While the 02568 National Hurricane Center projects storms during the 2006 hurricane season will mirror the intensity of Hurricane Katrina, one of the deadliest hurricanes in the history of the U.S., and one which caused more than $50 billion in damages to the Gulf Coast region, there are measures homeowners can take to better prepare their new-construction homes during the building phase.
The National Weather Service (NWS), the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings in the U.S.,02535 recommends homeowners verify that their homes meet current building code requirements for high winds, one of the many components associated with vicious Category 3+ hurricanes. The NWS says structures built to meet or exceed current building code high-wind provisions have a much better chance of surviving violent windstorms.
"Florida has some of the most stringent building codes in the U.S., led by 02562, Miami Dade County in South Florida," says Dr. Ronald Zollo, professor of civil and architectural engineering at the University of Miami and a licensed professional engineer. "Homeowners and builders need to move away from the traditional structures that cannot withstand the type of lateral forces that extreme weather, such as hurricanes, can place on a home."
Another concern for homeowners is flooding. Common with hurricanes, flooding can lead to extensive mold and structural damage. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) states that more than half of the nation's population lives and works within 50 miles of a coast, areas typically more prone to hurricane flooding.
Preparing For The Future 02537
Dr. Zollo encourages prospective new homeowners to think proactively. He urges those considering a new home purchase or a rebuild in coastal regions to talk with their builder or architects to understand local building codes and the effects of hurricane-force winds on their homes.
Dr. Zollo led a team from the University of Miami to survey damage from 1992's Hurricane Andrew in Florida. He believes that concrete materials, by virtue of their mass, rigidity and physical properties, are generally expected to outperform other construction materials when subjected to extreme environmental conditions, if constructed according to proper building codes.
A proven solution to reduce the structural damage from hurricanes is installing insulating concrete forms (ICFs)-hollow foam forms or panels that hold concrete in place.
"Homes built with ICFs using reinforced concrete provide homeowners with sustainable structures capable of withstanding extreme weather conditions," says Dr. Zollo. "They're easier to clean up after hurricane weather or flooding, and they provide the homeowner with moisture resistance in the walls themselves when combined with appropriate interior finishes. Those utilizing ICFs can also expect greater energy efficiency due to added thermal protection."
Owens Corning, a leader in building science technologies, produces the 02553, ICF option Fold-Form®. Solid concrete-reinforced walls built with Fold-Form® have been proven to provide superior protection against flying debris from winds as high as 200 miles per hour, when compared to conventional framed walls or hollow concrete block walls. By comparison, 02539 FEMA states that Hurricane Katrina achieved landfall wind speeds of 140 mph in southeast Louisiana.
According to Dr. Zollo, "In the future, I think we'll see faster recovery times for communities built with 02540, ICFs than those that are built without."
"While ICFs meet some of the U.S.'s most strict building codes and are up to nine times stronger than traditional wood frames, they're not just for hurricane protection," says Janet Albright, accessories manager, Residential & Commercial Insulation for Owens Corning. "We're seeing a dramatic increase in consumer demand throughout the entire U.S. for building products that are greener, offer greater energy efficiencies, air and moisture management and contribute to greater comfort levels by reducing noise in the home."
Hurricane Shutters are something very serious these days, if you read the news recently you probably know that the world climate is changing,02632, as a result we are expecting more tropical storms in our region in the next few years, and the forecast for the hurricane shutters is that its going to be a much needed tool to protect your home.
A hurricane shutter is most common in the Southern states that often see bad weather a couple of months during the 02636, year. If you do not have these, you will risk a lot of damage to your house. Today more and more people are looking into buying hurricane shutters as a result of the last year storms and because some insurance companies has started recommending the use of hurricane shutters.
Hurricane or “storm panel” shutters are often constructed out of a solid steel or aluminum frame and provide protection superior to that of Bahamas, Colonial, wooden, or vinyl shutters. This shutter is also considerably less expensive 02635, than decorative shutters. You should think about the exterior of your house because those shutters are considerably less attractive–and you may want to put them in storage at the end of the hurricane season.
The reason that these shutters look less attractive should not deter you from considering them for protection of your home, although these hurricane shutters do not look so nice they can protect your windows, balcony, or storefront from bad weather. During a storm, these areas may be pounded with heavy rain, hail, and wind. If you have a hurricane shutter in place, you do not have to worry about a lot of damage. The great thing about the hurricane shutters is that they also give you some peace of mind while a storm is raging outside 02574 . The hurricane shutters can also help to protect the people inside of your house, and help to protect a little more then material positions. A hurricane shutter will go a long way in ensuring that your windows do not get busted out by bad weather 02543 .
Most hurricane shutters are designed for the use and maintenance of one person up and down operation. One person can operate the hurricane shutters and do it relatively fast so that the chances that you will not be prepared when a storm is on its way it relatively low. A great advantage if a storm sneaks up on you by surprise. This way, all you have to do is pull this shutter down and lock it into position; a simple five second job 02649 . While everyone else is boarding up their windows in the rain, you will be inside your house, protected from the elements.
The advice of most hurricane shutters companies 02534 is to set them up when the hurricane season starts and to take them off for the rest of the year, thus avoiding their looks and enjoying the protection the shutters offer. This is not a joke, and a lot of people use this advice, it makes sense that you want to keep your property protected when its hurricane season and once the danger 02573, 02575 is off to return to your “normal” look.
Hurricane Season Safety Lessons
With meteorologists forecasting a very active hurricane season, you may want to learn how to best prepare for an oncoming storm.
Here are tips from Geico, the National Hurricane Center and the Insurance Information Institute:
• Determine escape routes and places where your family can meet.
• Know your home's vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind.
• Locate a safe room in your home or the safest area in your community.
• Have an out-of-state friend as a family contact.
• Plan what to do with your pets if you need to evacuate.
• Post emergency telephone numbers by your phones. Teach your children how to call 911.
• Check your insurance coverage; flood damage is not usually covered by homeowners insurance.
• Trim trees to remove un-healthy or dead limbs or branches.
• water-one gallon daily per person for three to seven days
• food-enough for three to seven days
• nonperishable packaged or canned food/juices-foods for infants or the elderly
• nonelectric can opener
• cooking tools/fuel
• paper plates/plastic utensils
• blankets/pillows, etc.
• clothing-seasonal/rain gear/ sturdy shoes
• first-aid kit/medicines/prescription drugs
• special items for babies and the elderly
• toiletries/hygiene items/moisture wipes
• radio-battery-operated radio and National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio. Replace the batteries every six months.
• cash-banks and ATMs may not be open for extended periods.
• computer hard drive or laptop
• toys, books and games
• important documents-in a waterproof container including insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, etc.
• tools-keep a set with you during the storm
• vehicle fuel tanks filled
• pet care items
• proper identification/immunization records/medications
• food and water
• a carrier or cage
• muzzle and leash
• Take first-aid, CPR and disaster preparedness classes.
Advantages Of Whole Life Insurance
Whole life insurance also known as “permanent” or “straight” life insurance is one of the most applied forms of insurance. This life insurance policy covers one’s entire life. This is much in demand because of its ability to provide financial protection and accrue cash value and pay dividends to the insured. In other terms, you can say it as an investment, that you make to secure your future build up finance that helps you in your indigence.
Taking a whole life insurance policy leads to a number of benefits and advantages. Few of them are listed below.
1. The first advantage is The Death Benefit.
The whole life insurance policy guarantees you the death benefit that never decreases. Moreover no federal income taxes are charged upon death. And if you desire, death benefit can be taken as a monthly income instead of a lump sum.
2. Consistency of premium level.
Unlike term life insurance’s premiums, which increase at the time of renewal, the premium you pay in whole life insurance remains consistent. There’s no increase. However, use of dividends can minimize the premiums that you pay and contracted for.
3. “Cash value” is another beneficial feature of whole life insurance.
Unlike other life insurance policies, whole life insurance policy accumulates the useable cash reserves. This increase as one pays premiums and also accumulates tax deferred. And if you decide to surrender the policy, you receive your cash values.
4. Participation in whole life insurance policy earns you the dividends.
You are eligible to earn dividends if you own a participating whole life insurance policy. You receive this dividends in cash, which you can further use to either purchase a paid up additions, to minimize premiums or you can keep it within the policy to generate interest.
These advantages of whole life insurance policy are really worthwhile. If you are not confident you should consult an expert before taking up any policy.
By searching online for life insurance, you can get a free term life insurance quote with no obligation to buy. In order to get the free term life insurance quote, you fill in the form on the appropriate page of the life insurance company website. You do have to make sure you provide honest answers to all the questions in order to get the life insurance you need.
Once the company receives your request for a free term life insurance quote, then an agent will carefully review the application and email a quote to you based on the term of the policy and the amount of the death benefit. You should not base the quote you receive on that of a friend or another family member because every individual is different in his/her needs. Because you are shopping for low cost term life insurance, you do need to request free quotes from at least three companies.
Term life insurance is only good for the life of the term. At the end of the term, you have the option to renew the policy, but you may not get it for the same free term life insurance quote as you started with. This is because your age has certainly changed and your needs in terms of a settlement have also changed. However, you still want to get the best rates possible for low cost term life insurance.
You do not have to be in perfect health to get a free term life insurance quote. In fact, you can get low cost life insurance without even having a medical exam. Even if you do have life-threatening diseases, you can get a free quote for term life insurance but it may not be the low cost term life insurance you are hoping for. This is because you are in a higher risk category because your chances of dying within the term are much greater. Even if the premiums are a little higher, you are still leaving something for your family and to pay for your funeral.
Not everyone needs life insurance. The first thing to do is make sure you need it. Life insurance is really meant for your family members or other dependents who rely on your earnings.
<b>Why You Buy Life Insurance</b>
You buy life insurance so that, if you die, your dependents can live the same kind of life they live now. Strictly speaking, then, life insurance is only a means of replacing your earnings in your absence. If you don’t have dependents (say, because you’re single) or you don’t have earnings (say, because you’re retired), you don’t need life insurance. Note that children rarely need life insurance because they almost never have dependents and other people don’t rely on their earnings.
<b>Life Insurance Comes in Two Flavors</b>
If you do need life insurance, you should know that it comes in two basic flavors: term insurance and cash-value insurance (also called “whole life” insurance). Ninety-nine times out of 100, what you want is term insurance.
<b>Term Life is Simple to Buy and Understand</b>
Term life insurance is simple, straightforward life insurance. You pay an annual premium, and if you die, a lump sum is paid to your beneficiaries. Term life insurance gets its name because you buy the insurance for a specific term, such as 5, 10, or 15 years (and sometimes longer). At the end of the term, you can renew your policy or get a different one. The big benefits of term insurance are that it’s cheap and it’s simple.
<b>Cash Value is Trickier</b>
The other flavor of life insurance is cash-value insurance. Many people are attracted to cash-value insurance because it supposedly lets them keep some of the premiums they pay over the years. After all, the reasoning goes, you pay for life insurance for 20, 30, or 40 years, so you might as well get some of the money back. With cash-value insurance, some of the premium money is kept in an account that is yours to keep or borrow against.
This sounds great. The only problem is that cash-value insurance usually isn’t a very good investment, even if you hold the policy for years and years. And it’s a terrible investment if you keep the policy for only a year or two. What’s more, to really analyze a cash-value insurance policy, you need to perform a very sophisticated financial analysis. And this is, in fact, the major problem with cash-value life insurance.
While perhaps a handful of good cash-value insurance policies are available, many— perhaps most—are terrible investments. And to tell the good from the bad, you need a computer and the financial skills to perform something called discounted cash-flow analysis. If you do think you need cash-value insurance, it probably makes sense to have a financial planner perform this analysis for you. Obviously, this financial planner should be a different person from the insurance agent selling you the policy.
What’s the bottom line? Cash-value insurance is much too complex a financial product for most people to deal with. Note, too, that any investment option that’s tax-deductible—such as a 401(k), a 401(b), a deductible IRA, a SEP/IRA, or a Keogh plan—is always a better investment than the investment portion of a cash-value policy. For these two reasons, I strongly encourage you to simplify your financial affairs and increase your net worth by sticking with tax-deductible investments.
If you do decide to follow my advice and choose a term life insurance policy, be sure that your policy is non-cancelable and renewable. You want a policy that cannot be canceled under any circumstances, including poor health. (You have no way of knowing what your health will be like ten years from now.) And you want to be able to renew the policy even if your health deteriorates. (You don’t want to go through a medical review each time a term is up and you need to renew.)
Worried about the spiraling life insurance premium? We have enlisted 5 quickest ways to lower your life insurance premium. Well, keep these points in mind but do tread with caution and act prudently.
Shop around and Bargain
Shop, Compare and Bargain! Well, the oldest principle, old as dirt, but still going strong. Once decided on your coverage, don’t just sign up for the first plan that crosses your eye. Ensure that you shop around (internet is a great place to start) and get a feel of the market. This would help you to bargain hard and get the greatest coverage at the lowest possible price.
Opt for Term Life Insurance – The quickest way to lower your life insurance premium is to opt for Term Life Insurance policy instead of a whole-life policy. The idea is to keep insurance as what it is and not turn it into an investment product. Thus, you can get yourself insured under term life policy at the fraction of the cost of a whole-life scheme with typically the same coverage amount. However, do not forget that Term Life Insurance covers you only for a pre-defined period of time.
Keep yourself Fit – Be a low risk proposition for your insurance provider by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and keeping yourself away from addictions such as smoking, drugs and alcohol. A good health record will result in considerable reduction in your life insurance premiums.
Consult an Insurance Advisor - To reduce your life insurance premium, the easiest thing you can do is to consult a good Insurance Advisor. Since the advisor will be pro in the insurance marketplace, he/she would be able to get you to the most affordable deal in line with your coverage requirements. Essentially a good insurance advisor would compare different market rates for you and would also negotiate the best rates on your behalf. Well, internet is a great place to identify an agent.
Start at a young age!
Insure yourself at a young age. Life insurance premium at a young age is only a fraction of what it could be when you are well into your middle-age. The premise is young and healthy people are the lowest risk segment. The low mortality risk is a great incentive for insurance companies to insure you at lower premiums.
Although it makes sense to get in touch with a life insurance company to cover your dependents in the eventuality of your untimely death, there are integrity issues surrounding the insurance companies and agents. Broadly there can be 3 ways your life insurance company is scamming you. We have enlisted them for your benefit.
Selling Coverage that you don’t need!
The insurance companies thrive on the fact that most people don’t understand their life insurance needs. With standard products, they try to sell you coverage that you might not need, but, which are lucrative for them. The insurance agents expedite the process so that you skip the fine print and sign up for a coverage that is ill-suited to your needs. The trick is to play on your fear factor and sell you heavy insurance, even if you don’t have dependents.
Coaxing you to pay ‘Cash’
We strongly suggest, do not pay your premium through cash to an agent. Further, do ensure that you get a receipt for the payment. There are numerous fraudulent entities posing as genuine insurance agencies that extract hard cash from you in lieu of insurance premium. They ask you to sign at blank spaces in a form, assuring you that it is just a formality. Once you have fallen for their trick, you are left without an insurance coverage. The worst part is that most victims only come to know of this scam, when they have met with some mishap and there is not insurance to cover them.
Luring you with benefits!
Insurance agencies and agents have a way of promising you unbelievable benefits out a life insurance policy. Life insurance agents might offer you plans, with a guarantee that the policy would run premium-free for a specific period. Some agents play it smart and offer you great discounts for signing you up for a new policy, while replacing an old policy. The trick is that the old coverage gets terminated and new coverage does not get initiated due to the cumbersome procedural bottlenecks. Thus, exposing you to risk without cover.
Carpets and rug are not widely used in warm countries, but in northern Europe and the United States, they are a basic decorating feature. Carpets give a lovely sensation when you walk over them, especially barefoot, and also offer interesting aesthetic possibilities. They are seamless and therefore unify spaces, but also can be used to mark off zones, or areas of activity. They permit versatile solutions for our interior design due to the colors, textures, and finishes they come in.
When choosing a carpets and rug, bear in mind that it will be tacked down, or fitted, and can last many years if well looked after so it will have to be easily adaptable to any new decoration style we may wish to achieve. Another quality of carpets is the acoustic and thermal insulation they provide. They are suitable for all the rooms in the house, except in the bathroom and kitchen unless you are prepared to make the extra effort to ensure they do not get wet or stained when bathing or cooking.
Unfortunately, they can get dirty easily and may be difficult to clean. They are not the most hygienic of floors. When choosing a carpet, take into consideration its texture, pile, the yarn, weight, density, color, and design. Most carpet is made of sheep’s wool, which is durable, dyes readily, and handles easily. For floors that are heavily used or in contact with the open air, use durable materials like stone, marble, tiles, and some types of hardwoods.
Do not use carpets and rugs if you have pets or if you or your family members suffer from allergies to dust: they get dirty easily. Vacuum carpets regularly so that neither dust nor dirt accumulates in them. Make sure all carpets used on the floor are designed for floor use: some carpets are intended for wall use. Avoid spills because stains are hard to remove from carpeting. Carpets give a space a natural look and feel, however, they are made of delicate material and often do not stand up well to humidity.
A Look At A Few Popular Decorating Styles Popular decorating styles are always changing. Is your home up to date on the latest fashion trends and decorating tips?
Popular decorating styles are fun, interesting and they just add something to talk about to the rest of the home. If you are considering a redo of your living room, your kitchen, your bedroom or virtually any other room in or outside of your home, consider some of today’s more popular choices. You are sure to find one, or two, that you really love to use.
Traditional: We have to start with the traditional look because it just does not go out of style. Here, the look is furniture that comes from the Kings and Queens of yesteryear, early American trends and a wide range of other formal styled items. You are looking for traditional to come through in the upholstery, in the window treatments and even in the accents that are placed around the room. Traditional is a style that is highly expensive to pull off with exceptional quality furnishings.
Shabby Elegance: Who’s to say that this is not one of the best methods of decorating. The look is that of chic, something that features light toned wall and furniture colorings, old china pattern looks, warm yet comfortable pieces that create a sense of relaxation when you look at them.
Contemporary: Modern contemporary looks have always been in style in the last decade. These looks are influenced by pieces that are bold and bright, different and unique and are functional yet are also more of a piece of art as well. You will find straight, clean lines in the furnishings and walls here.
Art Deco: This popular decorating style is one that seems quite a bit like the modern contemporary yet it has a more flowing look to it. The lines are not as straight, but rather are curved.
Rustic: The look for the log cabin is not gone. In a rustic Southwestern feel, you will have woods used of various types. It will have a laid back feel with warm throws and soft, comfortable furniture. The color scheme here is that of warm, rich colors that complement the woods.
French Country: This is a very popular choice in decorating styles. Here, you will have many bright colors and will have that feel of whimsical dreaming. Wood finishes are done with fruitwoods and cherry. Art work with color is on the walls.
One of these popular decorating styles will work perfectly in your home. There are plenty to select from to help you to transform the look for your home into something that is amazing.