Showing posts with label plan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label plan. Show all posts

Are You Ready For A Hurricane?

The weather news is starting to feature Tropical Updates since we've turned the corner into a busier time for storms. Isaac is stirring down in the Caribbean now and has Florida solidly in the forecast cone. While this system has only been declared a tropical storm, it is still a good time to get ready for what ever the rest of the season brings us. Are you ready for a hurricane to happen now? Here are some checklist items to help you prepare for a storm -
  •  Do you have plenty of cash in small bills stashed in the event there is no power, or you need to barter to get things you need during a disaster? Most ATM's will run out of cash, businesses may not be open and your best bet to buy stuff will be from people hawking stuff on the corner - for cash.
  • Do you have plenty of dry food (cans, dry mixes, dry milk, beverage mixes, pet food), enough for a weeks worth of meals? Make sure you have an old fashioned manual can opener too, or be sure all your cans are pop tops.
  • Do you have water or drinks enough for 3 days (at least a gallon a day per person)? This doesn't include bathing or cooking water, so a clean source of water for that is important too - fill your tub or sink for cleaning.
  • Do you have a bug out bag in case you need to leave your home - a change of clothes, cash, medications, sturdy shoes (not just sandals), silverware,etc.
  • Do you have a weapon to protect your life and/or property in the event of a disaster and there are no police services?
  • Do you have your automobile's full of gasoline, a spare 5 gallon can of gas, a full canister of propane for your grill?
  • Do you have flashlights and batteries that work? First Aid kit?
  • Do you have some basic tools, keys, portable Radio and Telephones?
  • Are your important documents secured in a waterproof safe or in a safety deposit box at the bank? Can you scan them and take the data device with you?
HERE is an excellent article outlining more detailed preparedness for a disaster.

How To Plan A Remodel

We live in a house built in the mid 50's and it's time to remodel. The wood paneling from the 70's, and the shaggy carpet in brown tones are aging the place. But our thoughts have always been, if its not broke don't fix it. Everything is perfectly functional but it looks aged. Is that a good enough reason to sink thousands of dollars into a remodel? Not really. But since we've paid off the mortgage we have the means to pay for everything as we go. We've cut back on our travel too, as we have everything we need to be happy right in our own back yard. So we've decided to at least modernize the remainder of our house that hasn't been remodeled. If you remember, in 2010 we totally gutted our two bathrooms and kitchen, replumbed the whole house and remodeled the bathrooms and kitchen. It took five months and twenty five thousand dollars, but it has also made life more enjoyable having new rooms with an absence of any problems.
 
Our next project is to remodel a couple bedrooms, our dining room and living room and office area. The bedrooms will be easy with just paint and carpet and new ceiling fans. Its the living room and office that will require more planning. One of the things I've always hated about my house is that the previous owners put up paneling over the stucco plaster walls of our block home. It makes the living room look like a trailer house. The office also has a hung ceiling with big cardboard panels and rectangle florescent lights - Oh and thats in addition to the faux wood paneling. The paneling will be removed and the original walls restored, and the ceiling removed as well giving us a taller ceiling to drywall and change the lighting. We're also replacing the exterior door and adding a window to the room. This is the last room of our remodel plans but it will be the most satisfying and transforming.
 
The reason we're finally doing these projects now is we've decided we just don't want to wait for our dog to die before getting new carpet. We had  been waiting for years to be pet free before remodeling - but have decided its not that big a deal. The dog lives outside in the yard except when we're inside she comes in to join us. She is older and mellow and simply lays on her "place" most of the time, unless she is begging for a nibble when we're in the kitchen. The new carpet will not get ruined by having her around a few more years. 
 
So now that we've decided that we're going to move forward with the remodel there are some steps to take to make sure everything falls into place smoothly. Here are some steps we've accomplished so far:
 
1. Finance the project - either save the cash in advance or make sure your budget can handle the ongoing expense of paying the handyman, the paint store and the online vendors for your supplies. If you need to put anything on credit cards to pay later you probably can't afford the project right now. 
 
2. How will you pay? - Figure out if you can get any coupons from the big box stores where you'll be spending thousands of dollars. I just bought 10% off coupons from ebay for our carpet and it will save hundreds. Also redeem those extra reward or airline points for the big box stores for gift cards to buy your supplies. If they mail you the gift card it will take a couple weeks so do this early in your plans.
 
3. Design - figure out what you want and how you will use the features of your new remodeled room. We've discussed what to do in our guest room and decided since we rarely have visitors sleep over anymore it really is not going to be a guest room. Since our couponing has become extreme, we need the space for our stockpile and I would like a place to read quietly away from the TV, so it will be a stockpile, office area after the remodel. We also are increasing the number of electrical outlets to handle more power strips and to provide power where it currently is lacking. We no longer have a landline so all phone lines and jacks will be removed too.
 
4. Plan - Think through your steps and document them. I wrote of list of what has to happen first, second, third etc. You need to consider moving things, temporary storage of furniture while the rooms are being remodeled, what purchases need to be done first, what are the lead times, what colors will you use and do you have flooring, walls, windows and ceiling items selected and or purchased? Flooring typically requires a measure session be done by the installer before you can purchase, plus they won't schedule an install until the flooring is delivered. This can take weeks. Plus you don't want to paint after new flooring when you can do it easily before and not have to worry about making a mess.
 
5. Action - working on a remodel project often involves tedious tasks like tearing out the old, cleaning, patching and repairing and trips to the trash can. It may involve moving furniture and junk around to another room and ruin your groove. It may also involve lots of errands to pick up something you realize you need. It can be stressful and annoying. Its important to plan a timeline and goal for completion and allow yourselves time to relax each day too.
 
So, if you're planning on a remodel or household project (or not) you can follow along with us as we do ours. So far we've removed the old tile windowsills in the bedrooms and replaced with marble slabs. Now the walls are dry so we can paint. We pulled up the old carpet in the guest room. We've almost done moving everything out of the master bedroom and this weekend we plan to paint the ceilings and walls in the two rooms.

September is National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month, and this is to remind citizens that they can take steps to be prepared if there's a disaster. It's important to make a kit, make a plan, and stay informed. A survival kit includes basics like fresh water and food for up to three days, blankets, matches, battery-operated radios and lights. Checklists on what to include can be found on here
 
When preparing for a possible emergency situation, it's best to think first about the basics of survival:
fresh water, food, clean air and warmth.

Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit:

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers

Additional Items to Consider Adding to an Emergency Supply Kit:

  • Prescription medications and glasses
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
  • Cash or traveler's checks and change
  • Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from www.ready.gov
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children