Archive for December, 2015

35 ways to make 2016 a terrific year

  1. Hang out with people who make you laugh.
  2. Try to do something active every day.
  3. Experience other cultures through travel, books/magazines, events, etc.
  4. Spend less than you earn.
  5. Go to bed earlier.
  6. Get outdoors more.
  7. Volunteer.
  8. Talk with a senior citizen.
  9. Eat a cleaner diet.
  10. Find stress management activities.
  11. Say hello to strangers.
  12. Unplug frequently.
  13. Spend more time with family and friends
  14. Do something outside your comfort zone.
  15. Leave the car and walk or bike to the store.
  16. Listen to music from your youth.
  17. Let people off the hook when they make a mistake.
  18. Take photos of things in nature.
  19. Stretch.
  20. Say “yes” more than “no.”
  21. But learn how to say “no” when you feel overwhelmed.
  22. Clean out the clutter.
  23. Make new friends.
  24. Connect with old friends.
  25. Watch an old movie.
  26. Honor your commitments.
  27. Do your taxes earlier.
  28. Ramp up your retirement savings.
  29. Take all of the vacation time you’ve earned.
  30. Pat yourself on the back once in a while.
  31. Replace television time with a hobby.
  32. Take a class.
  33. Tackle that home project that’s been hanging over your head.
  34. Live knowing that every day could be your last.
  35. Tell your loved ones how you feel.

Your turn. What ideas do you have to make 2016 a great year?

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Are you prepared for an emergency?

Could you manage without electricity for a couple of days? What if a major storm left you stranded at home? Or worse, if a hurricane drove you from your home?

While Emergency management experts stress the importance of personal readiness, Americans are, in general, woefully unprepared for the next disaster that might lurk around the corner.

I recently appeared on Maine Watch, a news program on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network with Joshua Frances, MPH, an emergency management expert, to discuss personal preparedness, and what Americans can — and should — do to be ready when an emergency arises.

“Preparing for an emergency helps you better manage it,” says Josh, who shares the belief that personal preparedness is a civic responsibility we all share. “By preparing for a disaster, you also reduce the odds that emergency responders will be called to assist you,” he says. “This frees them up to aid those who may unable to fend for themselves and really need help — such as the elderly or those with health issues.”

So, what should you do to prepare?

Consider the possibilities
First, identify what emergencies you’re most likely to encounter in your area. For example, New Englanders should look at the possibility of an ice storm knocking power, while those in the Midwest might want to think about preparing for a tornado.

From there, consider what the impact would be, and how you could prepare for the worst. Some things to consider:

  • Have a family disaster plan and have practice it. Include all family members in planning and practice.
  • Have at least one member of your household is trained in first aid and CPR/AED.

A “Shelter in Place Kit” helps you ride out an event, such as a blizzard, if you decide to hunker down at home. Items to include:

  • First Aid kit
  • Blankets
  • Flashlights and batteries
  • Radio
  • Water – plan for one gallon per person per day
  • Non-perishable food

Be Ready to ‘Go’
Some circumstances might drive you from your home. To prepare for these, such as home fires, make a “Go Bag,” with essential items:

  • List of medications and health care providers
  • Emergency contact information
  • Emergency clothing
  • Cash
  • Games for the kids
  • Identification
  • Pet food, toys, extra leash

Note: Keep your important papers protected from the elements in a plastic bag

Pack the car
It’s also wise to keep some basic emergency supplies in your car, should you be stranded:

  • Warm clothing – hats, wool socks, gloves
  • Flashlight
  • First Aid Kit
  • Sand (for traction if you’re stuck)
  • Reflectors
  • Snacks

Final thoughts
Home fires are the most common , and deadliest type of disaster, so make sure your house has working smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside sleeping areas, and on every level. While you’re at it, add a carbon monoxide detector on each level, too.

And, don’t wait until the last minute to prepare. You’ll find long lines and short supplies at the store.

Learn more about preparedness at Ready.gov

Related Post:
Sandy’s devastation reminds us to be prepared

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