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Here Are Some Helpful Tips to Stay Toasty Warm This Winter season!
Here are some helpful tips to stay toasty warm this winter season!
- Dress in (up to 3) Layers
Layering insulates the body by creating pockets of warm air around it which ensures that it keeps a core temperature of 98.6 °F. According to proper layering etiquette, you should dress in as many as three layers depending on how cold it is, and what you'll be doing outside: a base layer, a mid-layer, and an outer layer.
The base layer of clothing is the one that's worn next to your skin. It includes form-fitting clothing (like thermal underwear) that provides warmth and keeps you dry. Clothing made of synthetic materials that move moisture away from skin are best. Avoid wearing cotton when possible since it absorbs moisture and can trap wetness against your skin, making you colder.
The middle layer of clothing is meant to insulate the body by keeping heat in and cold out. Wool, fleece, and polyester sweaters, sweatshirts, pullovers, and long-sleeved tops do this job well.
The outer, or shell, layer of clothing includes pants and a jacket or coat. Ideally, this layer should be waterproof, yet breathable.
- Keep Dry
No matter how many layers of clothing you wear, they won't do you a bit of good unless they remain dry. An umbrella, weather-proof coat, and snow boots can help with this. (Once clothing gets wet, the moisture evaporates from its surface, causing it to cool and you to feel much colder.)
Not only can rain, freezing rain, or snow dampen clothing, but sweating can too. If you find you've layered so well that it's causing you to overheat, you'll want to remove that thermal top or layering tee.
- Wear a Hat, Mittens, Sunglasses
It's said that as much as 70% of the body's heat is lost through the head. Whether or not you believe this cold weather lore, one thing is certain—wearing a hat will help keep you warmer, if for no other reason than you'll have less skin exposed to the elements.
As for the body's extremities (fingers, toes, and feet), take extra care to keep them warm. They're among the first to experience the effects of frostbite. When it comes to the question of gloves vs. mittens, go with the latter. True, mittens are bulkier, but they keep hands warmer by clustering the fingers together.
And don't forget your eyes! While they aren't necessarily in danger of getting cold, having snow on the ground (if there is any) can actually make the sun's UV rays stronger—so throw on some shades!
- Keep Hydrated
While you wouldn't think it, dehydration is a real concern during cold weather. Not only does cold air strip our bodies of moisture because it is drier, but winter winds carry moisture away from the skin's surface through the process of evaporation. What's more, people don't naturally feel as thirsty in winter as they do when the weather is hot.
Drink plenty of water and hot drinks (which offer both hydration and warmth), even if you don't feel thirsty. This will help you stay well hydrated, which makes it easier for you to stay warm. (Being dehydrated makes it harder for the body to concentrate on maintaining a safe core temperature.) One drink you'll want to avoid is alcohol. While a nip or two may give you a "warming" sensation, alcohol actually causes dehydration.
- Keep Moving
The more active you are in cold weather, the more heat your body will generate as a result.
If you do plan to sit or stand outside for long periods of time, wiggle your hands and toes every few minutes to keep the blood (and therefore, heat) circulating in these extremities.
Winter Safety Tips for your Pets!
Winter Safety Tips for your Pets!
Exposure to winter’s dry, cold air and chilly rain, sleet and snow can cause chapped paws and itchy, flaking skin, but these aren’t the only discomforts pets can suffer. Winter walks can become downright dangerous if chemicals from ice-melting agents are licked off of bare paws. To help prevent cold weather dangers from affecting your pet’s health, please heed the following advice from our experts:
- Repeatedly coming out of the cold into the dry heat of your home can cause itchy, flaking skin. Keep your home humidified and towel dry your pet as soon as he comes inside, paying special attention to his feet and in-between the toes. Remove any snow balls from between his foot pads.
- Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. If your dog is long-haired, simply trim him to minimize the clinging ice balls, salt crystals and de-icing chemicals that can dry his skin, and don’t neglect the hair between his toes. If your dog is short-haired, consider getting him a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly. For many dogs, this is regulation winter wear.
- Bring a towel on long walks to clean off stinging, irritated paws. After each walk, wash and dry your pet’s feet and stomach to remove ice, salt and chemicals—and check for cracks in paw pads or redness between the toes.
- Bathe your pets as little as possible during cold spells. Washing too often can remove essential oils and increase the chance of developing dry, flaky skin. If your pooch must be bathed, ask your vet to recommend a moisturizing shampoo and/or rinse.
- Massaging petroleum jelly or other paw protectants into paw pads before going outside can help protect from salt and chemical agents. Booties provide even more coverage and can also prevent sand and salt from getting lodged between bare toes and causing irritation. Use pet-friendly ice melts whenever possible.
- Like coolant, antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol.
- Pets burn extra energy by trying to stay warm in wintertime. Feeding your pet a little bit more during the cold weather months can provide much-needed calories, and making sure she has plenty of water to drink will help keep her well-hydrated and her skin less dry.
- Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. A cozy dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect.
- Remember, if it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your pet, so keep your animals inside. If left outdoors, pets can freeze, become disoriented, lost, stolen, injured or killed. In addition, don’t leave pets alone in a car during cold weather, as cars can act as refrigerators that hold in the cold and cause animals to freeze to death.
Winter Driving Tips
Driving your car while the roads are snowy and icy can be a stressful ordeal. While some vehicles are well-suited for the snow, some are not and require preparation and know-how to keep the car under control.
Get your car serviced regularly. Preventive maintenance is key. Make sure your battery, cooling system, and windshield wipers are in tip-top shape. You'll spend less money servicing your car than you'll spend towing and fixing it if your car gives out while you're on a dark, snowy road.
Buy snow tires or add chains to your existing tires if you live in a very snowy climate. Snow tires have special treads that cut through the snow and allow the vehicle to have better traction. They're also made of a more flexible type of rubber, so that they don't freeze and become hard in cold temperatures. It is best to get snow tires for the drive wheels. For rear-wheel drive, add snow tires to the rear. If your car is equipped with tires that have predominantly thin tread lines, they will clog easily, making steering or getting traction difficult.
- Some all-season tires do not rid themselves of snow properly and become clogged in deep snow. These tires may be unsafe to drive with in extreme conditions.
- Most tire stores will insist on snow tires or studded tires to all four wheels of a front wheel drive vehicle. The rear tires should have adequate or equal traction as the front tires for proper handling and preventing fish tailing, especially when making turns. It isn't critical to have studs on all four ties of a front wheel drive car, but highly recommended so the traction is equal.
National Clean out your Refrigerator Day!
National Clean out your Refrigerator Day!
The timing is perfect for this day as Thanksgiving is coming soon. We will need room for all of the upcoming leftovers. This job may be dreaded by many, but it is an important task none the less. Due to our hectic and busy lifestyles, the cleaning of the refrigerator gets neglected, hence the creation of National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day. There may be a surprise or two found at the back of the shelves. Things are often pushed back as new food is put in the front and gets forgotten.
STEP 1: UNPLUG YOUR REFRIGERATOR
STEP 2: EMPTY ALL CONTENTS
STEP 3: USE A SPONGE, TOOTHBRUSH, AND CLEANING SPRAY TO CLEAN SURFACES
STEP 4: CLEAN DOWN THE EXTERIOR OF THE FRIDGE
STEP 5: RELOAD WITH THE FOOD YOU WANT TO KEEP, DISCARDING EXCESS OR EXPIRED FOOD
National Preparedness Month, What You Can Do!
Five steps to prepare for a disaster:
- Be informed about emergencies that could happen in your community, and identify sources of information in your community that will be helpful before, during and after an emergency.
- Make a plan for what to do in an emergency. Be sure to practice your plan twice a year and ensure everyone understands their responsibilities and works together as a team.
- Build an emergency supply kit. Stock your emergency kit with enough food and water for three to seven days. Include a weather radio, flashlight, batteries and first-aid items. Also place a set of multi-purpose tools, copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, and insurance policies), cell phone chargers, blankets, and emergency contact information in the kit. Be sure to keep some extra cash on-hand in case ATM machines are not functioning due to damage or loss of power.
- Develop a home inventory. Supplement this inventory with photographs or video and store this information in a safe place.
- Make sure your smartphone is set to receive Wireless Emergency Alerts. America’s wireless industry is helping to build a Weather-Ready Nation through a nationwide text emergency alert system, called Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), which will send messages to your phone during and warn you when weather threatens. For more information, visit http://www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation.
For more useful information, visit ready.gov.
May is National BBQ Month
April showers have passed and barbecues are in full bloom. Perfect weather and longer days make the month of May the perfect time to celebrate National Barbecue Month. Whether you think barbecuing requires gas or charcoal, or that ribs should only be parboiled, or if you insist that asparagus must be sautéed with olive oil, it is time to fire up the BBQ.
Quality matters when it comes to barbecue. The graders at the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) certify that meats and other products are of a desired quality. Our grades account for factors such as tenderness, juiciness, and flavor. These are major selling points for any good barbecued foods. When shopping for meats, you can easily identify the USDA grade on most packages.
AMS also has information for people wanting to learn about where their food comes from. Our standards specialists develop marketing claims that provide insight on the animal’s diet, feeding and other factors. Our National Organic Program also has information for people interested in knowing what to expect when products are labeled with a USDA organic seal.
Whether your preference is conventional or organic meats, fruits, or vegetables, National Barbecue Month is a fun time to enjoy some of your favorite foods. Throughout this month and the rest of the grilling season, we encourage you to visit the Food Safety Inspection Service’s (FSIS) site for barbecue safety tips. They offer great advice that will take you from shopping at the super market to safely refrigerating leftovers—if there are any!
Canine Fitness Month
CANINE FITNESS MONTH
During the month of April, Canine Fitness Month focuses on keeping our most loyal companions healthy and physically active.
Like many of their human counterparts, too many dogs suffer from obesity and “sedentarism,” the two most common preventable conditions in the canine and human populations. Too much sitting and too many calories in the form of treats or poor nutrition choices often contribute to weight gain. Besides causing our furry friends to have sore joints, difficulty breathing, a higher risk for cancer, canine diabetes and other diseases, obesity also shortens their lives.
Unfortunately, sedentarism has become the normal lifestyle for many dogs and their people. The opposite of a sedentary lifestyle is movement. Playing, being outside, engaging and moving. Canine Fitness Month encourages us to take a step toward a developing a healthier lifestyle and bond with our four-legged family members.
ALWAYS: Check with your veterinarian to be sure your pet is healthy enough for exercise and find out what kind of diet routine Fido should be eating. Then give some of these tips a try:
- Get walking! This is the obvious first and easiest exercise for most canine and human companions. One foot in front of the other and the fresh air will do you both good.
- Try active play. Throw a ball, stick or frisbee in a safe environment, or better yet – run or jog with your pet to retrieve it.
- Play hide and seek with your pet’s daily allowance of treats. Place them behind doors, under bowls and chairs. Make treating an active reward.
- For dogs unaccustomed to the game of fetch, use a treat dispensing ball that will interest them in retrieving the ball. It may take time to get them to bring the ball back to you, but once the treat is gone, they will in hopes of more treats. Keep the amounts small and intermittent.
- Food fitness games. Place an unstable object in front of the food bowl for your dog to step on as they reach for the food bowl to introduce balance activities and limb strengthening as a fun and rewarding game.
- Raise the floor. Integrating a platform that can be climbed on, or crawled under, during the day is an excellent way to incorporate movement if space is small and the weather isn’t cooperating.
- Many dogs are shadows to their canine companions, following us around everywhere we go even if it is just to lie down under foot. Take advantage of this when starting a new workout routine. Encourage them to participate when you put in the cardio or yoga video. When you shuffle across the room, grab a toy and lure them to do the same.
- Incorporate some of your pooch’s well-known obedience drills – like sit, stand, down – into your yoga routine. When you go into cobra, try asking your loyal pal lie down. When you move into downward dog, have him sit.
- Creating obstacle courses indoors and out is possible the whole year round. With a small amount of equipment or none at all, just moving rugs and chairs around to create obstacles will create a workout worthy of both human and canine. The key is to make movement fun for both of you!
- Don’t have time? Find a Canine Fitness Trainer or a Dog Walker that can help get the recommended 20-30 minutes your dog needs each day.
Time To Spring Ahead
Friendly reminder: daylight saving time returns at 2 a.m. (local time) on Sunday, March 11, which means it's almost time to "spring" those clocks forward.
Sadly, yes, we'll lose an hour of sleep. But on the bright side (literally), we'll be gaining an hour of evening light through Nov. 4 -- when it's time to "fall" back.
Daylight saving time will be extra special this year, as it marks the 100th anniversary of the event. The tradition of turning clocks forward officially began on March 19, 1918.
Here's what you need to know about the soon-to-be century-old tradition.
When did daylight saving time start?
It was established during World War I as "a way of conserving fuel needed for war industries and of extending the working day," the Library of Congress explained in a post online.
But it was only temporary. The law was repealed about a year later, on August 20, 1919, as soon as the war was over.
"However, the sections of the 1918 law, which had established standard time zones for the country, remained in effect," the library said. "In 1921, Congress readjusted the western boundary of the standard central time zone, shifting parts of Texas and Oklahoma into this zone."
The topic of daylight saving surfaced again during World War II. On Jan. 20, 1942 Congress re-established daylight saving time.
More than two decades later, in 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Uniform Time Act, declaring daylight saving time a policy of the U.S. and establishing uniform start and end times within standard time zones.
What are the rules?
Daylight saving time and time zones are regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) under the Uniform Time Act. Daylight saving begins each year on the second Sunday in March, starting at 2 a.m.
"If a state chooses to observe Daylight Saving Time, it must begin and end on federally mandated dates," the DOT says.
Does everyone turn their clocks forward?
No. Hawaii, most of Arizona, and a handful of U.S. territories — including American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands — do not observe daylight saving time.
Why does it matter?
There are several reasons why officials believe daylight saving time is beneficial.
Some say it saves energy, because people tend to spend more time outside when it's lighter out. The DOT claims it also "saves lives and prevents traffic injuries," because visibility is better.
Lastly, the DOT says it reduces crime.
"During Daylight Saving Time, more people are out conducting their affairs during the daylight rather than at night, when more crime occurs," the department explained.
However, some believe the process is a "hassle."
Proponents of scrapping daylight-saving time argue it's generally unnecessary, disturbs sleep patterns and has recently become even more complicated. In 1986, Congress extended daylight saving from a six- to seven-month period and extended it again in 2005 to eight months -- mid-March to mid-November.
"Congress really gave us a wise compromise in 1966 with six months of standard time, but because of the lobbies on behalf of daylight we now spring forward in the middle of the winter," Michael Downing, author of "Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving," told Fox News in 2015.
Disagreements over daylight saving isn't new. In 1965, before the Uniform Act was passed, 71 major cities in the U.S. with a population of over 100,000 were using daylight saving, while 59 others were not.
"People do not like the hassle of adjusting their clocks twice a year," Downing added.
Fox News' Matt Finn and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Plan For Your Pets
Emergencies come in many forms, and they may require anything from a brief absence from your home to permanent evacuation. Each type of disaster requires different measures to keep your pets safe, so the best thing you can do for yourself and your pets is to be prepared. Here are simple steps you can follow now to make sure you’re ready before the next disaster strikes:
Step 1: Get a Rescue Alert Sticker
This easy-to-use sticker will let people know that pets are inside your home. Make sure it is visible to rescue workers (we recommend placing it on or near your front door), and that it includes the types and number of pets in your home as well as the name and number of your veterinarian. If you must evacuate with your pets, and if time allows, write “EVACUATED” across the stickers. To get a free emergency pet alert sticker for your home, please fill out our online order form and allow 6-8 weeks for delivery. Your local pet supply store may also sell similar stickers.
Step 2: Arrange a Safe Haven
Arrange a haven for your pets in the event of evacuation. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND. Remember, if it isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for your pets. They may become trapped or escape and be exposed to numerous life-threatening hazards. Note that not all shelters accept pets, so it is imperative that you have determined where you will bring your pets ahead of time:
- Contact your veterinarian for a list of preferred boarding kennels and facilities.
- Ask your local animal shelter if they provide emergency shelter or foster care for pets.
- Identify hotels or motels outside of your immediate area that accept pets.
- Ask friends and relatives outside your immediate area if they would be willing to take in your pet.
Step 3: Choose "Designated Caregivers
This step will take considerable time and thought. When choosing a temporary caregiver, consider someone who lives close to your residence. He or she should be generally home during the day while you are at work or has easy access to your home. A set of keys should be given to this trusted individual. This may work well with neighbors who have pets of their own—you may even swap responsibilities, depending upon who has accessibility.
When selecting a permanent caregiver, you’ll need to consider other criteria. This is a person to whom you are entrusting the care of your pet if something should happen to you. When selecting this “foster parent,” consider people who have met your pet and have successful cared for animals in the past. Be sure to discuss your expectations at length with a permanent caregiver, so he or she understands the responsibility of caring for your pet.
Step 4: Prepare Emergency Supplies and Traveling Kits
If you must evacuate your home in a crisis, plan for the worst-case scenario. Even if you think you may be gone for only a day, assume that you may not be allowed to return for several weeks. When recommendations for evacuation have been announced, follow the instructions of local and state officials. To minimize evacuation time, take these simple steps:
- Make sure all pets wear collars and tags with up-to-date identification information. Your pet’s ID tag should contain his name, telephone number and any urgent medical needs. Be sure to also write your pet’s name, your name and contact information on your pet’s carrier.
- The ASPCA recommends microchipping your pet as a more permanent form of identification. A microchip is implanted under the skin in the animal’s shoulder area, and can be read by a scanner at most animal shelters.
- Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster. Pets can become disoriented and wander away from home in a crisis.
- Store an emergency kit and leashes as close to an exit as possible. Make sure that everyone in the family knows where it is, and that it clearly labeled and easy to carry. Items to consider keeping in or near your “Evac-Pack” include:
- Pet first-aid kit and guide book (ask your vet what to include)
- 3-7 days’ worth of canned (pop-top) or dry food (be sure to rotate every two months)
- Disposable litter trays (aluminum roasting pans are perfect)
- Litter or paper toweling
- Liquid dish soap and disinfectant
- Disposable garbage bags for clean-up
- Pet feeding dishes and water bowls
- Extra collar or harness as well as an extra leash
- Photocopies and/or USB of medical records and a waterproof container with a two-week supply of any medicine your pet requires (Remember, food and medications need to be rotated out of your emergency kit—otherwise they may go bad or become useless)
- At least seven days’ worth of bottled water for each person and pet (store in a cool, dry place and replace every two months)
- A traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier, ideally one for each pet
- Recent photos of your pets (in case you are separated and need to make “Lost” posters)
- Especially for cats: Pillowcase, toys, scoop-able litter
- Especially for dogs: Extra leash, toys and chew toys, a week’s worth of cage liner
You should also have an emergency kit for the human members of the family. Items to include: Batteries, duct tape, flashlight, radio, multi-tool, tarp, rope, permanent marker, spray paint, baby wipes, protective clothing and footwear, extra cash, rescue whistle, important phone numbers, extra medication and copies of medical and insurance information.
Step 5: Keep the ASPCA On-Hand Always
The free ASPCA mobile app shows pet parents exactly what to do in case of a natural disaster. It also allows pet owners to store vital medical records and provides information on making life-saving decisions during natural disasters. With a few swipes, you can:
- Access critical advice on what to do with your pet before, during, and after a major storm—even if there’s no data connectivity.
- Store and manage your pet’s critical health records.
- Receive a personalized missing pet recovery kit, including step-by-step instructions on how to search for a lost animal in a variety of circumstances.
- Build a lost pet digital flyer that can be shared instantly on your social media channels.
- Get the latest and most relevant news about pets and animal welfare.
Geographic Considerations: If you live in an area that is prone to certain natural disasters, such as tornadoes, earthquakes or floods, you should plan accordingly.
- Determine well in advance which rooms offer safe havens. These rooms should be clear or hazards such as windows, flying debris, etc.
- Choose easy-to-clean areas such as utility rooms, bathrooms and basements as safe zones
- Access to a supply of fresh water is particularly important. In areas that may lose electricity, fill up bathtubs and sinks ahead of time to ensure that you have access to water during a power outage or other crises.
- In the event of flooding, go to the highest location in your home, or a room that has access to counters or high shelves where your animals can take shelter.
Special Considerations for Horses
- Keep a clean and tidy stable and pasture. Remove hazardous and flammable materials, debris and machinery from around the barn’s walkways, entrances and exits. Regularly maintain and inspect barn floors and septic tanks. Inspect your grounds regularly and remove dangerous debris in the pasture.
- Prevent fires by instituting a no-smoking policy around your barn. Avoid using or leaving on appliances in the barn, even seemingly-harmless appliances like box fans, heaters and power tools can overheat. Exposed wiring can also lead to electrical fires in the barn, as can a simple nudge from an animal who accidentally knocks over a machine.
- Get your horse used to wearing a halter, and get him used to trailering. Periodically, you should practice quickly getting your horse on a trailer for the same reason that schools have fire drills—asking a group of unpracticed children to exit a burning building in a calm fashion is a little unrealistic, as is requesting a new and strange behavior of your horse.
- If you own a trailer, please inspect it regularly. Also, make sure your towing vehicle is appropriate for the size and weight of the trailer and horse. Always make sure the trailer is hitched properly—the hitch locked on the ball, safety chains or cables attached, and emergency brake battery charged and linked to towing vehicle. Proper tire pressure (as shown on the tire wall) is also very important.
- Get your horse well-socialized and used to being handled by all kinds of strangers. If possible, invite emergency responders and/or members of your local fire service to interact with your horse. It will be mutually beneficial for them to become acquainted. Firemen’s turnout gear may smell like smoke and look unusual, which many horses find frightening—so ask them to wear their usual response gear to get your horse used to the look and smell.
- Set up a phone tree/buddy system with other nearby horse owners and local farms. This could prove invaluable should you—or they—need to evacuate animals or share resources like trailers, pastures or extra hands!
- Keep equine veterinary records in a safe place where they can quickly be reached. Be sure to post emergency phone numbers by the phone. Include your 24-hour veterinarian, emergency services and friends. You should also keep a copy for emergency services personnel in the barn that includes phone numbers for you, your emergency contact, your 24-hour veterinarian and several friends.
Special Considerations for Birds
- Birds should be transported in a secure travel cage or carrier.
- In cold weather, make certain you have a blanket over your pet’s cage. This may also help reduce the stress of traveling.
- In warm weather, carry a spray bottle to periodically moisten your bird’s feathers.
- Have recent photos available, and keep your bird’s leg bands on for identification.
- If the carrier does not have a perch, line it for paper towels that you can change frequently.
- Keep the carrier in as quiet an area as possible.
- It is particularly imperative that birds eat daily, so purchase a timed feeder. If you need to leave your bird unexpectedly, the feeder will ensure his daily feeding schedule.
- Items to keep on hand: Catch net, heavy towel, blanket or sheet to cover cage, cage liner.
Special Considerations for Reptiles
- A snake may be transported in a pillowcase, but you should have permanent and secure housing for him when you reach a safe place.
- Take a sturdy bowl that is large for your pet to soak in. It’s also a good idea to bring along a heating pad or other warming devise, such as a hot water bottle.
- Lizards can be transported like birds (see above).
Special Considerations for Small Animals
- Small animals, such as hamsters, gerbils, mice and guinea pigs, should be transported in secure carriers with bedding materials, food and food bowls.
- Items to keep on hand: Salt lick, extra water bottle, small hide box or tube, a week’s worth of bedding.
Time To Fall Back!
DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME ENDS
Daylight Saving Time Ends is on the first Sunday in November at 2:00 AM.
Daylight saving time (DST) or summer time is the practice of advancing clocks during summer months so that people get up earlier in the morning and experience more daylight in the evening. Typically, users of DST adjust clocks forward one hour near the start of spring and change them backward in the autumn.
The practice has received both advocacy and criticism. Putting clocks forward benefits retail business, sports, and other activities that exploit sunlight after working hours, but can cause problems for evening entertainment and other activities tied to the sun (such as farming) or darkness (such as fireworks shows). Although some early proponents of DST aimed to reduce evening use of incandescent lighting (formerly a primary use of electricity, modern heating and cooling), usage patterns differ greatly, and research about how DST currently affects energy use is limited or contradictory.
Problems sometimes caused by DST clock shifts include: they complicate timekeeping, and can disrupt meetings, travel, billing, record keeping, medical devices, heavy equipment, and sleep patterns. Software can often adjust computer clocks automatically, but this can be limited and error-prone, particularly when various jurisdictions change the dates and timings of DST changes.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Make sure to turn back your clocks. Use #DaylightSavingTimeEnds or #FallBack to post on social media.
The New Zealander George Vernon Hudson proposed the modern idea of daylight saving in 1895. Germany and Austria-Hungary organized the first implementation, starting on 30 April 1916. Many countries have used it at various times since then, particularly since the energy crisis of the 1970s.
June is National Safety Month
Injuries are a leading cause of disability for people of all ages – and they are the leading cause of death for Americans ages 1 to 44. But there are many things people can do to stay safe and prevent injuries.
Make a difference: Spread the word about ways to reduce the risk of injuries. Encourage communities, workplaces, families, and individuals to identify and report safety hazards.
How can National Safety Month make a difference?
We can all use this month to raise awareness about important safety issues like:
- Medication safety and prescription painkiller abuse
- Driving, biking, and working safely
- First aid and emergency preparedness
- Preventing slips, trips, and falls
Everyone can get involved in reducing the risk of injuries. Together, we can share information about steps people can take to protect themselves and others.
Save money and energy this spring and summer
Spring is here and before we know it, the hot summer will arrive! Below you will find ten inexpensive and practical steps you can take to save money and energy as things begin to heat up:
1.When cool nights allow, turn off the cooling system and open the windows while you sleep.
2.In the hot summer months, set your thermostat to a temperature as high as you can comfortably stand.
3.Use ceiling fans to cool the room that you are in and turn them off when you leave the room.
4.Use the exhaust fan in your bathroom to remove heat and humidity while you shower or bathe.
5.In the hotter summer months, grill outside as opposed to using the oven.
6.Make use of the natural lighting that is provided during the daylight hours.
7.When washing clothing or dishes, avoid washing partial loads, when possible.
8.Air dry clothing and dishes as possible.
9.Instead of taking a bath, take a short shower.
10.Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F). You'll not only save energy; you'll avoid scalding your hands.
Put these strategies to work and being to enjoy the savings!
Regular housecleaning can get rid of many allergy triggers and help relieve your symptoms.
It helps to know some cleaning tips. Common mistakes -- shampooing carpets or using heavily scented cleaners -- could make your allergies worse, not better.
Here are some ways to keep your house clean and your allergies under control.
- Vacuum once or twice a week. Make sure your vacuum has a HEPA filter. Some allergens are so small that they pass right through a regular vacuum filter. That means that every time you vacuum, you could be sucking them off the floor and shooting them into the air, where you breathe them in.
- Cut clutter. Piles of boxes or clothing can trap dust and hide allergens like dust mites and cockroaches.
- Wear a mask when you clean. And when you're done with your housework, leave the house for a few hours. It will limit your exposure to allergens you kicked up into the air.
- Keep the bathroom free of mold. Scrub the tile regularly. Don't forget the shower curtain, too. You may be able to toss it in the washing machine.
- Wash sheets weekly in hot water. Make sure it's at least 130 F. That's hot enough to kill dust mites. If your child has allergies, do the same with any washable stuffed animals.
- Don't use scented cleaners or detergents. If you have allergies, the fragrances in cleaners can trigger symptoms. Look for fragrance-free products instead.
- Don't air-dry laundry. Clothing left outside will pick up pollen and mold. Use the clothes dryer instead.
- Use a damp cloth and mop when cleaning. They'll trap allergens instead of knocking them into the air.
- Clean outside entryways. Sweep or vacuum. The cleaner your path or patio is, the less likely someone is to track dust or pollen into your house.
- Don't shampoo carpets. The leftover moisture could cause mold growth or increase dust mites.
- Ask another family member to take over some chores. It's better if you avoid jobs like dusting or vacuuming if you are allergic to dust mites.
Other Changes to Make at Home
These aren't cleaning tips, but they'll make cleaning easier and may help prevent allergy flare-ups.
- Say goodbye to your rugs. Rugs and carpets can trap allergens. Having vinyl, tile, or hardwood floors reduces your exposure to triggers. Get smaller, washable rugs that you can toss into the laundry.
- Get special bedding. Use dust-proof covers on your mattress and pillows to keep dust mites out.
- Get rid of your drapes or horizontal blinds. They trap both dust and allergens. Switch to roll shades.
- Take shoes off before you go in the house. That way pollens or other triggers won’t get tracked in.
- Keep pets out of the bedroom. It's a key way to protect yourself from dander. Don't ever let pets sleep on the bed if you have pet allergies.
- Use air-conditioning. Instead of opening windows when it’s hot, use the AC. An air conditioner will filter the air, preventing dust, dirt, pollens, molds, and other triggers from getting in.
April Is Lawn and Garden Month
Lawn and Garden Month - April
National Lawn and Garden Month is celebrated each year in April. By spring we are all anxious to get outside and enjoy the nice weather and the rebirth of all things green. Gardens come in many shapes and sizes and can be adapted to fit your outdoor space. A small garden can yield an amazing amount of produce if properly planned. Flower gardens make a yard look beautiful and welcoming. Vegetable gardens give the added bonus of providing fresh vegetables for your table.
April is the perfect time to clean up your lawn and get it ready for summer. It’s important to get the mowing height right when you mow your lawn. Most lawns do well at 2” to 3”, but it’s a good idea to leave it a little longer during hot months. Leaving the grass clippings on your lawn recycles the plant nutrients back into the soil and is a great fertilizer. Always use a sharp blade for mowing as a dull blade will tear the grass rather than cutting it. Water and fertilize your lawn, but don’t overdo either. A lawn survives better if it is under watered and under fertilized than it does if you overdo it. Too much water will drown the grass and too much fertilizer will burn it.
Time To Spring Ahead
Daylight Saving Time Begins History
Daylight Savings time had begun in an effort to help save energy and provide workers with more hours of serviceable daylight during the long summer days. Daylight Savings Time was first introduced in the U.S. in 1918. However, it was not until 1966, when the Uniform Act was passed, that all states had to either observe DST or pass a state law to abstain.
Daylight Saving Time Begins Facts
In 2017 Daylight Savings Time began Sunday March 12, 2017 at 2:00 a.m. local time. Clocks shifted forward 1 hour, making the local time 3:00 a.m. It ends on November 5, 2017 at 2 a.m., when the time will reverse 1 hour back and will make the local time 1 a.m.
When Daylight Savings Time (DST) begins in the Northern Hemisphere, it is ending in the Southern Hemisphere.
Benjamin Franklin first proposed the idea of DST in 1784. He wrote an Economical Project for the Journal of Paris, wherein he discussed the cost of oil for lamps as well as working while it was dark, and sleeping while it was day.
Daylight Savings Time changes at 2:00 a.m. This time is selected in an effort to provide the least amount of inconvenience to businesses and citizens.
DST always begins on the second Sunday in March, and ends on the first Sunday in November.
Hawaii and Arizona do not use DST. Up until 2006, Indiana only used DST in part of the state.
Daylight Saving Time Begins Top Events and Things to Do
Move your clocks forward 1 hour before bed on Saturday night before the Daylight Saving Time day in March.
Go to bed an hour earlier Saturday night before the Daylight Saving Time day.
Get outside and enjoy the extra hour of daylight.
Replace the batteries in the smoke alarm and carbon dioxide monitors.
Clean out the medicine cabinet. Dispose of all medicines properly.
March is National Nutrition Month
National Nutrition Month is an educational campaign focusing on the significance of physical fitness as well as eating nourishing meals. Taking charge of your health contributes to overall wellbeing; as well as losing weight or staying at your ideal weight, which reduces risks of chronic illness such as heart disease and diabetes. The campaign, originally “National Nutrition Week,” was first launched in 1973, with the theme “Invest in Yourself – Buy Nutrition.” The American Dietetic Association (ADA) was an early advocate in getting the message to the public organizing educational events held in schools and health care centers.
By the beginning of 1980, due to an intense increase in popularity, the House of Delegates expanded National Nutrition Week to National Nutrition month.
ADA is now known as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and, with more than 70,000 members, is the world’s largest organization of registered dietician nutritionists and dietetic technicians. This year’s theme is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle,” focusing on exercising regularly and making the best food choices.
National Nutrition Month is an educational campaign focusing on the significance of physical fitness as well as eating nourishing meals. Taking charge of your health contributes to overall wellbeing; as well as losing weight or staying at your ideal weight, which reduces risks of chronic illness such as heart disease and diabetes.
February is Heart Month
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease.
The good news? Heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions. Communities, health professionals, and families can work together to create opportunities for people to make healthier choices.
Make a difference in your community: Spread the word about strategies for preventing heart disease and encourage people to live heart healthy lives.
How can American Heart Month make a difference?
We can use this month to raise awareness about heart disease and how people can prevent it — both at home and in the community.
Here are just a few ideas:
Encourage families to make small changes, like using spices to season their food instead of salt.
Motivate teachers and administrators to make physical activity a part of the school day. This can help students start good habits early.
Ask doctors and nurses to be leaders in their communities by speaking out about ways to prevent heart disease.
How can I help spread the word?
We’ve made it easier for you to make a difference. This toolkit is full of ideas to help you take action today. For example:
Add information about living a heart healthy lifestyle to your newsletter.
Tweet about American Heart Month.
Host a community event where families can be active while learning about local health resources.
Take action: Be the cure! External Links Disclaimer Logo Join the American Heart Association’s national movement in support of healthier communities and healthier lives.
February 2nd is Ground Hog Day
2017- Ground Hog saw his shadow, so sadly 6 more weeks of winter
NATIONAL GROUNDHOG DAY
Will he see his shadow or will he not? That is the question!
Groundhog Day is observed on February 2nd, each year in the United States and Canada. For a nice welcomed break during the winter, on this day the groundhog awakens from his nap and goes outside to see if he can see his shadow. It is believed by many that if the groundhog sees his shadow that there will then be six more weeks of winter. If this is so, he then retrieves back into his den and goes back to sleep. If he is not able to see his shadow, the groundhog remains outside to play and people celebrate believing that spring is just around the corner.
The tradition of predicting the length of the remaining winter is intertwined with the Christian holiday, Candlemas. Clergy would bless candles symbolizing the ‘light of the world’ to give to their congregations. Another tradition associated with this day is eating crepes. Germans practiced the art of predicting the winter with a hedgehog until their arrival in the United States when they settled in the hills of Pennsylvania, and the groundhog became the official predictor.
Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania has been chosen as the site for the annual Groundhog Day event. Thousands of people come to the town of Punxsutawney on Groundhog Day for this day of celebration.
Although already a well-known day, Groundhog Day received widespread attention as a result of the 1993 film Groundhog Day, which was set in Punxsutawney and portrayed Roger Rininger as the groundhog.
An early American reference to Groundhog Day can be found in a diary entry, by storekeeper James Morris, dated February 4th, 1841, of Berks County, Pennsylvania.
January is National Blood Donor Month
January is designated as “National Blood Donor Month” because it is often a challenging time for maintaining the area’s blood supply. Winter weather tends to keep people indoors, discouraging them from visiting the blood center to donate. Illness and holidays can also interfere with donating. Yet winter weather can lead to more traumatic injuries on icy roads and may increase the need for blood. A reduction in turnout can put our nation’s blood inventory at a critical low.
Do you ever wonder what makes up blood? Unless you need to have blood drawn, donate it or have to stop its flow after an injury, you probably don't think much about it. But blood is the most commonly tested part of the body, and it is truly the river of life. Every cell in the body gets its nutrients from blood. Understanding blood will help you as your doctor explains the results of your blood tests. In addition, you will learn amazing things about this incredible fluid and the cells in it.
Whole blood is made up of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma. All but plasma are made in the marrow of bones, especially the vertebrae, ribs, hips, skull and sternum; these essential blood cells fight infection, carry oxygen and help control bleeding. Everyone’s blood falls into one of four types. Blood types are an inherited trait.
Someone needs a blood transfusion every two seconds, and one in ten patients entering a hospital will need blood. Over 500 people need to donate every day to meet the daily needs of the hospitals we serve and be prepared for emergencies. In order to collect the units needed, The Blood Connection must screen between 550-600 people a day for blood, platelet, plasma and double red cell units. Blood is good for only 42 days, so donors are needed every day to ensure a stable blood supply.
MORE THAN 15 MILLION pints of blood are transfused in the U.S. each year
EVERY 2 SECONDS someone in the U.S. needs blood
Red blood cells can be stored FOR ONLY 42 DAYS
LESS THAN 10% of the population donates blood.
Where to go to ask questions and start the donating process in South Carolina
Content Credit: www.thebloodconnection,org
5 Questions about snow answered
Snow is one of our favorite parts of winter... except when we have to shovel our way out of it! During all that shoveling, however, I had some questions about snow, and decided to look up the answers. Here's what I discovered!
1. Any time it rains when it's pretty cold, the immediate thought is: 'Will we get any snow? How much?' So, when it rains an inch, how much snow is that?
Well, like the answer to many questions — it depends. The general rule of thumb is that 10 inches of snow equals one inch of rain. But this is not always the case. Snow does not always have the same consistency each time it falls. Sometimes snow is lighter and fluffier than at other times, causing large amounts of snow to equal very little amounts of rain. Other times, when the snow is wetter and denser, the ratio can be a lot closer together. So there will never be an exact amount of snow equal to a measure of rain.
2. What is a Nor'easter? Is it really a storm that comes from the north and from the east?
A Nor'easter is defined by the NOAA as "a storm along the East Coast of North America, so called because the winds over the coastal area are typically from the northeast." Those of us on the East Coast generally define a Nor'easter as "a reason to stay home that day."
It is named for the strong northeasterly winds involved, and the storms "generally northeastward and typically attain maximum intensity near New England and the Maritime Provinces of Canada." Of course, the storms bring plenty of rain, snow and gale force winds.
3. What is the record for the most snowfall in 24 hours in the U.S., and where was it?
You might guess Alaska for this, but you'd be wrong. In 1921, Silver Lake, Colorado, recorded 6 feet of snow over the course of April 14-15. April?! And we thought Nor'easter season was bad.
4. Is it true that every snowflake is different?
We all heard this in elementary school, and my fourth-grade teacher used to compare us (her students) to those unique snowflakes. It made us all feel special at the time, but I think some of my classmates would be dismayed to find out that Nancy Knight of the National Center for Atmospheric Research found two identical-looking snowflakes in 1988. On the molecular level though, according to Caltech physics professor Kenneth Libbrecht, it is impossible for there to be two completely identical flakes because there are so many different layouts of water molecules. Ouch. All this science is hurting my brain. Better stick to lighter snow questions like…
5. Can you eat snow?
Yes, absolutely. Just make sure it’s not "yellow snow," if you know what I mean. (Unless you’re making lemon slushies, of course.) Of course, you don't want to eat snow if you're trying to survive in a snowstorm. Yes, it's a source of water, but it'll lower your body temperature if you eat it directly, and that's worse than dehydration
National Ugly Sweater Day!
Lexi decided to participate in National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day!
Tacky, ugly, horrendous, and cheesy. What do these words all describe? Christmas sweaters. 16th December is National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day – a day to give back filled with fun, family and friends. Leave your uncomfortable suit and school uniform hanging in the closet and pull out that sweater from Grandma that’s been collecting dust. Ugly Christmas sweaters have been around since the dawn of Christmas, but it wasn’t until recently that they really started gaining popularity.
National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day is a holiday started in 2011 by a group of “ugly Christmas sweater aficionados” that wanted a day to show off our prized sweaters. Every year they spend hours laboriously searching through thrift stores and online markets looking for the ugliest of the ugly. And why do they do this?
In the past few years, National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day has grown substantially and is expected to have record-breaking participation this year. National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day recently partnered with Save the Children in their “Make the World Better with a Sweater” campaign. Now holiday participants can be “ugly” for a cause. Last year the campaign had massive success in the United Kingdom and National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day hopes to bring some of that success to the United States. Wear an ugly Christmas sweater on December 16th, encourage others to join, and donate online to Save the Children.
National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day is also an awesome way to get in the holiday spirit. For many people the holidays bring excessive stress. Instead of worrying about the tree looking absolutely perfect and the Christmas lights outside not being hung straight, enjoy spending time with friends and family by throwing an ugly Christmas sweater party and spreading Christmas cheer. Rocking an ugly Christmas sweater is just one festive tradition, you should check out tons of other bizarre Christmas traditions. Whatever it is you love to do, make sure you spend the holidays with those closest to you and have fun.
Fight the Flu
Don't be fooled, influenza (or, the flu, as we commonly call it) is fairly likely to impact your holidays, as one in five Americans suffer from it every single year. According to Pride Staff, the flu, combined with pneumonia, is the nation's 8th leading cause of death. So what can you do take preventive actions to stop the spread of germs and shield yourself (and others) against the flu?
One of the first and most important preventive actions you should take is getting a yearly flu vaccine. Don't know where to get one? Flu.gov has a flu vaccine finder that is very helpful!
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. No tissue? Aim your cough/sneeze into the bend of your arm.
Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. This, my friends, is how germs are spread.
Those are the basics, but what about everyone else? How can you help others do the same? Try these actions:
- Encourage great hygiene among your family members and coworkers.
- Put up posters addressing prevention: how to stop germs from spreading, how to recognize cold/flu symptoms, etc.
- Identify local resources for flu shots and make this information available to coworkers.
- Stock up on hand sanitizer/anti-bacterial wipes and make these available to others.
- Wipe down all flat surfaces: keyboards, mouse, phone and common areas daily.
- Use hand sanitizer after shaking hands with others.
- Contact your office janitorial service to see if they offer any special treatment or processes to prevent the spread of cold/flu germs.
December is National Safe Toys and Gifts Month
December is National Safe Toys and Gifts Month
Holiday Toy Safety Guide
In recent years, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has created a robust toy safety system, by requiring testing by independent, third party testing laboratories around the world; enforcing stringent lead and phthalates limits for toys; imposing some of the most stringent toy standards in the world; and stopping volatile and dangerous toys at the ports and in the marketplace before they reach children’s hands. These combined efforts continue to foster the confidence of American families as they prepare to shop for toys this holiday season.
Safety tips to keep in mind this holiday season:
Children can choke or suffocate on deflated or broken balloons. Keep deflated balloons away from children younger than eight years old. Discard broken balloons immediately.
Small balls and other toys with small parts
For children younger than age three, avoid toys with small parts, which can cause choking.
Scooters and other riding toys
Riding toys, skateboards and in-line skates go fast, and falls could be deadly. Helmets and safety gear should be worn properly at all times and they should be sized to fit.
High-powered magnet sets are dangerous and should be kept away from children. Whether marketed for children or adults, building and play sets with small magnets should also be kept away from small children.
Once gifts are open:
- Immediately discard plastic wrapping or other toy packaging before the wrapping and packaging become dangerous play things.
- Keep toys appropriate for older children away from younger siblings.
- Battery charging should be supervised by adults. Chargers and adapters can pose thermal burn hazards to young children. Pay attention to instructions and warnings on battery chargers. Some chargers lack any mechanism to prevent overcharging.
Toy Safety Guides
The CPSC provides free safety alerts, guides, posters, brochures, handbooks and other materials which you can use to help spread consumer product safety information in your community.
- Choking Hazard: Plastic Film on Toys and Other Children’s Products »
- Strings and Straps on Toys Can Strangle Young Children »
- Ingested Magnets Can Cause Serious Intestinal Injuries »
- Balloons Can Be Suffocation Danger to Kids »
- Caps for Toy Guns »
- Electric Toy Safety »
- Child Safety Protection Act Fact Sheet »
- CPSC Warns Consumers of Dangers with Toy Chest Lids »
- Button Battery Safety Quiz »
Thanksgiving Safety Tips
The kitchen is the heart of the home, especially at Thanksgiving. Kids love to be involved in holiday preparations. Safety in the kitchen is important, especially on Thanksgiving Day when there is a lot of activity and people at home.
- Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
- Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
- Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
- Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
- Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
- Keep knives out of the reach of children.
- Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
- Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
- Never leave children alone in room with a lit a candle.
- Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.
Memorial Day is often confused with Veterans Day. Why? According to the Department of Veterans Affairs:
Many people confuse Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. While those who died are also remembered, Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor ALL those who served honorably in the military — in wartime or peacetime. In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank LIVING veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to our national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served — not only those who died — have sacrificed and done their duty.
Veterans Day and Memorial Day have different histories.
The first official observance of Memorial Day was May 28, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs:
The ceremonies centered around the mourning-draped veranda of the Arlington mansion, once the home of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Various Washington officials, including Gen. and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, presided over the ceremonies. After speeches, children from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphan Home and members of the GAR [Grand Army of the Republic] made their way through the cemetery, strewing flowers on both Union and Confederate graves, reciting prayers and singing hymns.
After World War I, the holiday was extended to all soldiers who had fallen in all American wars.
On Monday at Arlington National Cemetery, the U.S. Army Military District of Washington will conduct a presidential Armed Forces full-honor wreath-laying ceremony at 11 a.m. at the Tomb of the Unknowns, to be followed by an observance program hosted by the Defense Department in Arlington Memorial Amphitheater.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Veterans Day has its origins in the early 20th century. In November 1919, one year after the armistice ending World War I went into effect, President Woodrow Wilson declared Nov. 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words:
To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations. …
In 1938, Congress approved a bill that made Nov. 11 an annual legal holiday known as “Armistice Day” that would honor the cause of world peace, but it was primarily used to honor World War I veterans. In 1954, after World War II, the law was amended, the word “Armistice” was changed to “Veterans” and Nov. 11 became a day to honor veterans of all American wars.
November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month
November Is Senior Pet Month: Consider Adopting an Older Pet
Attention animal lovers: November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month, and we’d love for you to consider giving a home to an older cat or dog in need. Animal shelters across the country are full of animals of all shapes, sizes, breeds and ages, but senior pets are typically the most difficult to place.
We’ve found that while puppies are adorable, when you choose to adopt an older pet, you know what to expect. Senior cats and dogs are fully grown, their personalities have developed, and many are already trained. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t teach an old dog new tricks! In our experience, senior dogs are often easier to train than puppies due to their calm demeanor and prior interactions with human companions. Older pets can be great matches for seniors, or those who enjoy a less active lifestyle.
We’re on the brink of the holiday season, and we can’t think of a better time to provide a home for a shelter pet. Visit our Adopt section to find available senior dogs and cats near you, and help one less animal spend the holiday season in a shelter.
Halloween Safety Tips
Ghost, ghouls and monsters aren't the only things to be afraid of on Halloween. Accidents and mishaps increase dramatically when children trick-or-treat.
To avoid the many dangers children, face while trick or treating, use common sense. Be aware of potential Halloween hazards and take precautions to eliminate them. Consider heading for an indoor Halloween party and bypass any chaos or danger.
Halloween Costume Safety:
- Wear flame retardant costumes.
- Make sure your Halloween costume is colorfast so the color doesn't run onto your other clothes if it rains.
- Try on costumes before Halloween to allow time for altering.
- Hem your costumes so you don't trip and fall.
- Apply reflective tape to your Halloween costumes.
- Avoid cumbersome masks. Use make-up instead.
- Use only hypoallergenic and non-toxic makeup.
- Wear comfortable, practical shoes.
- Double tie your shoelaces so you don't trip.
- Keep your costume and wig away from candles.
- Don't carry fake swords, guns, knives or similar accessories that look authentic. Make sure they're flexible and cannot harm anyone.
- Plan your route ahead of time.
- Trick or treat in familiar neighborhoods.
- Carry a flashlight with fresh batteries after dark.
- Take along money for a phone call.
- Wear identification that's easy to read.
- Always trick or treat in groups, accompanied by an adult.
- Follow a curfew and take a watch with a backlight.
- Stay on the sidewalks and out of the streets. Cross only at intersections and designated crosswalks.
- Walk. No running.
- Don't trample through flower beds and gardens.
- Watch out for open flames in jack-o-Lanterns.
- Walk with your head up and be aware of your surroundings.
- Only visit well-lit houses. Don't stop at dark houses.
- Don't enter any houses unless you know the people.
- Carry a spare Halloween bag, in case yours breaks or you fill your original one.
- Don't approach unfamiliar pets and animals.
- Don't cut across yards and stay out of backyards.
- Follow traffic signals and don't jaywalk.
- Always watch for cars backing up or turning.
- Review the "stop, drop and roll" procedure in case your costume catches on fire.
- Never accept rides from strangers.
- Respect other people and their property.
- Be polite and say "thank you".
- Don't eat any candy until it's inspected for tampering under bright lights.
- Avoid candy that has loose wrappings, is unwrapped, has puncture holes, or is homemade.
- Small children should not be allowed hard candy they may choke on.
- Report any suspicious or criminal activity to an adult or the police.
- Consider having a party instead of Trick or Treating.
October is National Animal Safety Month!
October is National Animal Safety and Prevention Month; a month dedicated to promoting the safe practices of handling and caring for both domestic and wild animals. Animals play an important part in our everyday lives, even if we don't personally have pets. So it's vital to make sure that they are treated kindly and with the respect and care they deserve.
National Animal Safety and Prevention Month was created by the PALS Foundation. PALS is dedicated to helping people and animals coexist in a way that benefits all of nature. They believe that humans must come to know the value of all animals, both domestic and wild, and the important role that they play in our ecosystem.
There are several ways you can participate in National Animal Safety and Prevention Month. Some of them are as simple as being aware of the needs of your own household pets. For example, make sure they are micro-chipped so if they are ever lost, they can be easily found and returned; collars with identification tags are also just as important. Pet proof your home against the possibility of your animals coming in contact with any dangerous poisons or toxins. Put together a disaster escape plan in case you ever need to evacuate your pets quickly from the home. There are plenty of things you can do to take that extra step in making sure your pets are protected in all circumstances.
If you don't have pets of your own, you can still participate in Animal Safety and Prevention Month by volunteering at your local animal shelter. Foster a pet until it finds its new furrever home. There are plenty of animals that have not yet been adopted that would be very appreciative of your time and love. For those animal lovers who don’t have a lot of free time, donating money or much needed supplies to your local animal shelters is always appreciated. This will help to ensure that pets waiting to be re-homed will get all the necessary care.
Plan a trip to the zoo. This is fun for people with or without children. Take the time to educate children about animal care while they're still young. Education helps them gain a healthy appreciation of animals when become adults.
Help promote National Animal Safety and Prevention Month simply by spreading the word. Get involved by contacting your local newspapers, magazines, radio stations, and television stations to see what they're doing to help promote National Animal Safety and Prevention Month. If they currently have no plans to celebrate it, suggest spreading this wonderful message. Just one small effort could bring awareness to much larger groups of people who are readers, listeners, and viewers of these outlets.
National Animal Safety and Prevention Month is a wonderful opportunity to remind people of the importance of animals in our everyday lives. Though it's only one month out of the year, these safety practices should be observed all year around. With better safety practices, we can all lead happier and healthier lives.
National Grandparents Day!
September 11th is National Grand Parents Day
National Grandparents Day
National Grandparents Day is held on the first Sunday of September after Labor Day, by honoring grandparents.
The day is celebrated by gift giving, cards, and family get together to support, and give thanks to their grandparents. Kids will often do school events like art projects centered around recognizing their grandparents. National Grandparents Day is not a federal national holiday, but rather an observance to bring attention, support and thanks for our Grandparents.
National Grandparents Day was officially recognized by the US Senate and President Jimmy Carter that the founder of the day was Marian McQuade of Oak Hill West Virginia. They were inspired by her work to educate the youth in her community about seniors and their contributions. On August 3, 1978 President Carter signed the proclamation sent to him from congress to make the first Sunday in September after Labor Day to be Grandparents Day.
September is Preparedness Month
America’s PrepareAthon! Encourages Emergency Readiness
Disaster Response and Recovery
by Greg Tucker
This is National Preparedness Month, and there is no better time to make plans for times when things go wrong. A nation as large and geographically diverse as the United States will see many different disasters over the course of the average year – from hurricanes to tornadoes and from wildfires to blackouts – so emergency preparedness is something we all should have on our to-do lists.
“In the aftermath of disasters, Americans come together to show that we are there for each other,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of CNCS. “Preparedness is crucial to ensuring that our country is safe and strong and America’s PrepareAthon! is an opportunity for volunteers to keep our neighbors and communities ready to respond.”
Preparing in Case the Worst Happens
America's PrepareAthon! logo.
CNCS is joining our partners at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to lead the America’s PrepareAthon! campaign across the nation to increase emergency preparedness and resilience through hazard-specific drills, group discussions, and other emergency exercises.
The PrepareAthon! will provide individuals, communities, and organizations with action-based guidance to practice the steps necessary to stay safe during a disaster or emergency. The campaign encourages Americans to learn about mitigation measures; and understand community plans, including alerts and warnings, evacuation, and sheltering.
During this event, communities will be asked to choose specific focus areas based on hazards that apply to their region, and many of these efforts will be led by CNCS affiliates and grantees.
One of these groups is the National Preparedness & Response Corps (NPRC), which engages AmeriCorps members to work with the American Red Cross for one-year terms to improve disaster preparedness and response. A CNCS grant has doubled the size of this program during the last two years and greatly increased the capacity of the NPRC to serve at 21 American Red Cross chapters.
America’s PrepareAthon! is just one part of FEMA’s efforts to provide services not just after disasters happen but also to help people prepare for what might happen. The agency supports a plethora of programs and resources to increase preparedness, many of which can be found on its Ready.gov website, as well as promotes targeted events across the nation such as Great American Shake Out drills to promote earthquake readiness.
National Son and Daughter Day
NATIONAL SON’S AND DAUGHTER’S DAY
Each year on August 11, parents across the United States celebrate National Son’s and Daughter’s Day. On this day, spend time with the joys of your life, your sons and/or daughters.
Let your children know that you are glad that they are part of your life. Time passes by very fast and children grow quickly. Enjoy every day that you have with them and spend as much quality time as you can.
Do something special for your children today. If they are at home, go for a walk or enjoy a local park. If your children are grown, give them a call and remind them how special they are to you. Use #SonsAndDaughtersDay on social media.
Our research did not find the creator or the origin of National Son’s and Daughter’s Day, an “unofficial” national holiday.
Excessive Heat Warning for Lake County Residents
Excessive Heat Warning in effect from noon Thursday to 7 PM CDT Friday.
The National Weather Service in Chicago has issued an Excessive Heat Warning, which is in effect from noon Thursday to 7 PM CDT Friday. The Excessive Heat Watch is no longer in effect.
•Temperature: mid 90s Thursday and Friday.
•Maximum heat index values, 105 to 115 degrees.
•Impacts: temperatures this high could lead to heat related illnesses with prolonged exposure. The elderly, small children and pets are especially susceptible. Plan ahead. Have a cool place to shelter from the heat. Avoid outdoor activity during the afternoon.
Take extra precautions, if you work or spend time outside. When possible, reschedule Strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear light weight and loose fitting clothing when possible and drink plenty of water.
Heat Stroke is an emergency, call 9 1 1.
Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances. This is especially true during warm or hot weather when Car Interiors can reach lethal temperatures in a matter of minutes.