Hurricane Readiness -With 3 Hurricanes In The Atlantic Are You Ready?

Hurricane readiness is a must for people and businesses located in coastal areas.

Hurricane readiness plans are especially important if you live in a coastal area. It doesn’t matter the severity of the hurricane.  Hurricane readiness plans and efforts should ready anytime a hurricane is predicted for your area. Be ready, have the basics packed and stored ahead of time.

What is a hurricane?

A hurricane is defined as a large low pressure storm, with an organized eye, accompanied by heavy rain and strong sustained winds. Most hurricane damage is from the winds and storm surges that occur in coastal regions. Inland areas can also be affected by extensive flooding from heavy rain.

When is hurricane season?

Hurricane season is between June 1st and November 30th. The most likely strikes on the eastern U.S. coast are mid-August and late October.  As you can see, we are in the middle of the most likely time for a hurricane to strike on the east coast. At the time of posting there are 3 hurricanes in the Atlantic with the potential to come ashore. Is your hurricane readiness kit up to date?

What is the difference between a Hurricane Watch and a Hurricane Warning?

A possible hurricane strike is a watch. Directly in the strike path of a hurricane is a warning.

How are hurricanes rated and what do the ratings mean?

Hurricanes are rated by the ability to cause damage and are classified in 5 categories.

  • A Category 1 hurricane has 74-95 miles per hour (mph) sustained winds and 4-5 foot storm surges. This category causes “minimal” damage.
  • Category 2 hurricanes have 96-110 mph sustained winds with a 6-8 foot storm surge and moderate flooding and property damage.
  • Categories 3, 4 and 5 are considered major hurricanes and leave the most destruction in their paths
    • A Category 3 hurricane has winds of 111-130 mph and a 9-12 foot storm surge; causing extensive damage to some buildings and low-lying roads are cut off due to flooding.
    • Category 4 hurricanes have sustained winds of 131-155 mph and storm surges of 13-18 feet. Expect extreme damage to all buildings in the area, including destroyed roofs, flooding and fallen debris.
    • The last category is Category 5. This type of hurricane has sustained winds greater than 156 mph and storm surges of greater than 18 feet. This is considered a catastrophic storm and will cause catastrophic damage on contact.

What can I do to prepare for a hurricane?

Being prepared is a must during hurricane season.

  • You need an emergency kit with the recommended supplies based on your family size and/or if you need to evacuate. Click here to see the Red Cross’s recommendations for an emergency survival kit.
  • Use a backpack for emergency supplies in case of evacuation. It is easier to grab-and-go.
  • Make an emergency plan and practice it with your family
  • Be informed. Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) In Depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness is a good source for this type of information. This 200 page book includes how to prepare for hurricanes and most other weather and nature related disasters.
  • Fill vehicle and generator tanks with fuel before the hurricane strikes because the pumps operate on electric and won’t work after the power goes out.
  • Cover windows and other glass surfaces with plywood or hurricane shutters because wind will break the glass; causing injuries from both the glass or the items that became projectiles.
  • Make sure all outdoor items that are not tied down are pulled back inside your home. This includes furniture, toolboxes etc. Secure all small outbuildings and sheds to the ground. They could become huge projectiles if the wind picks them up. Put sandbags against your doors to help keep the water from coming in under the door.

How can a business prepare for a hurricane?

Other than the obvious issues that are common to households also (watching the forecast, filling vehicle and generator tanks with fuel, boarding windows and sandbagging doors and securing all sheds and outbuildings), businesses also need to take precautions and make business survival plans well ahead of a hurricane.

The key is to have a working Emergency Plan in place ahead of time.

Your business should designate a team leader to facilitate a smooth progression of the Emergency Plan.  Make sure he or she has all of the equipment necessary to fulfill their responsibilities.

Employees are one of a business’s major assets. 

They can be invaluable in keeping the business running.  Since employees are part of the day-to- day operations of your business they can be part of the preparedness team.  When you know a hurricane is coming, know where your employees are in real-time.  Is she working from home today or is he away on business or vacation?  Make sure the employee contact list is current before the hurricane strikes. Give your key people the list.

Data is another integral part of your business.

Businesses need to make sure that all their data is backed up and stored off-site in a safe space.  Cloud service backup is a good way to have your important data offsite but cloud services are only work as long as you can get to them via internet.  Sometimes when cell towers and internet service providers sustain damage, the internet will not be available and neither would your data.

Make checklists with the necessary actions required when an incident happens. 

Know where the business insurance policy is and who to contact should you need them.  Have reliable vendors on standby and include how to contact them. Create a contact list for all vendors and insurance brokers. Don’t forget the policy number on the insurance info. Give copies of this list to every key person.

Cover Equipment

If it can’t be moved to another safe location,  secure and cover all remaining equipment.

Post emergency evacuation routes

Post routes out of and around your building.  When an emergency strikes,  people sometimes panic and get confused or disoriented. Having a printed list to refer to can help everyone stay calm.

Take pictures documenting the damage

Pictures are a must before anyone cleans up after the storm. Documentation is key if there is a problem with the insurance claim.  They act as proof of the damage if additional information is requested.

Whether you are a business or an individual being  prepared for a hurricane is the best way to survive!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Association Advisors NJ Back at Pine View Estates!

Association Advisors NJ is back at Pine View Estates! Pine View Estates was formed in 2004 and is located in Howell NJ. It is a 55+ active adult community with 177 single family homes. Scenic views, top notch amenities, shopping, dining and nearness to the Jersey Shore are all onsite or a convenient short drive from Pine View Estates; making it a perfect setting for active adults.

Association Advisors was the first management company at Pine View Estates.

We remained the management company until April 2016, when the association made the decision to change management companies. We were sad to part ways, but we understood that change is sometimes necessary.

Pine View Estates misses the outstanding property management team at Association Advisors NJ (AANJ)

Early in 2018, the Board contacted us, requesting a new management proposal. They wanted us back as their management company and Sandy as their manager. The Pine View Estates Board realized that the outstanding type of property management they had with AANJ is essential to a well-run homeowners association. They missed our outstanding management team and exemplary property management processes.   

Association Advisors NJ is back at Pine View Estates

It’s official, we are back!  In June 2018, a management agreement was signed and Sandy resumed the position of onsite manager at Pine View Estates, effective July 1st. We are very happy to return to Pine View Estates and provide exceptional professional property management to this active adult community. Next, we are looking forward to coordinating the transition from builder to independent community at Pine View Estates.

South African CAI Representatives Visit Annual Conference, CAI-NJ and Association Advisors

Representatives from the South African Community Association Institute (CAI) Chapter were invited to the United States to attend the CAI 2018 Annual Conference and Expo, held last week in Washington DC. CAI-NJ and Association Advisors were selected for visits after the conference.

The representatives, Andre de Oliveria and Marco de Oliveria are here in the United States on a fact sharing mission. Meeting and networking with colleagues helped both men obtain additional insight and knowledge on how we manage communities in USA. They gained new information and facts to take home while sharing information they thought would be helpful to the CAI chapters in the United States.

Mr. Andre Oliveria stated, “We aim to learn and collaborate with the industry leaders across the world and look at ways that we can better our service to all our clients and the industry as a whole.”

South African CAI delegates (l and r) with Larry Thomas (CAI NJ)

After the annual conference, Messrs. de Oliveria traveled to a few CAI State Chapters. The CAI New Jersey chapter was chosen to receive the South African Representatives as part of their extended visit. They visited the Chapter Office where they were introduced to the Managers Committee to brainstorm and exchange ideas.

Their visit to the United States also included visiting select management companies. Association Advisors NJ was proud and honored to host one of these visits. Our management team met with Messrs. de Oliveria and shared best practices and knowledge as well as methods of managing many types of communities.

Larry Sauer, Andre de Oliveria, Marco de Oliveria and Larry Thomas at Association Advisors NJ management meeting

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:

Insurance

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

Legal

  • 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