms.

If you follow these tips, you and your family can enjoy the snow without any problems this year.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer, recent graduate from the University of New Mexico, and avid runner. She loves to blog about fitness, health, home and family. Contact her via twitter @BrookeChaplan.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

An Elderly Guide To Survive Any Disaster And Future Predicament

As the world becomes a more dangerous place with imminent disasters like hurricanes, blizzards, and floods, it is no longer a question if a disaster is going to strike, but when. Due to both natural and manmade hazards, disaster preparedness is now a necessity. As the public becomes more aware of their surroundings and sensitive to the calamities and disasters happening around the world, there is an increasing need for information regarding how to survive future disasters.

Emergencies and disasters can strike anywhere and anytime without warning. These situations can become a challenge as they push you to your limits while you fight for your safety and survival. But who really needs to be prepared for future disasters? Is everyone equally at risk? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), senior citizens are one of the most vulnerable populations when a disaster strikes.

Emergency 4 - Issan, Thailand

The Elderly is More Vulnerable

There are a variety of reasons why the elderly is more vulnerable than most in disaster situations. Some of the obvious explanations is that older people with physical limitations or are mentally impaired will have problems understanding instructions in keeping themselves safe and secure. If an elderly has a mobility impairment, he or she will have difficulty when evacuating, standing in line or resting inside a crowded shelter. People in wheelchairs, and those using canes and walkers will also be unable to climb stairs. Moreover, elderly people are also more susceptible to illnesses when subjected to extreme temperature changes and stress during disasters. Add to these are the social and economic limitations that hinder their ability to adequately prepare for disasters; it is no wonder that the elderly desperately need a guide to help survive future disasters.

In order to fill this need, here are some of the most common and invaluable tips for the elderly to survive future disasters.

Staying Alert Can Save Your Life

Elderly people can sometimes find it difficult to remain aware and responsive to their surroundings especially during disaster situations. To address this issue, you can get convenient alarm systems designed to aid your elderly loved one in any future predicaments. With this type of alarm system, senior citizens can be notified of a possible emergency in advance. Home security and wireless emergency response systems are also beneficial for older adults since they can remain safe inside their homes should the power run out during thunderstorms and blizzards.

Prepare Ahead of Time in Case of Disasters

We all know that planning ahead is always a good idea. Disasters can happen at any moment and putting together a basic disaster supplies kit is a great way to prepare for forthcoming predicaments. A basic supplies kit should include food, water, medicine and other essential items. As the American Red Cross suggests, disaster kits should contain enough supplies for at least three days. You should also store your supplies in convenient containers that are easy to carry while having enough space to hold all your necessities. Labeling equipment such as wheelchairs, canes and walkers is also important so you don’t lose them when disaster strikes. In addition, keeping your kit updated is another crucial tip to prepare yourself for future disasters. Make sure to check the expiration dates of your food and medications as well as replace batteries as needed.

Now You’ve Got a Kit, What You Need is a Plan

Disasters can strike so fast you may not have time at all to act; but when you have a ready-made plan for emergency situations, reducing anxiety and staying calm and collected will no longer be a problem. Support equipment, such as wheelchairs and walkers, and vital records and documents should be accessible in case you need to evacuate your home. Another indispensable tip is to know where the most convenient escape routes are, as well as the designated meeting places for you and your friends and family so you won’t get lost during an emergency.

A Support Network is Always a Good Thing

As part of your survival plan for future disasters, you should always make a point to keep your lines of communication open. You need to be able to contact, and be contacted, by your family and friends at all times during emergency situations. This is very important so they know you are safe and can meet you in safer locations. American Red Cross recommends that senior citizens should develop a support network of close and trusted people during emergencies. This network can be a mutual arrangement where both of you check in on each other. You can decide to exchange important keys or show them where your emergency supplies are kept along with other agreements to ensure your safety.

Be Involved in Your Community’s Disaster Plans

Along with having a great support network, you should also be involved in your community’s disaster management plans and procedures. This is so you know how your community can help you during emergency situations. You can also volunteer to take part in their programs. For example, you can make an arrangement with a neighbor to help you evacuate and transport you to a safer location. By being an active part of your community, you can increase your chances of survival when future disasters occur.

If You Know the Hazard, You Know the Solution

What are the types of disaster or emergency situations that are most likely to happen in your area? To adequately prepare yourself for future disasters, you should find out what type of hazards your community is more prone to. Are you near an earthquake zone? Do floods usually occur around your home when there are typhoons? Is your area frequently hit by tornados? Preparing for a disaster that your area is vulnerable to is one of the key ways to lessen risks during forthcoming predicaments.

Almost Blind

Disaster Has Struck, What Do You Do?

What you need to do to keep yourself out of harm’s way depends on the type of emergency situation you are facing. Keep in mind that you should always be aware and make it a point to listen to announcements through your television or radio regarding an emergency situation. If you are up against a harsh thunderstorm or an extreme blizzard, you will be advised to remain at home. This means that you should stay where you are and keep yourself as safe as possible until the storm passes or you are told to evacuate. On the other hand, you will be asked to evacuate your home if your area is experiencing a wildfire, flood or a tornado. During these situations, you should always lock your home before leaving. When you arrive at the shelter, notify the management about your needs such as food, water, and first-aid.

Remember that the Disaster Will Subside

It is very understandable for people, especially senior citizens to be distressed when facing traumatic scenarios such as a disaster. Whenever an emergency situation occurs, you may experience emotional, physical, mental, and possibly spiritual stress that can lead to more problems for you and the people around you. These reactions could include headaches, insomnia, irritability, depression and disorientation. Being prepared for this as you remain calm and collected can reduce your anxieties and stay positive. Keep in mind that while you are inside your home or community shelter, you are safe from harm during these tough times and can always get back up to live your life to the fullest.

What You Do Makes a Difference

Whatever plan you make on how to survive future disasters, know that all your efforts count. When you’re encountering an emergency situation, having a plan will let you stay focused and alert so you can do what’s necessary to care for yourself. Take responsibility for your safety by remaining aware of your surroundings. With a solid disaster plan, you will be more capable of handling circumstances that will come your way and remain safe and secure at all times.

Aby League is a qualitative researcher and a passionate writer. She is an innovator and technology enthusiast. She has been writing about health, psychology, home improvement and technology. You can see more of her articles on Elite Daily. To know her more, follow her on Twitter.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Panic-Free Steps to Take After a Fender Bender

Getting involved in a fender bender can be frightening. Not only do you have to be concerned about you and the other person’s safety, you must be concerned about the financial effects it might cause.

Each action you take after the fender bender can have lasting consequences. It is essential to keep calm and act strategically.

Pull Over to the Side of the Road

A minor car accident can be a major inconvenience for you. This does not mean it has to be an inconvenience for the other drivers on the road. If your car is able to be driven, move it to the side of the road. This action will not only improve the flow of traffic, it will also keep other vehicles from hitting your car. If you don’t have space, drive on until you do.

Call 911

As a driver involved in an accident, you want to make sure that your financial and physical interests are protected. If anyone is injured call 911. Dispatchers will often send police officers to the scene of the fender bender. If a person is injured, an ambulance will be dispatched as well. When the officers arrive, a police report will be taken. You want to be sure to get a copy of the report since you will need this information for your insurance provider and other services.

Exchange Insurance and Car Information

This is one of the most important steps you can take after an accident. Each driver should exchange the following information.
  • Name
  • Insurance Company
  • Make and Model of the Car
  • License Plate Information

Contact Your Insurance Company

As soon as you are in a safe location, contact your insurance company. Provide the representative with the facts and information about the accident. If the damage is small, you and the other driver may be tempted to reach an agreement not to report the damage, but it may not a wise move to make.

The extent of the damages to your car or injuries may not be known until thorough examinations are conducted. Allow your automobile insurance company to handle the details.

Seek Legal Counsel

A personal injury attorney or Bulluck Law Group in your area can help you understand the legal ramifications of a fender bender. It might be in your best interest to get guidance in case you are injured or liable.

By following these steps, you can get through the stress of a fender bender, panic-free.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer, recent graduate from the University of New Mexico, and avid runner. She loves to blog about fitness, health, home and family. Contact her via twitter @BrookeChaplan.

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