Heart Disease The Silent Killer Inside You

Is heart disease inside you?

February is National Heart Awareness Month. Heart disease is considered a silent killer.  It is the #1 killer of both men and women in the United States.  Only half of the people affected know they have a problem before it becomes critical. For your health and piece of mind, if you have or are concerned about, these symptoms or risk factors consult your physician.

Can Heart disease be prevented?  What causes it? How do I know if I have it?

These are all great questions to ask. While heart disease cannot be prevented, there are contributing factors and behavior modifications that can help you stay healthy and minimize your risk of heart disease or heart attack.

Contributing factors

  • High Blood Pressure (1 in 3 people have it but only 1/2 know it)
  • Smoking
  • High Cholesterol
  • Body Weight and Body Mass Index
  • Diabetes
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Family history
  • Stress
  • Sleep apnea

Symptoms of heart disease include

  • Chest pain; tightness, pressure or discomfort in the chest.
  • Shortness of breath while doing everyday tasks
  • Continued pain, numbness, weakness or coldness in the legs or arms if a blood vessel is blocked
  • Continued pain in the neck, jaw, throat, upper abdomen or back

Am I having a heart attack?

Symptoms include a dull ache in the chest (like someone sitting on your chest); sudden acceleration of heartbeat – usually a pounding feeling; pain down the arm usually under the arm and in the armpit; shortness of breath; persistent cough and coughing up blood. Severe perspiration – profuse sweating especially combined with a cold sweat feeling; discoloration of the skin especially around the eyes and numbness especially in the hands and arms are also symptoms of a heart attack.   These symptoms occurring as stand alone symptoms are not necessarily indicative of a heart attack but the combinations of several symptoms is more concerning and should be addressed by a physician or call 9-1-1 if any symptoms are extreme in nature.

Heart Healthy Lifestyles

The following are a few items that help you maintain a heart healthy lifestyle.

  • Stay active.  150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise combined with 2 days of muscle strengthening that work all major muscle groups, each week will help keep your body and heart in shape.  Moderate exercise means that you should be able to talk but not sing while exercising.
  • Eat healthy.  Eat heart healthy foods like omega rich fish at least twice per week. Avoid food with high trans fat content.  Hydrogenated oil is a primary source of trans fat.  Avoid heavily salted foods. Season with spices instead of salt.
  • Maintain a “normal” body weight and BMI for your height.  Overweight and obese people have more of a chance of developing heart disease than fit people. A normal BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9. Calculate your BMI by using the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s calculator.
  • Control Diabetes. Balanced diets low in carbohydrates are best. Carbs become sugar which cannot be metabolized correctly if you have diabetes.
  • Manage stress levels. Find your “calm place”.   Yoga, meditation or something else totally unique to you is critical for stress management.
  • Be aware of you family history.  Family history makes the tendencies to heart disease more common within the family.
  • Sleep Apnea.  If you have sleep apnea you stop breathing for short bursts of time.  This puts a strain on your heart.  See a specialist to get this condition under control for your heart health.




Frostbite Prevention, Symptoms and Treatments

Frostbite is common during extremely cold weather.  Symptoms and treatment vary by the severity of the case.

What is it?

Frostbite is freezing of the skin and underlying tissue.  The most common cause of frostbite is exposure to extremely cold and windy weather.

Prevent frostbite by keeping skin covered and warm while in extreme outdoor conditions. Fingers, toes and ears are the most likely tissue to be damaged by frostbite.

How can I tell if I have it?:

  • Red, pale or bluish-grayish skin discoloration
  • Pain, burning, tingling, numbness, clear blisters, mottled skin and blood blisters
  • Firm skin with soft underlying tissue that moves but feels hard and solid

How is frostbite treated?

First Aid depends on the severity of the injury.

  • Frostnip, is the mildest form of frostbite, and can be treated by the patient. It only affects the top layer of tissue and has no lasting effects.  The frostbitten area can be treated by rewarming the area by soaking in warm water for 15 – 30 minutes.  Avoid  direct heat, like a heater or fireplace, because it can cause burns. Treat with an over-the-counter pain reliever, like ibuprofen, if swelling and pain are an issue.
  • If any of these symptoms develop seek medical attention – lasting or persistent pain, burning sensations, tingling, numbness, blood blisters, swelling and very pronounced discoloration of the skin. Blisters and skin discoloration may develop hours to days after exposure.  If blisters are present do not break them because the unbroken skin helps keep the affected area clean and free of bacteria that can cause an infection in addition to the frostbite. Diagnostic tests may be needed to assess the severity of the injury.

Follow this link for a more in depth discussion about frostbite from the Mayo Clinic.

Frostbite Stages
Illustration of the stages of frostbite




Frozen Pipes – Preventing, Thawing and Fixing

Preventing Frozen Pipes

  1. Running water helps prevent pipes on uninsulated or outside walls from freezing.  Leave water faucets open to a trickle.
  2. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinets and vanities to allow the warmer interior air to get closer to the cooler exposed pipes.
  3. Wrap the exposed pipes in pipe insulation.  It is usually called pipe sleeve or heat tape and is available at hardware stores.
  4. When possible, place a space heater in the room with the exposed pipes. Keep the heater away from flammable objects. Be aware of the size of the room vs. the capacity of the heater. If the heater is too big overheating could occur. A heater that is too small is ineffective.
  5. Keep home heat at least 55° F even if you will be gone for the entire day.
  6. If you leave your home for an extended period of time, turn the water supply to your home off and drain all of the pipes leaving the faucets open.
  7. Turn off the water supply for outdoor faucets.  Drain the pipe by leaving the outside water faucet turned on while the water source is turned off. If there is any water left in the pipe, it will have an outlet if the pipe freezes, preventing pressure from building up and bursting the pipe.
  8. Outdoor pool supply lines need to be drained and blown out at the end of the pool season.  Frozen pool lines form cracks and breaks resulting in major repairs in the spring.  The same procedure applies to sprinkler lines too.

Is the pipe frozen? How can it be fixed?

Pipes are considered frozen if only a trickle of water flows through the pipe when the faucet is open. No running water when water is called for also means the pipe is frozen.

If the pipe is frozen but has not burst, there are a few things to try before calling the licensed plumber.

  1. Keep the faucet in the fully open position while trying some of these remedies because moving water helps to thaw a frozen pipe.
  2. Use a hair dryer directed at the frozen pipe.
  3. Use a heating pad meant for a person. Wrap it around the frozen pipe and turn it on. Be aware of the flow of water vs. the electric plug. The plug must be higher than the pipe or electrocution and fire are possible.
  4. Do not use heat sources powered by gasoline, kerosene or open flame.  Flames can, and more often than not will, overheat the pipe and cause it to burst or break apart.

When should a licensed plumber be called?

  • A pipe has already burst
  • Water cannot be turned off at the source
  • The frozen part of the pipe cannot be located
  • Above processes do not make a difference in the water flow
  • A homeowner cannot physically do the previous steps










Ghost Town to Board of The Year: An Educational Seminar at the CAI Conference and Expo

Horizons at Woods Landing, professionally managed by Association Advisors NJ, is the shining example for CAI’s educational seminar, Collaborating with CAI – How an HOA Went from Ghost Town to Board of the Year at the CAI Conference and Expo.  The seminar is at 11:00 am at the Community Association Institute (CAI)Conference and Exposition on October 18, 2107, at the NJ Conference & Exposition Center in Raritan Center.

Horizons at Woods Landing Community Board of the Year
Horizons at Woods Landing receives the CAI Community Board of the Year Award

The Board of the Year Award is given to an outstanding community board that has demonstrated exceptional leadership and participation in conjunction with CAI’s mission.

Dr. Kahrmann and Paul Raetsch, both from Horizons at Woods Landing, will discuss how their community was able to go from a developer’s bankruptcy to an award-winning board by efficiently educating its volunteers and selecting the right vendors for their association.

Dr. Robert Kahrmann is a past treasurer of the Horizons at Woods Landing HOA;  a retired College Dean from Seton Hall University, the Academic Dean at the Pennsylvania Institute of Technology and the Enrollment Dean at Hudson County Community College. He holds a doctorate from New York University.

Paul Raetsch retired from a 42-year career in federal service. Mr. Raetsch moved  to southern New Jersey and served as president of the Horizons at Woods Landing HOA, located in Atlantic County. Mr. Raetsch, authored a CAI article in the form of a quiz entitled “What is LAC and Why Should I Care?” It is a quick and informative quiz for board members of common interest communities.

Horizons at Woods Landing has overcome many obstacles along the path to Board of the Year

Some of these obstacles include:

  • Ghost Town status
  • 3 years to find a new developer to complete the community and its amenities
  • proper management of the community and its resources
  • controlling expenses and efficiently managing the budget
  • updating policies and resolutions to reflect CAI’s recommendations. ADR, age restricted census requirements and board transparency were all part of CAI’s recommendations.
Completed Community Center
Ghost Town Picture
Horizons Woods Landing in the Ghost Town Phase

The Horizons at Woods Landing board members have written several articles for Community Trends in 2016 and the annual shoot the cover contest was won by a board member in 2015.

Accepting the CAI Gold Star Community Award

Horizons at Woods Landing belongs to the CAI Pennsylvania & Delaware Valley and New Jersey Chapters. In 2015, Horizons at Woods Landing received the Gold Star Community award from the Pennsylvania & Delaware chapter.

Are you prepared for a Hurricane?

In light of Hurricane Harvey devastating Texas and Hurricanes Irma, Jose and Katia all poised to come ashore in the next few days, the information in this article is particularly relevant and worthy of a second look.

While our area is not presently in the direct path of these hurricanes, it is worthwhile to know what the recommended supplies to have on hand are – just in case.

Hurricane Season is here.  Are you prepared for a hurricane or major storm with a significant power outage? Here are some facts and tips to get through a hurricane or significant storm.

A hurricane can be up to 600 miles wide and include storm surges, floods and  extremely high winds that spiral in an inward and upward motion of 75 – 200 mph.

Hurricane season is June 1st through November 30th.  In the New Jersey and New York areas hurricanes are most likely to strike in August through late October.

What is a Hurricane Watch vs. Warning?

Hurricane Watches are when conditions are favorable within 36 hours of the watch issue.  Hurricane Warnings are when conditions are expected within the next 24 hours. In coastal areas, the hurricane warning can remain in effect after the actual hurricane has passed due to the probability of more high winds, storm surges, flooding, tornadoes and/or rip currents (all by-products of a hurricane).

The best way to survive a hurricane or significant storm with the smallest amount of personal drama is to PLAN AHEAD.

  • If told to evacuate – listen to the local officials and evacuate
  • Fill vehicle gas tanks prior to the storm because gas pumps require power and may be damaged after the storm
  • Keep cash with you. ATM and credit card machines need power to operate
  • Bring outside items (patio furniture, plants, wind chimes, etc.) inside to a secure area
  • Secure windows and doors with shutters and locks and close chimney flues
  • Stay away from doors and windows in case of glass breakage
  • Stay inside and beware of the eye of the storm.  The eye is the “quiet” before the backside of the storm arrives (sometimes with little to no warning)
  • Charge all cellphones and electronic equipment.  Remember texting uses less battery power than talking.
  • Plug in a land line if possible
  • Turn air conditioning and refrigerators lower to stay cooler longer.  Minimize opening doors to preserve coolness inside.
  • Pack coolers with ice and drinks so the refrigerator does not need to be opened as much
  • Pack freezer with extra ice to keep it cooler for a longer amount of time
  • If the power goes out, turn off/unplug appliances to help the “surge” when it comes back on
  • Use flashlights instead of candles – reducing the risk of fire
  • Have a known and previously practiced Evacuation Plan in place
  • Have grills and properly stored propane ready for cooking if needed.

Evacuation Plan

  • Pick a rendezvous place outside of the evacuation area that everyone in the household knows to go to
  • Have an out of state (or at least out of the hurricane area) contact everyone can check in with
  • Make copies of important documents like insurance papers, household contents lists, driver’s license and passports, birth certificates and  social security cards. Store in a waterproof container with the Emergency Kit.
  • Emergency Kit as stocked below

Have a well stocked Emergency Kit

These are some of the most basic things needed for and emergency kit.

  • 1 Gallon of Water per person for each of 3 days
  • Non-perishable food (especially people with special dietary needs) for each of 3 days
  • Battery powered or crank flashlight for each person in your household
  • Battery powered or crank radio, preferably with NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) capabilities
  • Extra batteries for flashlights and radios as necessary
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • First Aid kit
  • Personal hygiene items (toilet paper, women’s hygiene, shaving supplies etc.)
  • Emergency blanket
  • Area maps in case cell phones/satellites are not working
  • Medications and glasses or contacts – to be added when evacuation is eminent

Also bring, or keep with you, during evacuation or a significant storm with a power outage

  • Medication (preferably 1 week’s worth because the pharmacy’s power could be out for a few days)
  • Special access peripherals (wheelchair, cane, crutches, etc)
  • Sturdy shoes and multiple clothing changes
  • Baby needs including formula, diapers and wipes as well as that special blanket and binky
  • Pet needs

Hurricane evacuation and preparedness plans/kits vary by the authority presenting them. Take all recommendations as a guide and personalize your particular kit as it applies specifically to you.

An informative and printable copy of an evacuation plan and preparedness guide, from Monmouth County, New Jersey, is available by clicking here.

Memorial Day History – Do You Know The Facts?

A Memorial Day History

Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed  the last Monday in May, to celebrate U.S. military personnel that died while serving their country.

Do you know these historical facts?

  • In 1868, after the Civil War, Memorial Day was called Decoration Day and became a holiday in the North honoring the military dead with flowers.
  • It quickly became an official holiday throughout all of the Northern states.
  • Throughout the South, mostly women’s groups put flowers on the graves of fallen Confederate solders.
  • The Southern states attached the word “Confederate” to the Decoration Day holiday name to make it different from the holiday in the North.
  • Major military losses on both sides led to the creation of national cemeteries.
    • They were usually located near major battlegrounds.
    • By 1870, there were almost 300,000 buried in national cemeteries.
    • All soldiers buried in a national cemetery became American no matter what their heritage. It was considered a “baptism of blood”.
    • Speeches given on this day were a combination of religion and nationalism.
  • Decoration Day became Memorial Day in 1882.
    • In 1967, Memorial Day was officially adopted as a national holiday.
    • In 1968, it became the last Monday in May.

There a many Memorial Day Traditions being celebrated by Americans every year. Some of these include:

  • Parades that current military personnel and veterans march in.
    • The 1st Decoration Day parade was held in Doylestown, PA in 1867.
    • The longest continuous parade celebration is in Ironton, Ohio. Their yearly parade started in 1868.
  • Visiting national cemeteries or memorials and placing flowers and/or flags on the graves.
  • Wearing “poppies” as a symbol of honor.
    • In 1920, poppies were adopted as the official symbol of the National American Legion.
  • In 2000 – The National Moment of Remembrance was started. This minute of silence, at 3pm, is to remember the military personnel that lost their lives defending this country.
  • Flying the American flag at 1/2 staff for the morning then returning it to its full position at 12 noon. This symbolizes that the living not let “the sacrifices made be in vain and continue to fight for liberty and justice for all”.

Many Sporting events are held Memorial Day Weekend:

  • The Indianapolis 500, since 1911, on the Sunday before Memorial Day and the NASCAR  Coca-Cola 600 (since 1961) later the same day.
  • The Memorial Tournament – golfing tournament since 1976
  • NCAA Division 1 Men’s Lacrosse Championship

Casual Memorial Day Celebrations

Many Americans celebrate Memorial Day in a more casual way with barbeques, family gatherings, fireworks and pool openings.

Memorial Day is also the unofficial start of Summer!

No matter you celebrate, remember our fallen military, have a great Memorial Day weekend and let’s get the Summer season started!










Board Member Educational Seminar

Association Advisors NJ sponsored and presented another successful Board Member Educational Seminar last night, April 11, 2017.

This Board Member Educational Seminar was held at 618 Restaurant in Freehold and featured top industry officials in the insurance and legal fields. The topics of the night were Insurance and Legal Issues and how they affect community living. The industry professionals answered questions from the audience consisting of both board and management team members.

Attendees learned about topics from the Insurance and Legal categories. Discussions included how these topics affect both the board members and their communities.  Topics discussed were:


  • The ABC’s of Associations Insurances
  • Are you adequately insured
  • Board Member liability
  • Handling claims and/or catastrophes


  • Legal updates and trends in the industry
  • Specific legal legislation that applies to condominium and homeowner associations
  • How to pick a litigation attorney
  • Potential legal issues with a big claim
  • Consignment versus hourly litigation costs and negotiating with your chosen attorney

Horizons at Woods Landing – CAI Community Board of the Year Award

Horizons at Woods Landing proudly accepted the Community Associations Institute (CAI) Community Board of the Year Award.

The award was presented at Community Associations Institute (CAI) Annual Awards Dinner,  held on February 16, 2017.  Bob Kahramann and Mike DiGuglielmo attended the awards ceremony and accepted the Community Board of the Year Award on behalf of the complete 2016 Board.  The award winning board consists of: Paul Raetsch (President), Carol Young Picket (Secretary) , Bob Kahrmann (Treasurer),  Arlene Blosch  and Mike DiGuglielmo (both Board Members).

This award is given to an outstanding community board that has demonstrated exceptional leadership and participation in conjunction with CAI’s mission.

  • The original builder declared bankruptcy and abandoned the community.  After several years of tireless work, the board partnered with a new builder to complete the community and its amenities.
  • The Board’s past president is on the Legislation Committee (LAC). The current president is a past member of the New Jersey Community Association Volunteer Leaders (NJCAVL) committee.
  • The board is a member of the NJ and DelVal Chapters of CAI. They participate in legislation affecting community living in both chapters.
  • Policies and resolutions were recently updated to reflect CAI’s recommendations. Some topics that were addressed are ADR, age restricted census requirements and board transparency.
  • The Board President, Paul Raetsch, authored an article in the form of a quiz entitled “What is LAC and Why Should I Care?” It is a quick and informative quiz for board members of common interest communities.

Horizons at Woods Landing  was awarded the DelVal CAI Chapter “Gold Star Community Award“.

The Board has written several articles for CAI’s Community Trends magazine in 2016.  A board member won “Shoot the Cover” contest.

The Horizons at Woods Landing board encourages professional development for their manager.

Horizons at Woods Landing is clearly the Community Board of the Year! Congratulations to the board and all of their hard work to achieve this award.

Canal Walk in January Community Trends Magazine

Canal Walk is “The Community Spotlight” featured in the January edition of Community Trends Magazine. Association Advisors NJ is proud to be their professional management company.  Community Trends is Community Association Institute’s (CAI’s) monthly magazine focusing on community living.

Why Choose Canal Walk?

  1. Canal Walk received the prestigious Courier News readers’ choice award of “Best of the Best” 2016 Adult Community in Somerset County.
  2. Financial stability is  has held maintenance fees at the same rate for the last 6 years.
  3. This is a very diversified community with over 1100 living units and 30 acres of common ground.
  4. Attention to detail, many clubs and high end amenities make Canal Walk a very desirable community.  For example, the main clubhouse is one of the largest and well equipped in the state of New Jersey.   Card rooms, a library, billiards, fitness center and in indoor pool with hot tub are some of the well-appointed amenities to enjoyed by residents and their guests..
  5. Canal Walk is convenient for shopping in New York City or Philadelphia.
  6. Broadway show transportation is via the community jitney.
  7. Staying local means enjoying the area’s  many gourmet restaurants, golf courses, theaters and parks.


New Year’s Eve Celebrations

New Year’s Eve is a worldwide celebration.

New Year’s Eve celebrations are unique throughout the world and date back to Mesopotamian times.  The Mesopotamians made resolutions to do better in the upcoming year, participated in religious ceremonies, performed rituals, sang, danced and ate during an 11 day festival.

The Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball is a New Year’s Eve icon watched by 1 billion people worldwide.

The Times Square Ball is based on time ball drops originating from the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, England.  In the 1800s, time balls were dropped at 1pm everyday so nearby ships could set their chronometers. The US Naval Observatory, in Washington, DC still drops a ball at 12 noon everyday. The New Year’s Eve Ball, in Times Square, faithfully drops at midnight every December 31st, except for 1942 and 1943 due to “dim-out” restrictions during World War II.

The New Year’s Eve Ball has undergone 7 modifications since the original. The first ball, in 1907, was made of iron and wood. It weighed 700 pounds and had 100 25-watt light bulbs.  The current ball is 2,688 Waterford crystal triangles, 32,000 state-of-the art LEDs with the capacity of 16 million colors combining into billions of patterns. It weighs almost 12,000 pounds and is 12 feet in diameter.  On this New Year’s Eve, the light patterns will represent The Gifts of Fortitude, Kindness, Wonder and Imagination.

New Year’s Eve celebrations are worldwide events but the celebrations are anything but standard.

  • In Latin America celebrants wear colored underwear representing their hopes for the new year.  Red is for love and passion; yellow for happiness and peace; white for fertility and health.
  • In Brazil white flowers are released into the sea to honor Yemanja, the Queen Of The Sea; representing energy and strength for the upcoming year.
  • In Spain, 12 white grapes are eaten at the 12 strokes of midnight; symbolizing the 12 lucky months to come.
  • Russian traditions include the New Year’s Tree celebration.  Russian Santa and his granddaughter leave gifts under tree for children to unwrap in the New Year. Live music, singing and fireworks make this tradition bigger than traditional Christmas celebrations.
  • Ecuadorians bring in the New Year by burning a scarecrow (representing the negativity of the year ending) to cleanse the area and let in the positive energy and good luck of the new year.