Drivers of all ages can increase their comfort, safety

All vehicle drivers should check this advice from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Older drivers particularly should check it out.

* Visibility: Be sure your seat is adjusted correctly. Drivers should be able to see at least 10 feet in front of the vehicle. Headlights should be aimed at the roadway. A mechanic can determine if they are aimed and aligned right.

* Check with an ophthalmologist to be sure your eyeglasses are correct.

* If your night vision is less than it once was, drive only during the day. Arrange your activities so you are not caught outside in the dark. You still have your independence, but remember: safety first.

* Ease of entry. When you are having trouble getting in and out of a car with low seats, consider buying a minivan or SUV, which have higher seats. People of all ages should consider this.

* Ease of driving. Almost all cars have power steering today, which takes much less strength to guide the car. An automatic transmission is easier to drive than a stick shift, even if the stick shift is thought to be more sporty.

Many people feel that small cars are easier to drive. If your big car no longer seems comfortable, a smaller car might be right for you.

* Check your medications. Today, the average person takes several, some of which can produce drowsiness, dizziness or nervousness. If you think a medication has one of these effects, ask your doctor for an alternative medicine

ADHD teens and car accidents

Teens with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder(ADHD) are more likely to have a car accident, according to a new study.

According to Allison Curry, director of epidemiology and biostatistics at the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, ADHD teens are less likely to get a license after they become eligible and more likely to have an accident.

Curry’s study compared New Jersey health records to car accidents. Of the 2,500 teens with ADHD, nearly 43 percent had a car crash. About 36 percent of teens without ADHD had a crash, the study found.

Only 12 percent of ADHD teens had been prescribed medication in the month before driving.

The study was reported in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

Does Renter’s Insurance Cover Damage to the Rental Property In Cypress, TX?

The agents of InsureUS in Cypress, TX offer Renter’s Insurance that protects your personal property from theft and damage. The protection only extends to your personal belongings. It doesn’t cover the building or the personal property of the owner of the home or apartment. In order for their building and possessions to be covered, they must carry an insurance policy that includes the building and the physical property itself. Your renter’s policy will cover the following elements.

Personal Liability

Personal liability protects you if someone is injured while visiting your apartment or home. If someone is injured and chooses to sue you, your personal liability coverage will pay the damages up to a specific percentage. The amount your insurance company pays will vary according to the policy and amount of coverage.

Personal Property

Your Renter’s Insurance will cover the cost to replace your personal items if they are damaged or stolen. The dollar amount is determined the type of policy you have and the amounts you have chosen. It will also cover your luggage while you are traveling.

Loss of Use (Living Expenses)

When it comes to Renter’s Insurance, Loss of Use means the use of your living area. This part of the policy pays for living expenses such as a hotel, food and rent if your apartment is damaged and not inhabitable. It may also pay a portion of your moving expenses. 

In Cypress, TX, you can speak to a licensed agent at InsureUs and find all of the information you need on Renter’s Insurance as well as personal liability coverage. Make an appointment today to find out what type of coverage and how much you need to keep your belongings safe and protected. 

Finding top talent on small budgets

Key to any successful business is being staffed with the field’s top talent. Small business owners understand this, but their small budgets may limit their efforts.

However, there are steps that small business owners can take to attract top tier talent, and be just as competitive as their larger counterparts.

Your brand

Monster highlights building a strong brand as key to attracting the best talent.

“For example, when describing your company or writing job ads, avoid generic language, such as ‘lots of opportunity, great place to work,'” Susan Strayer LaMotte, founder of Exaqueo, told Monster. She added:

“You have to focus on what’s yours — what makes your company great that’s different from everyone else.”

Local help

Your local chamber of commerce is a good start for listing your job opening. They may list your opportunity in their periodic communications, like emails and newsletters, to members. They may be willing to list it for free. Also, if you are a member of any professional organizations, reach out to them. These groups often have the best access to top talent that could be great fits for your business.

Sell your strengths

Considering many top-talented workers are drawn to large, established companies, you must make sure you stress any standouts for your business. For example, if you have a patent on a product you sell, which shows it’s unique to just your business, point that out.

Logistics

Many top-level professionals have become accustomed to being able to telecommute. While this option may give you pause if you want to keep tabs on your new employee, you should consider it. Telecommuting continues to be one of the things workers rank high on their list of desired perks.

Ready to sell?

Step up strong with these six first steps

If you are ready for the adventure of selling your home and starting a new chapter in your life, congratulations!

It’s going to be great. And some work. But still great.

Here are the first six steps you can take to get your home ready for sale.

1. Pack up, pick up:

Pack up pictures, knick-knacks, books, files, decorations, out-of-season clothing, old purses, and sports equipment. That includes extra sets of anything, including dishes, pans, vases, glasses, lamps, supplies and linens. Sell, store, or trash. You might even love this minimalist living.

2. Clean. And clean again.

Nothing sells like a clean house. That means corners, drawers, cabinets, and all fixtures. Detail!

3. Fix up.

Inspect, paint and replace as needed: floors, walls, baseboards, molding, light fixtures. Don’t forget the landscape. Clean and tidy.

At this point, you might wonder about professional staging. You’ve seen it on TV: An earnest home stager backs up a moving truck filled with fine furniture and clever decor and suddenly the house is remade. People ooh and aah at the pretty picture it makes.

This is actually true. According to the Real Estate Staging Association, professionally staged homes sell five to six times faster.

Real Estate agents have heard plenty of skepticism about this from buyers who already are overworked getting their homes ready for sale.

You might think your decor will already make people say ooh and aah but experience says no. Your listing will bring people from outside your social circle who may not see home design your way. Neutral colors and fabrics help sell a home.

4. Plan to open your house to visitors.

Be ready to show your house. That means packing up the kids and pets when it is time. Make that plan early.

5. Get an inspection and spill your secrets.

Get an inspection before you put your home on the market to uncover problems. You might have to fix some things, but it’s better than stalling your home sale. Be prepared with a list of things about the house that the inspection might miss, but you know of. For example, that crack in the cement deck that is covered with the lovely plant platform. List it.

6. Hire a full-service real estate agent.

You have enough to do without trying to suddenly learn another profession. Experience pays in home sale price.

Beware dangers of lawn mower fires

The hum of lawn mowers ring through the country in summertime.

Homeowners rarely consider this task dangerous, but the fact is mowers can and do cause fires.

A lawn mower was responsible for a 2015 wildfire in Oregon that cost millions to fight. The fire raged through more than 26,000 acres, threatening 158 homes.

Every summer, mowers are responsible for devastating house fires, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. In 2013, a Virginia homeowner parked a hot mower under a wooden deck. The heat from the mower sparked a fire that rapidly consumed the house.

Fire in lawn mowers is not a commonly acknowledged problem.

Any lawn mower, electric or gas, can catch fire. As with any powerful tool, many things can go wrong. Nearly every mower brand has had a recall due to fire potential. In 2011, John Deere recalled mowers after cooling fans failed, causing a reported 83 fires. Toro recalled its zero-turn mowers in 2013 after an idler pulley rubbing against the fuel tank posed a fire hazard. Craftsman mowers were recalled because of fuel line connections, according to classaction.org.

Fuel hazards are one of the leading causes of fire in gas-powered lawn mowers. Fuel leaking onto the motor can cause a fire. Fuel vapors around a hot muffler also cause fires.

According to Underwriters Laboratory, the exhaust of a mower is 240 degrees and the engine can heat to 200 degrees. A gas cap leak or sloppy fueling can easily spark a fire.

Experts recommend that you fill a mower only when it is cool.

Gas-powered mowers are not the only types responsible for fire. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, this year an electric mower by Hong Kong Sun Rise Trading, was recalled when it was discovered that a short in the circuit board could cause a fire.

Another common cause of fire has nothing to do with the machine itself and everything to do with how it is used. Mowers frequently cause brush fires when tall, dry grass becomes stuck in the mower deck. This grass can get packed into the blazing hot muffler and catch fire. Not only does it burn the machine, but usually sets off a grass or field fire. This could have been the cause of the Oregon wildfire of 2015.

Rock strikes cause fires when the mower’s metal blades, traveling 200 mph at the tip, hit even a tiny rock, causing a spark and igniting dried grass.

Fire experts recommend homeowners wet down dried grass or brush before mowing. An even better idea is to not mow at all in hot, dry, windy weather.

Best practices for using your lawn mower:

* Start mowing near the house and mow outward to create a firebreak.

* Never fuel up a hot mower.

* Replace any leaky gas caps.

* Once you have fueled up, keep the gasoline container at a safe distance.

* Disconnect the spark plug before doing any service on the mower. A spark plug can cause the mower to start unexpectedly.

* Clear rocks from the mowing area.

* Keep the mower clean of fuel.

* Routinely clean out grass from the mower blades with a hose. Never put your hands near the blade unless the spark plug has been disconnected and the unit has completely cooled.

Heat and humidity add up to danger

Emergency rooms see an increase in cases of heat stroke and dehydration in July and August.

The American College of Emergency Physicians gives this advice on how to stay safe in hot weather:

*Check the heat index before going out to work, play or practice and plan accordingly.

*Avoid direct sunlight in the middle of the day. Schedule activities for the early morning or early evening hours.

*Wear loose, light-colored clothes and hats. Dark colors absorb more heat.

*Drink lots of water or sports drinks; about 8 ounces an hour when in the sun in order to avoid dehydration.

*Take frequent breaks in the shade or in air-conditioning to cool off.

Calculate the “apparent temperature” before taking part in activities. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:

* At 90 degrees and 50 percent humidity, it feels like 96. At 70 percent humidity, it feels like 106 degrees. Heat exhaustion is likely, so take it easy.

Heat exhaustion can include cramps, heavy sweating, nausea, heart-rate changes and dizziness. Get the victim out of the sun, remove excess clothing and place cool towels on extremities. Fan and give small sips of water.

* At 95 degrees and 50 percent humidity, it feels like 107 degrees. At 70 percent humidity, it feels like 124 degrees. At that temperature and at any higher temperature or humidity, it is extremely dangerous to be outside and heatstroke could occur.

* At 100 degrees, humidity ranging from 35 percent to 55 percent can cause heat exhaustion. At 100 degrees, humidity of 60 percent or higher puts a person into heat stroke territory.

Heatstroke is a medical emergency. Symptoms include confusion, an altered mental state, unconsciousness and hot, dry skin. Call 911. Do not give fluids, which can cause seizures.

The Great American Eclipse

From Oregon to South Carolina, Americans will see the sight that has left mankind trembling and astonished as long as humans have walked the earth.

The Great American Total Eclipse will be one for the record books as totality junkies from across the globe hurry to the best viewing destinations.

On August 21, 2017, for the first time in 99 years, the earth, moon, and stars will line up perfectly in a total eclipse that can be viewed in 14 states. Best viewing is predicted to be in Oregon where sunshine is predicted, especially near Madras. Local time will be 10:21 a.m. PDT and totality will last for about 2 minutes and 7 to 8 seconds, depending on where the viewer stands.

On the East Coast, the eclipse will start a little after 1 p.m. and reach totality just before 3 p.m.

Further inland, viewers in Illinois and Kentucky will experience 40 seconds more totality.

“A solar eclipse can only take place at the phase of new moon, when the moon passes directly between the sun and Earth and its shadow falls upon Earth’s surface,” according to space.com.

The eclipse will be actively pursued by a sub-culture of totality followers who travel to various parts of the world to experience the out-of-this-world phenomena many times during the year. Scientists will also be watching the display and the shadow allows them to see solar flares.

No, you can’t look at the sun and watch the eclipse.

If you have ever held a small magnifying glass over dry grass, you know what happens. The sun’s rays become so focused that the grass catches fire.

That is what will happen to your eyes if you attempt to watch the eclipse. Your retina will burn up. You won’t know it until you can’t see any more.

DO NOT LOOK AT THE SUN WITH THE NAKED EYE.

Do not look at the eclipse through binoculars or a telescope or a camera lens. The same thing happens: Your retina burns up.

Do NOT use sunglasses, polaroid filters, smoked glass, exposed color film, x-ray film, or photographic neutral-density filters.

What you can do is make a pinhole projector. There are many instructions online for this.

For ideas on how to view, go to www.exploratorium.edu/eclipse/how-to-view-eclipse.