Hurricane season begins in June and lasts to the end of November. If you live in a coastal area, of course you will want to prepare ahead of time. Below are eight hints and tips to help you prepare:
- Plan – Create a plan for your household and review it with all of its members. Include a place away from home where everyone can meet if they cannot get home. Also, designate a contact away from your immediate area that everyone can call in case of emergency. Keep hard copies of emergency numbers in case cell phone batteries fail.
- Emergency Kit – Put together an emergency kit in a waterproof container and keep it in a handy place. Include items like a battery operated radio, first aid kit, water, non-perishable foods and flashlights.
- Utilities – Know the procedures for shutting down electric, gas, water, etc. Prevent damage from sewers and septic systems with a backflow device.
- Stormproof – Consider reinforcing roof trusses, garage door openings and other vulnerable areas. You may want to install storm shutters. If you board up windows and other openings, have your supplies ready to go. Secure outdoor items. Keep the trees near the house trimmed and consider replacing landscaping gravel and rocks with softer items like bark or mulch.
- Evacuation Route – Review the safest and most direct route to your community shelter should you have to evacuate. Plan to avoid dangerous areas like dams or levees and know alternate routes should yours be blocked.
- Pets – Collars and chips should include your current contact information. Have leashes and carrying cases ready in case of evacuation.
- Check Information – You may be able to sign up with your local government for emergency alerts via phone or email. Make a record of important phone numbers to call for assistance. Don’t forget to have your insurance information handy just in case.
- Cash – When disasters hit and power is out for prolonged periods, cash is king. ATMs don’t work, businesses may not be able to process credit cards for a while and banks may be damaged or closed. Plan ahead and have a reasonable amount of cash available.
This is a fun way to eat fruit, and it is quite a crowd pleaser. This fruity salsa can be served as an appetizer, a light dessert, or as a refreshing accompaniment to barbeque. Don’t be limited by the ingredients, choose your favorite seasonal fruits and enjoy.
Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips
3 kiwis peeled and diced
1 medium orange peeled and diced
1 cup of blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries
2 cups of strawberries diced
2-3 tbs of sugar
1-2 tbs of lemon juice
Mix fruit together with sugar and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate.
10 8” flour tortillas
¼ cup of melted butter
1 tsp of ground cinnamon
1/3 cup of sugar
Cut tortillas into pie shaped wedges and arrange on a cookie sheet. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mix. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes until crispy. Let cool and serve with the fruit salsa. If you want to get fancy, whip up a bowl of whipped cream to go with it.
With the holiday weekend just days away, many people are planning their first weekend road trip of the summer. And while a spur of the moment road trip might seem like a great idea, a little advanced planning will get you to your destination on time and in a safe manner. Below are eight driving safety tips to help you plan a successful road trip.
- Find cheap gas – Gas money can take up a significant amount of your road trip budget so plan ahead. With today’s technology, there are plenty of smart phone apps that can tell you where gas is least expensive. Download an app like GasBuddy to help you find the least expensive gas. If you don’t have a smart phone, figure out your gas budget ahead of time by using one of the many online fuel cost calculators to help you find the cheapest gas stations along your route.
- Pack a basic repair kit – Create your own basic repair kit by packing a few basics in a small box or duffle bag. Include items like a flashlight, roll of duct tape, pliers, and a variety of screwdrivers. Check online for roadside survival guides for other suggestions.
- Choose companions wisely – When you’re cramped in a car for a long amount of time, you can get to know someone really well. And if you and your companions know each other really well, time and distance will fly by you and you arrive at your destination in what seems like no time. But if you make poor choice in your travel companion(s), a long rind may have you wishing your traveled by yourself. Think carefully about the people you take with you. Make sure you can get along with them for however long the distance you’ll be traveling. Nothing can ruin a good friendship like a bad road trip.
- Break up the drive – If you’ll be on the road for many hours, don’t try to be a super hero and drive straight through. You won’t be as alert at 9:00pm as you were at 6:30am. Plan several restroom, stretch and snack breaks along your route. A 15-20 minute break every few hours will be good for your mind and body. If you have multiple licensed drivers traveling with you, take turns driving every couple hours.
- Know the law – While you may be excited to get to your destination, a hefty speeding fine or another moving violation can drain your travel budget in a hurry. Additionally, speeding can be a danger to you and to other motorists on the road. Obey the speed limit and use that cruise control to keep a steady pace on the interstate. Also, if you are passing through multiple states, be aware of cell phone and texting laws. It is best to avoid distracted driving all together, but if you must use your phone, know the laws. Some states do not allow the use of phones in construction zones, school zones, etc. Use your stretch breaks for non-emergency phone calls and texting. Do not text while behind the wheel.
- Pay attention to the dash – Besides minding the speed limit, your dash can alert you to any potential problems with your vehicle. If something goes wrong, a warning light on your dash may tip you off before it is too late.
- Bring a paper map – With today’s technology, it might seem silly to bring a paper road map on your trip. But what will you do if your GPS malfunctions where you’re in the middle of nowhere? A paper map makes the perfect backup and you can use it as a travel log too. Write notes about your trip on the map and make it personal. You’ll enjoy looking at it when you dig it out of a box 10 years from now.
- Bring your mother-in-law – Even though we warned you to choose your travel companions wisely, what can we say? If you bring your mother-in-law, you’re trip is sure to be one to remember for one reasons or another!
The Garage Plan Shop made a New Year’s resolution to enjoy the great outdoors in 2014, and we invited you to do the same. In January we posted a list of ideas for fun and interesting things to do outdoors. Below is another list of ideas to help you renew your commitment to getting outside and enjoying everything around you.
- Catch lightning bugs with your kids on a summer night.
- Take your kids for a nighttime walk around your neighborhood with flashlights.
- Visit local outdoor attractions such as the zoo, a botanical garden, or a natural area.
- Visit a local park you haven’t been to before.
- Plan a road trip and stop at national monuments, historic sites and other points of interest along the way.
- Visit a Civil War battle field.
- Drive one of America’s scenic highways or byways.
- Visit a nearby park several times throughout the year and observe how it changes as the seasons change.
- Learn to identify native trees, flowers and shrubs.
- Learn to identify native birds and those that migrate and only visit your area seasonally.
- Plan a weekend camping trip with your kids or friends to a new campground.
- Schedule a weekly outing with other friends and take your kids to the park for a picnic and to play on the playground.
- Fly a kite.
- Stargaze on a clear night and learn to identify some of the constellations.
- Take a boating safety class.
- Take a class to learn about a new outdoor recreational activity like rock climbing, archery or scuba diving.
- Take your kids apple picking, strawberry picking, to the pumpkin patch, etc.
- Take in Mother Nature’s display of fall colors in a city, state, or town you’ve never visited.
- Enjoy winter sports with your kids like skiing, sledding and ice skating.
- Take your kids horseback riding.
- Hike a new trail once a month.
- Teach a child about an outdoor sport you love.
- Participate in a charity event or fundraiser such as a walk or fun run.
- Get involved in a neighborhood beautification project such as picking up litter along roadways or planting flowers at a community garden.
Check out this multi-purpose outbuilding plan. With its drive-thru garage bay, it is ideal for RV or boat storage and eliminates the hassle of backing your RV or boat and trailer out of the garage. The drive-thru features is convenient and safe while a vaulted 15’ ceiling and oversized garage door easily accommodate your needs. Two enclosed storage spaces provide plenty of room for storing camping and fishing gear as well as tools or lawn and garden supplies. Don’t miss the open shed area that delivers ample of room for storing large or bulky items that you need to protect from the elements. Add value to your property and that much needed storage space with this drive-thru, RV garage plan.
To view our entire collection of garage plans, please visit, TheGaragePlanShop.com.