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June 16, 2017

Planting a Pet-Friendly Garden

Many of our furry friends, puppies especially, will try and taste just about anything they can reach. Cats are pickier, but will still chew on grasses and flowers. Most people know that chocolate is a no-go, but some mushrooms, flowers, grasses, and other natural flora are also poisonous to pets. When out walking, don’t allow your pets to eat anything they find, since you can’t be certain of what it is or whether it might be toxic. Also note that many fertilizers and pesticides sprayed on roadsides or in gardens can be equally deadly, so it’s always a good idea to keep your pets from nibbling on plants in strange areas. But you have more control over your own yard, [...]

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May 10, 2017

Things I Wish I Knew When Going Through a Fire

“One of the number one things most house fire survivors say is, ‘I didn’t know how fast a fire could move,'” said Anthony C. Tornetta the Senior Manager of Media Relations for The American Red Cross. “Universally, all experts agree that you have just about two minutes to escape a fire before it’s too late to get out. Most survivors say they just have time to think, ‘It’s a house fire and it’s time to go. This is real, and I need to go,'” he said. “You don’t have time for much more if you want to live.”

People wish they knew there is no time to save anything but themselves in a house fire. Then they [...]

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May 5, 2017

Buying a Home in a Fire Zone

While California and other western states may get the most media coverage for their wildfires, it’s actually the southern United States that led the country in homes destroyed by wildfires in 2016.

According to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) there were more than 67,000 wildfires in the US last year. Those fires destroyed over 5.5 million acres, with nearly 1.6 of those lost acres in the south. Tennessee led the nation in wildfires, and the highest number of structures lost in one state – 2,000 plus residences and 53 commercial buildings. California ranked second with 754 residences and 12 commercial structures.

In spite of the catastrophic [...]

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May 5, 2017

Defend Your Homes with Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy II opens in theaters next month to great anticipation. What could you learn about protecting your home from Star-Lord and company?
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April 21, 2017

How To Bird-Proof Your Windows

If the eyes are the window to the soul, your windows are surely the soul of your home. Whether you’ve got wide bay windows with a stunning backyard view, casement windows that make it easy to flood your home with a fresh breeze, or a protruding garden window perfect for up-close wildlife interaction, your home’s windows are your link to the magnificent outdoors just on the other side of the glass. Unfortunately, the bird population doesn’t feel quite as charmed about your windows. In fact, an estimated one billion birds die each year in the US alone from window collisions. To birds in flight, a window is an optical illusion. They don’t see the panes of glass [...]

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July 20, 2016

How to Prepare Your Home for Severe Weather, Thunderstorms, and Lightning

Severe Thunderstorm Watch vs. Severe Thunderstorm Warning

A severe thunderstorm watch is issued when a severe thunderstorm is likely, and will include information on when and where it might occur. A severe thunderstorm warning is issued when a severe thunderstorm has been indicated by radar or reported by storm spotters. In both cases, be alert for further developments and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, a local radio station, or television for information.

If you have a smartphone, look into downloading one of many apps available to provide warnings about severe weather or other local alerts directly to your phone. These apps tend to be regional in nature, so do some [...]

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July 20, 2016

How to Prepare Your Home for a Wildfire

Fire Weather Watch

If a fire weather watch has been issued, then weather that would enable a wildfire is possible over the next 12 to 72 hours. Turn on your TV and/or radio to listen for updates, or keep your phone handy and turned on if you have an emergency alert app. Be aware that the power might go out, so you need a way to stay informed regardless. Be prepared to evacuate if a wildfire is spotted. Research and learn your evacuation routes in advance, and share your planned routes with family and friends. Keep your phone charged, your car fueled, some cash on hand, and keep emergency supplies, medications, important documents, and a change of clothes in your car. If an evacuation [...]

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July 20, 2016

Getting Your Home Ready for the Big Snowstorm

Storm Prep Saves You Time, Hassle, Dollars, and Serious Inconvenience

As we settle in for what may or may not be the snowstorm of the century (again), it makes perfect sense to review the basics of how to prepare for a blizzard. There are several things you can do to get yourself, your family, and your home ready to ride out the storm itself, and any inconveniences that may follow. As we all know, the big issues with major winter storms are the snow and ice that trap you in your home and bring down trees, impacting the local utility’s ability to deliver electricity, and the temperatures that can freeze and rupture pipes, causing flooding. Here is a quick list of how to prepare [...]

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