Thursday, August 31, 2017

Surviving And Rebuilding Through A Natural Disaster

If you’ve seen the news recently, you’ve probably seen and heard some news about Hurricane Harvey. This powerful storm has torn through the Southern US, devastating cities and towns, including huge areas of Houston, in Texas. This doesn’t mean that you have to be terrified for your own home, instead you should be making plans in case events like this ever impact you. To help you out with this, this post will be going through some of the worst natural disasters the Earth suffers, and what you can do before, during, and after the big event. With this in mind, it should be a lot easier to sleep at night when the weather is bad.

Eye of the Storm Image from Outer Space

Preparation

In any sort of disaster, preparation is often the saving grace which helps people to survive. Thanks to modern communications, media, and social platforms, it’s very likely that you’ll know about any bad weather long before it hits. With this knowledge, you have the chance to prepare yourself.

  • High Winds

Hurricane Harvey produced both high winds and heavy rains. It’s not as likely that you’ll get high winds on their own, but when you do you still have to prepare for it. To do this, you should start by securing any windows and doors around your home. For windows, boards should be used on the outside, and an X of tape can work on the inside. This will stop anything from striking the windows, as well as keeping the glass from the window together if any get broken. Along with this, you should also collect any items from outside which could be blown by the wind. If you have a garage park your car inside so you protect it from damage.

  • Rain Storms

Wind is one thing, but water is much worse. Dealing with flooding or leaks in your home during a natural disaster will make the whole ordeal a lot harder to manage. Thankfully, though, it isn’t too hard to stop water from getting into your home. You can protect entrances, like doors and doggie doors, by using sandbags to block the water getting in. It might also be worth moving any expensive items somewhere upstairs if possible. It’s very unlikely that a flood will get upstairs, but if flood water does get in, it could easily ruin anything on the first floor.

  • Earthquakes

Earthquakes are one of the hardest types of disasters to plan for and avoid, as they are almost entirely unpredictable. This sort of event occurs every day around the world. But, in most cases, the quake won’t be big enough to cause any damage. Preparing for this sort of event will take some extreme steps, though. By having a home which is made of steel and concrete, you will ensure that it is much better at dealing with shocks than something made from wood or a fabricated home. Along with this, you could also look into foundation suspension, which also helps to lessen the impact of shaking.

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During The Storm

Hopefully, the preparations you have made will never have to be used. Instead, you will be able to get through your life at home without experiencing a natural disaster. These things do happen, and you could be one of the unlucky few who suffers from one of them. During a storm is a very important time, and your actions here will impact your success in both surviving and recovering from the event.

  • High Winds

When experiencing a high winds, it’s advised that you always stay inside. In some high-winds, it’s possible for items as large as cars to be moved around by the chaos. Not only does this mean you could be hit by a stray item, but you could also be taken up by the wind yourself. Inside shelter you should try to avoid rooms with windows, as wind will often make them smash. You should never drive during high winds, as you could lose control of the car.

  • Rain Storms

Like with high winds, if it starts to storm, it’s always best to stay inside. But, unlike during a wind storm, when rain is the problem, it can be better to spend your time slightly higher up. It takes a lot of water to fill a home, and it’s very unlikely that water will make it up to the top floors. Along with this, though, you should also be on constant watch. As water gets deeper and deeper outside, your defenses against it may prove to be too weak, letting water in. To minimize the damage this causes, you need to be ready to remove water and make repairs as fast as possible. This will help to ensure that everything stays dry.

  • Earthquakes

Earthquakes don’t tend to last anywhere near as long as high winds or rain storms, and the process of keeping yourself protected is nice and easy. In most places, it is advised that you hide under the nearest solid protection during this sort of disaster. This will not only protect you from falling debris but could also save you if the building collapses. Never go outside during this sort of event, as you could put yourself in a lot more danger.

Before a lot of natural disasters, local governments and law enforcement will evacuate areas to make sure that the people there don’t get hurt. If this happens, it’s incredibly vital that you take it seriously. Most of the casualties you find during major natural disasters like these are the result of stubbornness. When people refuse to leave them home for an evacuation, they can get trapped in a place where help can’t reach them. It’s never worth ignoring advice like this, especially when it’s regarding extreme weather.

Stainless Steel Close Wrench on Spanner

Repair

Once the dust settles, it’s time to start assessing the damage to your property to make sure that you can repair it and get life back on track. This sort of work could be expensive, but you should have home insurance to cover it, making it nice and easy to get the work done. The work that you have to do will depend on the storm itself.

  • High Winds

High winds will almost always be incredibly destructive to the homes it touches. Unfortunately, strong winds are often enough to destroy roofing, windows, and even the structure of your home. To start, you should focus on the open and exposed areas of the home, like the roof. Special storm response companies have started up everywhere, in the wake of emergencies in the past. You can visit StormGroupRoofing.com for more information about this sort of service, and there are loads of places to help you with your windows. Once you’ve closed up any gaps, you can start to consider any other damage the winds may have caused.

  • Rain Storms

Of course, like high winds, a rain storm can also be very bad for a home. Unlike high winds a thunderstorm can easily damage the inside of your home too. Drying everything out will be the first step, so you’ll need a powerful dehumidifier and a lot of paper towels. From there, you can start to perform a clean up of the dirt and grime left behind by the water. In most cases, a flooded home will have to be at least partially redecorated, and it might take some time for all of the water to leave the place.

  • Earthquakes

Recovering from an earthquake will be largely a matter of tidying things up if you’re lucky. Unfortunately, though, many quakes will break windows, damage buildings, and even knock down trees. To repair this sort of damage, it’s likely that you’ll need the help of a construction professional to come and fix everything for you. Of course, though, people with strong skills in DIY may be able to handle the bulk of this work themselves.

Any natural disaster will require some clean up at the end of it. For a lot of people, the key concern will be their own home, and this makes sense. Along with this, though, your local community will also need a lot of help during an event like this. To help other people rebuild quickly, you should be willing to help those that don’t have the same skills as you. For example, if you are excellent when it comes to DIY, you might able to help people get their home back together in no time. Or, if you’re better at cooking and preparing food, you could help to feed people who have been displaced. This sort of work is the best way to help your area start back up after something goes wrong.

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start preparing yourself for this sort of event in the future. It appears the world’s weather is going to become less and less predictable. Larger storms and more extreme disasters can be expected in the coming years. The way that people deal with these issues is what will determine that outcome, though, especially as people become more and more connected.

Super Smart Homes: The Pros and Cons

Homes are getting smarter. With a strong internet connection, you can connect up pretty much anything in your home. From lights and heating to alarm systems and speakers, it's easy to control everything in your home from your phone, tablet or another device. Smart homes have both advantages and disadvantages, though. If you're considering making your home smarter, you should be aware of both.


Make Your Home More Secure


One of the best uses for smart technology in the home is to make it safer and more secure. With smart tech, you can monitor your home remotely and even make it look like someone is home when you're out. You can use tech to turn lights on and off and even move curtains, as well as install cameras to watch over everything.


Increase the Convenience


Smart technology makes a lot of things in your home super convenient. Whether you use it to control your thermostat or to play your favorite tunes, you can do it all from the same place. If you're feeling lazy, you don't need to get up. If you want to watch TV, you can access all your favorite shows and movies from your smart TV.


The Cost


Smart tech is getting cheaper to buy, but it's still expensive if you want to completely kit out your home. If you do it slowly, you could make it more affordable, but it's expensive to do all at once.


Potential Security Problems


Even though smart technology can help to make your home more secure, it could also leave it vulnerable. Your smart tech could be hacked if you're not careful, but there are ways to stay safe.



RefiGuide to How to Stop Your Home From Being Hacked

Need To Boost The Value Of Your Home?

Property remains a great long term investment. If you’re a homeowner, there are some easy ways of outperforming the market and adding value to your home. If you have some spare cash and you don’t fancy seeing it wallow in a bank account accruing minimal interest, why not invest it into some home improvements that will boost the value of your home. Whether you are planning to sell up in the next twelve months or you are holding onto your humble abode for the next twenty years, a well-managed scheme of home improvements can only enhance your property.

What is the first thing that people see when they visit your home? It’s not the entrance hall or the kitchen or even the front door, it’s the vista of your entire house. Nothing looks more odd than when you see a property with a mismatched facade or paint peeling window frames. It’s time to enhance your home’s curb appeal to get people talking about your pad for all the right reasons.

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Doors

The front door and garage door to your home should match. They could share the same color, material or texture. Homes with an up and over garage door in a gun metal finish should also have a metallic composite front door with minimal glazing. If you have injected some color into your front door, don’t opt for a contrasting hue on your garage door. Remember the old adage: red and green should never be seen.

Roof

Aesthetically your roof can look attractive to the eye with a red tile finish, a reclaimed slate look or a contemporary sheet metal design. More importantly, your roof needs to be in good order, so there are no insulation issues or problem leaks. Companies like Community Roofing & Restoration are specialists in providing a bespoke roofing service. As well as replacing your roof, they can install skylights to inject more visual appeal to your facade and improve guttering. Ensure that the roof to your home echoes the quality of the rest of your property.

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Windows

There is often no need to replace windows, you just have to spruce them up a little bit. Make sure they are cleaned regularly, free from cobwebs and smears. If there’s any peeling paint on the window frames, whip out the paintbrush and refresh the color. This will give your home’s facade an instant facelift.

All Things Green

If you’re lucky enough to have a small lawn or garden area in front of your home, head down to the garden center and purchase some bright plants to make over the external area of your pad. Even if your front door is not set back from the road, you can still adorn your front door with a hanging basket of greenery or place a bonsai next to your porch to create a more vibrant look.

Using these tips to inspire the enhancement of your home’s curb appeal will result in a good investment of your hard earned cash. You’ll see an instant boost to the value of your property, and you can watch with delight as heads turn when people wander past your home.

Simple Ideas For Creating A Warm And Welcoming Home

Nothing beats the feeling of coming home to a cozy and inviting home. They say that home is where the heart is, and your home should be somewhere that makes you feel safe and warm. Warmth isn’t just a physical feeling; it’s a state of mind too. Creating the right atmosphere in your home can make you feel safer and happier, and the good news is that it’s easy to achieve. Take a look at some simple ideas for creating a warm and welcoming home below.

Add warm colours and textures

Image: Pexels

The trend for many of today’s modern homes features lots of white, greys and generally ‘cool’ shades. While this creates a sleek and stylish look, it can make a home feel somewhat cold. Adding in some warmer colors including deep shades of reds, purples, and browns can create a feeling of warmth and doesn’t need to involve a huge overhaul of your home. Making simple changes like adding in new curtains or some colorful cushions will help.

If you can’t alter your colour scheme, try bringing in some different textures like wool, linen, and faux fur is a simple way to create the feeling of coziness. Scandinavian design trends use many different colors and textures to add warmth without compromising on style, so you can learn a lot from these types of interiors.

Embrace the concept of ‘hygge’

Image: Pixabay

Hygge is a Danish concept relating to ‘coziness.’ In recent years it has really taken over, the New Yorker describes it as wholesome and nourishing and can include many different elements to make your home a sanctuary. Rather than focusing on decor, the concept embraces comfy clothing, candles, and comforting foods and drink as a way to relax and feel happy. You can find plenty of ideas for living more ‘hygge’ on Pinterest or in the many books that have been published on the subject in the last year.

Change your heating

An easy way to create more warmth in your home is to change your heating. More people are embracing fireplaces and stoves to not only heat their homes but to create a cool design feature too. If you’re concerned about the smell and caused by wood, you could consider investing in a pellet stove instead which heats just as effectively, but with less mess and smoke than a wood burner. You can also pick up pellet stove parts for less than wood or coal and enjoy the fantastic feeling of relaxing in front of the stove at night. Changing your heating comes at a cost, but it’s one worth having to enjoy a warmer, more welcoming home.

Transforming your home to be warmer and more inviting isn’t as difficult as it sounds. You can start by making your bedroom a more comfortable place to sleep and working from there. Having a house or apartment you look forward to coming home to is one of life’s pleasures, so start making changes and enjoy your warm, cozy living space.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Momtrepreneur Life: Employee Perk Ideas Perfect For Remote Workers

Today, there are tens of thousands of people who choose to work remotely from home, many of whom work in a freelance capacity or under a company contract. If you are lucky enough to run your own virtual business and have a team of freelancers or contracted employees who work for your remotely, it is vital that you know how to keep them on board.

Finding new team members, especially when you work remotely (and so do they) isn’t easy. That’s why when you have got a good team; it is vital that you do everything that you can to retain them. Perks or benefits could be the answer to this, but the question is, what can you offer when your whole team works from the comfort of their own homes?

If you are a momtrepreneur wanting to hold onto her team by showing them how much you value their work, offering perks is a great option. It’s just a case of determining what it would be best to offer. To help you do that, below are some ideas and suggestions - have a read and see what you think!

Health related perks

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You can’t go wrong with health related perks. By offering your team perks such as health, life and dental insurance, you can make it more likely that they will continue working for you. The fact is that healthcare can be expensive, which is why so many people choose to work for companies that offer health perks, as it helps to make life more affordable. As well as offering the regular health perks, what about offering some wellness ones too? Things like vouchers for spa days, for instance, to encourage your team to take care of their wellness as well as their mental health, can work well. Or, what about offering gym memberships for your remote workers, as a way of encouraging them to be more active?  

Fun benefits

When it comes to fun perks, it’s a case of thinking outside of the box. From sending each team members a birthday cake and gift on their birthday to having meals delivered to their homes while they work, there are plenty of fun and unique perks that you can offer your team. You could also run annual company retreats, where the whole team meets up at a spa, hotel, or outdoor activity facility for a weekend of team building. The more creative that you can be with the perks that you offer, the better.

Educational allowances

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To demonstrate to your team that you are passionate about encouraging their learning, offer educational allowances. This could mean giving each team member a budget for education each year, such as taking online classes. It could also mean arranging for team members to attend courses across the country, or to intern at suitable corporations to help improve their experience in a certain area.

Just because your team works remotely from home, that doesn’t mean that employee perks are unnecessary. To ensure that your team members are as happy and content as possible, offering them a range of benefits is something that is worth doing.

Raising Kids That Take Health Seriously

Parents understand the importance of leading a healthy life and encouraging children to do the same. The problem is that a lot of children don’t understand why being healthy is so important; all that most kids can think about is how something tastes or how much fun playing video games is compared to running around outside.

While most kids are fussy about eating their greens, the fact is that it’s vital that as they get older, they begin to understand the importance of putting their health first. As well as why they should make an effort to do so. The question is, as a parent how can you ensure that your children grow up understanding why making healthy choices is so important? Here are some suggestions to make raising healthy kids that little bit easier.

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Lead by example

Kids learn from what their parents do, which is why it’s so important that as a parent you lead by example. Want your children to grow up to be healthy adults that understand the importance of clean eating and exercise? Then it’s vital that you lead by example; always make healthy choices and encourage your little ones to do the same. The chances are that if your children see you making healthy choices, they will be more likely to do the same. Try to choose fruit rather than chocolate and cake, make your meals from scratch instead of buying ready made meals or take out, and make an effort to exercise regularly. Whether you realize it or not, your kids are watching what you do and will follow the example that you set for them.

Stock up on healthy foods

Ensure that your cupboards are always fully stocked with a selection of healthy foods and drinks. From ingredients for family meals to snacks, it’s important to ensure that you always have lots of healthy options in your cupboards and fridge. Don’t forget to also stock up on healthy drinks. Give sugary sodas a pass and instead stock your cupboards with mineral water, organic juices and flavored bottled water packs. To ensure that healthy food doesn’t get boring, take inspiration from photo sharing sites like Pinterest - there are some great healthy lunch, dinner and snack ideas on there.

Be an active family

Studies have shown that children who grow up in active families are more likely to develop into active adults. That’s why it is so important that as a parent you make sure that your family is as active as possible. Don’t spend weekends at home in front of the TV, plan family outings instead. Whether you go on hiking trips, for bike rides, or swimming at your local pool, it doesn’t matter, what matters is that you ensure your family is as active as possible.

The fact is that raising kids that take being healthy seriously isn’t always an easy task. However, if you take note of the tips above and implement them in how you raise your kids, you can increase the chances that your children will take their health seriously as they grow up.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Medieval Times - Fun For The Whole Family! #TravelTuesday

About four and a half hours from us, there's a time capsule of sorts. It's a huge attraction, with locations in several different cities in America. Once you enter the doors of this huge castle, you are transported to a different time, a different realm. A time where knights fought to protect their king, win the favor of the princess, and keep the kingdom peaceful. We've visited this attraction several times, and if you've never been to Medieval Times, you need to find your closest castle and book a reservation! Of course, in addition to the show, you get a wonderful dinner as well which makes it even better! I think Medieval Times is a great family attraction, and I'm sure anyone who has ever been to a castle will agree.



Plan to arrive at least an hour before showtime to give yourself time to check-in and then wander the gift stands in the main hall. You can wander the hall to se the horses, enjoy the medieval decor, and purchase some souvenirs. You'll also enjoy seeing the knighting ceremony where youngsters are "knighted" and get a picture with the king. Once the chancellor appears, the real fun begins-getting seated!


Once seated (this is decided by which color section you are in), your server for the evening (a serf or wench) will come and take your drink order. The show begins soon after, while you're enjoying blood soup (tomato) and garlic bread. As the evening continues, more and more food is served, and I'm pretty sure with all the times I've been, I've never once completely finished my meal! Baby dragon, dragon ribs, roasted potatoes, and apple turnover for dessert (I've been known to steal leftover turnovers from the family too!).





While the meal is an attraction in itself, what we're really there for is the show. You will be astounded as you watch the beautiful horses dancing, the hawk flying right over your head in pursuit if his prey, and the tricks the knights perform on horseback. This all ends with duels, and eventually, a chance for the victorious knight to fight (and of course defeat) the challenger from another country. By the time the show ends, you will be cheering right along with everyone else!










Spring Cleaning Is Surpisingly Good For Your Health

We call it spring cleaning, but the truth is that we should take the time to go through the home, freshen it up, and make sure it’s all in working order at the turn of every season. We should do it not only because it makes the home a more pleasant place to be, but the truth is that spring cleaning brings with it some unexpected health benefits and can highlight some risks in the home we might not otherwise be aware of.

The real issue with dust
This isn’t to suggest that you don’t regularly clean the home. Even when we do, dust tends to build up in the places we don’t reach as often and it creates an environment that’s generally a little less clean. Not only does this both look and feel unpleasant, but dusty environments genuinely suffer from air quality problems. It can make rooms more humid, which can lead to the growth of mold if you’re not careful. It can also cause or exacerbate breathing conditions such as asthma. These risks only increase if you have pets that leave dander around. Beyond your regular cleaning routine, it’s worth taking the time to dust every corner, nook, and cranny from time to time. You might even want to think of taking the minimalist approach and clearing out furniture and d├ęcor pieces you don’t use as often. The more wide-open space there is, the fewer places that dust has to gather.
Go with the flow
Air quality has an important relationship to managing airflow in the home, as well. In particular, you should look at the different aspects of the HVAC setup in your home. Replacing old air filters is essential to maintaining air quality. Some of the greatest dangers can come from older air conditioners, as well. If you don’t take the time to inspect your AC and invest in the occasional AC repair, then you might be at a risk to the build-up and circulation of airborne diseases like Legionnaire’s disease. Plus, looking after your air conditioning has the added benefit of saving money on energy bills so there’s no reason to skip it.

It influences better sleep
Sleep has an important relationship with our health. Our immune system, our body’s ability to repair itself, our energy levels, and even our emotional health can be dictated by a good night’s sleep. Research has shown, however, that clutter and mess, even an unmade bed, can have a drastic effect on stopping us from getting sleep. If you’ve been feeling like you haven’t been able to get those all-important forty winks, that might be the reason why.
The mind matters, too
As mentioned, sleep influences our mental health. But a messy home can have a much more direct effect on it. As they say, a cluttered home makes a cluttered mind. Stress is the most common danger of the dealing with a dirty house. It creates excessive stimuli that make our mind work at a faster rate even when it should be relaxing. It draws our attention away from things we should be focusing on by providing a constant distraction. It creates a sensation that we have more work to be done and feelings of guilt for the fact we haven’t tackled it. Being proactive with the mess in the home clears all those feelings away, immediately helping you better manage stress levels.

Look above
During our seasonal clean, we should also be checking the health of the home and making sure that it’s not deteriorating in any way that can negatively impact our own security and safety. One of the first places we should look is up above us. The roof is one of the important parts of the home for keeping it healthy. Cracked or missing tiles can mean that air comes in and out freely. This doesn’t only make it harder to control the home’s temperature. It also lets rain and moisture in, that can lead to leaks, the buildup of mold and damp, and even electrical hazards that can become fire risks. Learning to check the condition of the roof or occasionally hiring roof repair can keep us safe from all those risks.
Not only will a seasonal clean of the home improve air quality, sleep, and mental and emotional health. It helps us keep track of the very real risks of things like mold and damp build-ups. Let’s not forget that it keeps us more active without us really noticing it, too. So, what are you waiting for? Get the dust pan out and the rubber gloves on.