Fall-ing into Winter

November 25, 2014 11:37 am

There’s no doubt that winter is on our doorstep. Much of the country has already seen snowfall and everyone is preparing for what is predicted to be a frigid winter. Now’s the time to take action to ensure that your apartment and condo communities are winterized. Over the next few blogs, we’ll discuss tips for avoiding frozen pipes and how to be ready for power outages. But first, let’s heat things up…

Furnace Safety – When Mother Nature turns down the temperature outside, we turn up our thermostats inside. When you turn on your heat for the first time after a nice long, hot summer, you may notice a slight odor. Typically, this smell is due to a buildup of small debris on your furnace, like lint and dust. However, in some instances this odor could serve as a warning that your furnace needs to be serviced. Take the smart and safe precaution to have it serviced and cleaned by a professional.

Vents, Filters, & Windows - It’s also a smart idea in the beginning of a season to inspect your vents and filters. Vacuum the vents if there is dust forming and change the filters on a regular basis. If you have propane heat, ensure the tanks are full and have them inspected for any wear and tear. Check that all your windows are closed and that the seals are strong.

Thermostats - If there are empty units in the complex, leave the thermostat around 55 degrees. A steady temperature is more energy efficient than turning the heat on and off throughout the day.

A Money Saving Secret – Another way to save a few dollars and maximize your heat is to reverse ceiling fans. Many of us just turn off the fans in the winter, but if you locate and turn the small switch on the fan’s middle unit, it will propel the blades clockwise, pushing the warm air down.

Read on next week when we go over a few tips on how to avoid frozen pipes.

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Category: Emergency Restoration Guidelines Tags:

Ebola: Outbreak, Epidemic, Pandemic or Hysteria?

November 12, 2014 10:02 am

When we think of disaster relief, our minds often first go to natural disasters such as hurricanes or snowstorms. Lately, however, the news is focused on a different type of disaster – diseases. In the news, the spread of Ebola has been referred to as an outbreak, an epidemic and most recently, a pandemic. What's the difference in this terminology?

  • Outbreak: An outbreak is when a disease occurs in greater numbers than expected within a localized geographical area or span of time. It can occur in one or several communities or countries, and can last from days to years.
  • Epidemic: An epidemic is a step above an outbreak when more people are afflicted than expected. The 2003 SARS epidemic is a good example.
  • Pandemic: A pandemic is a more global scare, one that either affects more people or a larger global area, or in most scenarios, both. WebMd uses HIV/AIDS as an "example of one of the most destructive global pandemics in history."

What is the risk?

Ebola can be a serious disease, with a mortality rate upwards of 50 to 70%. However, the American healthcare system is much better prepared than the developing nations to handle the disease. As a result, the morality rate in the U.S. would be much lower, especially if people are diagnosed early.

By comparison, the flu killed 52,000 people last year. Unlike the flu, Ebola is not airborne and can only be spread through direct contact with bodily fluids such as sweat, blood, vomit, and saliva.

What do I need to know for my community?

The National Apartment Association recently released a document that shares precautionary guidance on taking necessary precautions. While the risk of contracting Ebola is low, the NAA recognizes the importance of being educated and prepared. Click here to read their suggestions for your employees and community.

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has also released new documentation that "provides guidance on protecting workers in non-healthcare/non-laboratory settings from exposure to Ebola virus.” Click here to learn more.

A greater threat – hysteria

Another important term to understand in this context is “hysteria.” The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines hysteria as "a situation in which many people behave or react in an extreme or uncontrolled way because of fear, anger, etc." The politically charged atmosphere of the mid-term elections have added to the hysteria with ill-advised and irresponsible comments by politicians and their operatives who are using Ebola as a political gain. This has unreasonably increased concern among the American public.

The Ebola Outbreak has two threats to the U.S. – one is the actual disease, which is low. The other is the hysteria surrounding the disease, which currently is a greater threat than the disease itself.

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New Facebook Sweepstakes! Enter to Win an iPad Mini!

November 6, 2014 1:12 pm

To enter the Sweepstakes, Like our Facebook Page and then look for the Sweepstakes tab (image shown below) located on our Facebook Page to enter. Sweepstakes ends December 31, 2014.

For mobile users ONLY, like our Facebook Page, and then click here to enter!

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