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This Week In Pittsburgh History: Barrasso’s 300th

DHREA 19/10/2017

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On October 19th, 1997, Penguins 2x Stanley Cup Champion goaltender Tom Barrasso became the first American-born goaltender to win 300 games, as the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Florida Panthers, 4-1.

On his way to 300 victories, Barrasso had to wait for the last five wins for over 17 months as the goaltender battled injuries for nearly two full seasons. His career record improved to 300-220-64, giving him .513 lifetime winning percentage on that night.

Speaking on being one of only 14 goaltenders (at the time) to reach the 300 win mark, and the first American to do so, Barrasso said, “It’s great company to be in. There are a lot of people responsible for it. I have to thank my mom and dad, and my wife and kids have been very supportive and given me motivation. Any goaltender wants to get 100 and then 200, and not many guys have won 300. Obviously, I’d like to keep adding to it and climb even higher on that list.”

After being acquired from Buffalo during the 1988-89 season, Tom Barrasso instantly became one of the most important and influential men on the ice and in the locker room for the Pens. Not only was he steady in net, Barrasso holds the record for assists and points by an NHL goaltender. When it came to playoff hockey, few were better. In fact, he won 14 straight playoff games over two seasons, including 10 straight in the 1992 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

 

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6 Tips For Moving Seniors

DHREA 18/10/2017

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1. COMMUNICATION AND CHOICE

Seniors can be emotionally vested in the home they’re leaving, and it’s expected that there will be sadness and apprehension about the move. It can be a tough conversation to have with your aging parent, but give them time to grieve the change and talk about where they will be living and why they are moving, in order to help make the transition smoother. When seniors are asked to leave their longtime homes, a frequent cause of distress is their perceived loss of control, so give your loved one as much choice as possible as they plan and implement the move.

2. PLAN EFFECTIVELY

Before families begin the sorting and organizing process, it will help to have a visual of what they are getting into. What rooms need to be furnished? How many square feet is the new residence? Writing for AARP, Ann Goyer recommends plotting the floor plan of your loved one’s new home on graph paper, and suggests cutting out pieces to represent furniture.

3. ENLIST RELATIVES

This will undoubtedly be a big job, so enlist help from your family. Encourage siblings or other close family members to take a few days off of work. Even children and younger members in the family can participate. Surrounding your senior parents with loved ones who are supportive and encouraging could help ease the emotional stress of moving as well.

4. SORT AND ORGANIZE

Moving your elderly parents will involve downsizing. Go through the house item by item with your support team. You can categorize objects to make the process easier: items to be moved, keepsakes to be left with family, items to be sold or donated, and items to be thrown out. Don’t allow yourself to become a packing robot lacking feelings. Honor the emotional attachment to personal belongings and allow your senior parent to reminisce as you help sort out their possessions. Remember, these are not just things you’re moving; they’re memories. Also, be open to your own emotions, especially if this was your childhood home.

5. CLEAN AND REAPAIR

After the organizing and packing is complete, there is work that still needs to be done. Whether the house is going to be sold, rented or passed on to another relative — the general requirements are the same. The house should be cleaned, and they should consider making any required repairs now before any get worse. It’s better to take care of maintenance issues all at once rather than dealing with them later while the house is for sale (or after renters move in).

6. PLAN THE MOVING DAY

There are a few different strategies for moving your senior loved one into their new home. A full service mover is the easiest way to go, but also the most expensive. They will load everything, deliver to its destination and put things in place. We looked at quotes from movers and found the cost of moving the contents of a two bedroom home across the country exceeds $6,000.  Families can save some money on the move by using a self-service mover, which means their family will load the moving truck, but the cargo will be hauled by a professional mover.  Then there’s the do-it-yourself (DIY) option where you can rent a moving truck or trailer. But, even the DIY option of renting a U-Haul or Ryder is not cheap: a move from Atlanta to Los Angeles in a 26 foot truck could exceed $3,000 when you factor in gasoline.

Of course, each family’s circumstances are unique, so we’re hesitant to give blanket advice. However, I hope these tips help you better plan and execute your elder loved one’s next move!

 

 

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Improve Indoor Air Quality and Tame Allergies!

DHREA 17/10/2017

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Runny nose. Itchy eyes. A massive headache. These are just a few ailments suffered by homeowners with poor indoor air quality; potentially as a result of smoke, dust, or other contaminants. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, people spend close to 90% of their time indoors, where air quality can be two to five times more polluted than the air outside.

Although anyone can suffer from poor indoor air quality, asthma/allergy sufferers, children, and the elderly are particularly sensitive. Fortunately, a few simple and affordable home improvements can go a long way to benefit your home’s air.

Avoid Scented Sprays
Despite their fresh scents, air fresheners and laundry products can emit dozens of chemicals. For truly fresh air, look for fragrance-free or natural products and skip aerosol sprays. Keep rooms ventilated by opening windows, and add a plant to help purify your air.

Control Dust
Household dust can trap chemicals and allergens. Some objects are prone to dust, such as rugs, upholstered furniture, and infrequently moved accessories. Opt for easy-to-clean or washable items to avoid dust getting trapped in your space. Try to avoid clutter at all costs! Large piles of “I’ll get to it later” is a vacation resort for dust.

Dehumidify Damp Areas
Moisture can attract dust mites, mildew, and mold. Your rooms should be kept at a safe 30% to 50%  humidity level. An inexpensive indoor humidity monitor will check your home’s levels, and a basic dehumidifier can solve many moisture challenges.

Clean Floors Regularly
If you can, use a vacuum cleaner that is equipped with a HEPA filter and rotating brushes to remove dust and dirt from floors. Vacuum at least once a week, especially in high-traffic areas. A good vacuum will not blow dust or dirt out in the exhaust. Twice a month, use a microfiber mop on hard floors, skipping any chemical cleaning solutions in favor of warm water or a natural product.

 

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Address Your Address!

DHREA 16/10/2017

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In today’s fast paced world, we’re always looking for new ideas that won’t take up too much time. After all, time is money. However, that doesn’t mean you need to put off certain projects! Often times, it’s the little things that can really add the extra flair you feel your home is craving. A good place to start is by making the address on your home look bold or multi-functional. As bizarre as it sounds, you notice a home with a stand-out address bar/post/window. Here’s some quick and easy tips:

1. NUMBER YOUR DOOR WITH VINYL

DIY doesn’t get any easier than a vinyl numbered door project. You can make the numbers yourself, buy them at your local craft store, or order custom made vinyl numbers online. This is an incredibly easy way to adapt a project to your home’s style and your taste. For example, you can use modern numbers in a bold color, or classic numbers in a traditional hue. The choice is yours!

2. MAKE AN ADDRESS POST PLANTER

An address post planter project makes your house easy to find, and lets you show off your green thumb. If you’re not into plants, no problem; don’t add a hook and you’ll end up with the most distinctive address post in the neighborhood. Either way, you can’t go wrong. Consider placing a solar-charged light near the base of the post for a dramatic effect at night, and your house will be even easier to locate.

3. GO BIG WHEN YOU GO HOME

Bold and beautiful describes many home monogram number projects. The fact that it’s also low budget makes it a DIY’ers dream. If you want the house numbers to stand out more, paint the initial a solid color. Hang your creation under your home’s porch light so the numbers are easy to spot at night.

4. TRANSFORM A WINDOW PANE

If you have an old window pane you don’t know what to do with, you can transform it into a unique address display. Hang the sign on your front porch, above your garage, or anywhere it’s easy to see from the street. Consider painting the numbers with a glow in the dark finish to make them discernible at night.

BONUS TIPS:

  • Find out if your homeowners association has restrictions that might affect your project.
  • Use numbers that are at least three inches tall.
  • Choose colors that contrast with the exterior of your home.
  • Approach your home from different angles to be your address is visible and not obstructed by plants, trees, or other decorations.

 

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Flood Preparedness and Safety

DHREA 13/10/2017

 

So…we’re going to prepare for the unknown!

Here are flood tips from the Department of Homeland Security. GIve it a read so that, no matter where you may be, you will know what to do in case of an extreme event. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!

FLOODS

Flooding is a temporary overflowing of water onto land that is normally dry. Flooding may happen with only a few inches of water, or it may cover a house to the rooftop. There are many possible causes of floods including heavy rain or snowmelt, coastal storms and storm surge, waterway overflow from being blocked with debris or ice, or overflow of levees, dams, or waste water systems, Flooding can occur slowly over many days or happen very quickly with little or no warning, called flash floods.

Where

Flooding can happen in any U.S. state or territory. It is particularly important to be prepared for flooding if you live in a low-lying area near a body of water, such as near a river, stream, or culvert; along a coast; or downstream from a dam or levee.

When

Flooding can occur during every season, but some areas of the country are at greater risk at certain times of the year. Coastal areas are at greater risk for flooding during hurricane season (i.e., June to November), while the Midwest is more at risk in the spring and during heavy summer rains. Ice jams occur in the spring in the Northeast and Northwest. Even the deserts of the Southwest are at risk during the late summer monsoon season.

BASIC SAFETY TIPS

  • Turn Around, Don’t Drown! ®
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.
  • Do not drive over bridges that are over fast-moving floodwaters. Floodwaters can scour foundation material from around the footings and make the bridge unstable.
  • Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground.
  • If floodwaters rise around your car but the water is not moving, abandon the car and move to higher ground. Do not leave the car and enter moving water.
  • Avoid camping or parking along streams, rivers, and creeks during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly and with little warning.

FLOOD WATCH

Flood Watch = “Be Aware.” (Conditions are right for flooding to occur in your area.)

Steps to Take

  • Turn on your TV/radio/phone. Sounds comical, but you will receive the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Know where to go. You may need to reach higher ground quickly and on foot.
  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit. Include a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.Prepare Your Home
  • Bring in outdoor furniture and move important indoor items to the highest possible floor. This will help protect them from flood damage.
  • Disconnect electrical appliances and do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water. You could be electrocuted.
  • If instructed, turn off your gas and electricity at the main switch or valve. This helps prevent fires and explosions.

FLOOD WARNING

Flood Warning = “Take Action!”  (Flooding is either happening or will happen shortly.)

Steps to Take

  • Move immediately to higher ground or stay on high ground.
  • Evacuate if directed.
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters. Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.

AFTER FLOODING

  • Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
  • Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded and watch out for debris. Floodwaters often erode roads and walkways.
  • Do not attempt to drive through areas that are still flooded.
  • Avoid standing water as it may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
  • Photograph damage to your property for insurance purposes.

MAKE A FLOOD PLAN

  • Know your flood risk.
  • Familiarize yourself with local emergency plans. Know where to go and how to get there should you need to get to higher ground, the highest level of a building, or to evacuate.
  • Make a flood emergency plan for the relevant type/s of local flood risk with plans such as evacuation, shelter, locations for high ground.
  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a minimum of 3 days of food and water, flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
  • Consider buying flood insurance.
  • Stay tuned to your phone alerts, TV, or radio for weather updates, emergency instructions, or evacuation orders.

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