April is Tornado Awareness Month. Do you know where to seek shelter during a tornado? Learn what to do before, during & after one hits.
Tornadoes can destroy your home, your business, buildings, flip cars, and create deadly flying debris. Tornadoes are violently rotating columns of air that extend from a thunderstorm to the ground. Tornadoes can:
Happen anytime and anywhere;
Bring intense winds, over 200 MPH; and
Look like funnels.
IF YOU ARE UNDER A TORNADO WARNING, FIND SAFE SHELTER RIGHT AWAY
If you can safely get to a sturdy building, then do so immediately.
Go to a safe room, basement, or storm cellar.
If you are in a building with no basement, then get to a small interior room on the lowest level.
Stay away from windows, doors, and outside walls.
Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You’re safer in a low, flat location.
Watch out for flying debris that can cause injury or death.
Use your arms to protect your head and neck.
HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN A TORNADO THREATENS
Know your area’s tornado risk. In the U.S., the Midwest and the Southeast have a greater risk for tornadoes.
Know the signs of a tornado, including a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud; an approaching cloud of debris; or a loud roar—similar to a freight train.
Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts. If your community has sirens, then become familiar with the warning tone.
Pay attention to weather reports. Meteorologists can predict when conditions might be right for a tornado.
Identify and practice going to a safe shelter in the event of high winds, such as a safe room built using FEMA criteria or a storm shelter built to ICC 500 standards. The next best protection is a small, interior, windowless room on the lowest level of a sturdy building.
Consider constructing your own safe room that meets FEMA or ICC 500 standards.
Immediately go to a safe location that you identified.
Take additional cover by shielding your head and neck with your arms and putting materials such as furniture and blankets around you.
Listen to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio, or local alerting systems for current emergency information and instructions.
Do not try to outrun a tornado in a vehicle.
If you are in a car or outdoors and cannot get to a building, cover your head and neck with your arms and cover your body with a coat or blanket, if possible.
Be Safe AFTER
Keep listening to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio, and local authorities for updated information.
If you are trapped, cover your mouth with a cloth or mask to avoid breathing dust. Try to send a text, bang on a pipe or wall, or use a whistle instead of shouting.
Stay clear of fallen power lines or broken utility lines.
Do not enter damaged buildings until you are told that they are safe.
Save your phone calls for emergencies. Phone systems are often down or busy after a disaster. Use text messaging or social media to communicate with family and friends.
Be careful during clean-up. Wear thick-soled shoes, long pants, and work gloves.
Researching prices and finding deals can be a time-consuming process for many adults, which makes responsible spending a burden. While some big-ticket items can be rewarding, some bad purchases just won’t justify the price over time, no matter how much you try to rationalize the decision.
You may be thinking February is not the time of year to manage invasive species, especially work involving plants; however, it is a great time of year to review past efforts, and plan invasive species work for the growing season. Many landowners in Indiana are doing just that. In addition to planning for upcoming work, we are excited to announce that Indiana is rolling out the Indiana Invasives Initiative (III) and participating in Weed Wrangle Indiana®.
Nest Secure users got a surprise when Google revealed a secret microphone on the device.
Earlier this month, Google pushed an update for Nest Secure that enabled it to function as a Google Assistant smart speaker. The announcement surprised users not just because of the new feature, but because the news came with the revelation that a microphone has existed on the hardware all along.
Until then, Nest Secure never had a feature that allowed voice commands, so users who placed the security system in their home had no cause to think a microphone was on the hardware. Moreover, the microphone is not listed in any of the product descriptions or instructions. But this month users learned that their Nest Guard device — the keypad component of the Nest Secure system — has a microphone that this newest update would enable.
In a climate of rampant information collection, a secret microphone naturally makes a person suspicious. A representative for Google comments, “The on-device microphone was never intended to be a secret and should have been listed in the tech specs…That was an error on our part.” The company claims the microphone had been installed for future features, such as this.
Avast expert Luis Corrons believes that Nest Secure owners may be able to rest easy. “It is important to note,” he says, “that the microphone is disabled by default in all Nest devices. To enable it, the users have to do it themselves via the Nest app. This means that at no moment was it possible for the device to be listening.”
Avast is a global leader in cybersecurity, protecting hundreds of millions of users around the world. Protect all of your devices with award-winning free antivirus. Safeguard your privacy and encrypt your online connection with SecureLine VPN.
Learn more about products that protect your digital life at avast.com. And get all the latest news on today’s cyberthreats and how to beat them at blog.avast.com.
Security is a great deterrent, but if something bad does happen make sure your home policy is correctly set up to help you and your family in your time of need. Call Scott Lynch at (317) 886 – 0081 for your free review. Stop by our website: Scott Lynch Agency
Even in winter, projects, repairs and hobbies must go on. And that often means you’ll be spending time in the garage. Instead of risking frost bite, consider these 12 ways to heat your garage safely and reliably in winter.
Determine Your Heating Needs
How difficult will it be to warm your garage in the heart of winter? How easy is it to get cheap heat in your garage? Consider how cold it gets in your part of the world, the square footage of your space and if you have sufficient insulation. Heat output is measured in BTUs or British Thermal Units. To get to that number you’re going to need to measure your space and think about how warm you need it to be. After you get that number you’re ready to shop for a unit!
Insulate Your Garage
Before you invest in a garage heating system, make sure your garage has plenty of insulation. Insulate garage doors where possible as well as walls and ceilings. You can easily and inexpensively add clear plastic shrink film over windows for added protection against the cold. Once you get a garage heating system installed, you don’t want all of your warm air—not to mention the money you spend on utility bills—seeping out through cracks.
You can use a forced-air unit to heat your cold garage. These heaters range in price and size and are not as pricey as an infrared heat source. Here are some factors to consider: Forced-air heaters work by blasting hot air into the room. They can be professionally installed to tie into your home’s gas or propane line, too. The downside here is if you do a lot of woodworking, for example, the forced air will blow dirt and debris around, which is a major drawback especially when you’re painting, staining and finishing projects.
A convection heater is another versatile option for a garage space heater. You can choose a unit that’s powered by electricity, natural gas or propane. These heaters operate by air convection currents circulating through the unit and across its heating element, thus heating the air around you. Depending on the type and size of your appliance, the unit could heat pretty quickly, while others take a little longer to warm a room. So, factor in how cold your garage gets and how long you’re willing to wait for it to warm up when you choose a convection heating system.
Ductless Heating and Cooling
There are many reasons to go with a ductless heating and cooling system to heat your garage. Sometimes called split systems, multi-split systems, or split-ductless systems, a ductless system heats or cools with a single unit. They’re an efficient use of energy, thereby saving you money on your utility bill. And ductless systems are eco-friendly since they meet the highest, most efficient energy guidelines. If that wasn’t enough to consider this option, they are easier to install than most HVAC systems.
Warm floors aren’t just for bathrooms anymore! They’re also great for heating garages and perfect for the part-time mechanic. If you find yourself rebuilding that classic car from the ground up, treat your toes, back, neck and more with an in-floor heating system. This is a great addition to any other heat source you have in the room. Check out how to get started with PEX tubing for your radiant heat system and get one step closer to your toasty-warm dream garage.
Add a Propane Heater
Whether the garage is the place where you tinker or you do more serious work, you’ll want to be comfortable in winter. When searching for a heat source you’ll come across many options including a propane appliance. Propane, an affordable heat source, also delivers great warmth. With a propane heater you can go big or small, depending on your needs. With this type of heater you add the fuel to the appliance and begin to instantly warm your space. The unit typically provides an automatic setting or manual ignition. Their affordability and mobility make them a great option for warming up your space.
Electric Ceiling Panels
If you’re looking for a primary way to heat your garage in winter consider the radiant electric ceiling panel. These 1-in.-thick panels mount on the ceiling and can be an energy-efficient option that heats up quickly and cools down just as fast. Plus, if your garage not only needs to function well, but look good, you can’t go wrong with these ceiling-slimming panels.
Consider a Mounted Electric Heater
Bigger than a portable space heater, a wall-mounted electric heater is among the best ways to heat your garage space in winter. Here you’re typically looking at installing a 240-volt hard-wired unit. Another plus—these heaters can be easier to install than a forced-air heating system, so you may not need to call in a professional for help. If you go with this kind of heater, here are some DIY tips for mounting a heater on a wall to help you.
Portable Space Heater
A portable space heater—like the kind used to heat up a cold room in your home—is a simple way to augment an existing heat source to better warm your garage on those super-chilly winter days. Depending on how much additional heat you’re looking for, a garage space heater comes in nearly any size to fit any budget. Plus, they’re very portable and readily available. The U.S. Department of Energy’s tips on buying and installing a heater can help you decide what type and size unit is right for your garage.
A wood burning stove is an economical way to heat your garage space in winter, if done safely. Just like you take steps to make your indoor wood-burning fireplace safe, you’ll want to do the same with your garage stove. First, check with your local municipality for the permits that may be required. Then check with your insurance company to make sure installation of a wood stove in the garage for cheap heat will not void your homeowner’s policy. After getting the necessary approvals, you can order a wood stove from your local hardware store. Once installed, don’t forget to periodically clean your chimney and flue or hire a professional. Otherwise, you risk exposure to toxic gases.
When installing wood burning stoves – check with your insurance agent for guidelines on installation that won’t void your insurance policy. Shopping for insurance in Indiana – call Scott Lynch at (317) 886-0081 or visit him on line at: Scott Lynch Agency
11 Delicious, Glorious Ways to Celebrate National Pizza Day
February is a great month because it contains a very important holiday that allows you to celebrate your one true love.
And no, you sap, we are not talking about Valentine’s Day. We are talking about National Pizza Day, which falls on February 9. (Quick note: most of these National Whatever Days are totally fake. But we’re not going to turn down the opportunity to celebrate pizza. So here we are.)
You’re probably planning to observe this important day by just scarfing down a slice after work. But you can do so much more than that to truly honor the glory of pizza. Here are some suggestions.
1. Go on a pizza crawl. Do a little research to find the best pizza joints in your city and then plan out a route. We believe in you and your pizza-eating abilities, but make sure you don’t end up in a debilitating food coma. Keep hydrated throughout the day and maybe walk instead of driving or taking public transit when possible. You can handle this. (If you live in a city like New York or Chicago, you could also check out guided pizza tours.)
3. Challenge your friends to a pizza bakeoff. If you host the event at your house, you get to be the judge. Group your friends into teams beforehand so they can strategize and shop for ingredients, and then sit back and wait for them to wow you. Taste is obviously the most important criteria here, but you should also factor in creativity, presentation, and passion. Passion is key.
5. Bring pizza to work. Since National Pizza Day falls on a Tuesday, you’ll probably be at work. Order some pizzas to the office and be a true hero. (Or just invite the people you actually like to visit the nearest pizzeria at lunchtime.)
7. Come up with Pizza Resolutions. Think of this as the first day of the new pizza year. What are you pizza-related goals for the next 12 months? Some resolutions could include: eat healthier pizza (arugula on top! do it!), expand your pizza horizons and try different styles, be better about sharing pizza with your friends, overcome your fears and try toppings you don’t think you like, etc.
8. Buy a rat and train it to drag pizza around your apartment. You’ll go viral, and then once you figure out how to monetize your virality, think of how much money you’ll have to buy more pizza!
9. Give pizza to a baby for the first time. Imagine getting to witness a human being experiencing pizza for the very first time. Consider recording the baby and, again, you could go viral. Make sure you get permission from the baby’s parents.
10. Give back to the pizza community with Random Acts of Pizza. There’s a magical section of Reddit called Random Acts of Pizza where people join together to deliver a pizza to someone in need. Help send the joy of pizza to someone who just lost their job and can’t afford to feed himself—or even just someone who’s feeling kind of lonely and could use a smile. (Just, uh, beware of con artists.)
11. Spend some quality time alone with pizza. Just you and pizza. Turn off your phone, put away your laptop, dim the lights, and remember why you fell in love in the first place.