Saturday, January 30, 2016

Ten Reasons to Volunteer for the Community

1.  Protect your self-interests. Protect your property values and maintain the quality of life in your community.

2.   Correct a problem. Has your car been towed, or do you think maybe maintenance has been neglected?

3.  Be sociable. Meet your neighbors, make friends, and exchange opinions.

4.  Give back. Repay a little of what’s been done for you.

5.  Advance your career. Build your personal resume by including your community volunteer service.

6.  Have some fun. Association work isn’t drudgery. It’s fun accomplishing good things with your neighbors.

7.  Get educated. Learn how it’s done—we’ll train you.

8.  Express yourself. Help with creative projects like community beautification.

9.  Earn recognition. If you would like a little attention or validation, your contributions will be recognized and celebrated.

10.  Try some altruism. Improve society by helping others.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Cold Weather Snow Shoveling and Your Risk for Heart Attack

Cardiologist Grace Cater, MD, talks about the chilling effect of cold weather on the heart.Sudden exertion activities in cold weather can trigger a heart attack or sudden cardiac death.

Some activities such as snow shoveling, walking through heavy wet snow or in a snow drift, downhill and cross country skiing, snow-boarding, can strain the heart enough to cause a heart attack.

Snow shoveling can be more strenuous than exercising full throttle on a treadmill. While this may not be a problem if an individual is healthy and fit, it can be dangerous if not.
Shoveling, even pushing a heavy snow blower, can cause sudden increase in blood pressure and heart rate, and the cold air can cause constriction of the blood vessel and decrease oxygen to the heart. All these work in concert to increase the work of the heart and trigger a potentially fatal heart attack.
Individuals who are at risk of a heart attack during cold outdoor activities include:
  • Those with a prior heart attack
  • Those with known heart disease
  • Those with high blood pressure or high cholesterol
  • Smokers
  • Those who lead a sedentary lifestyle
Such individuals should think twice about shoveling snow and should talk to their doctor before taking on such a task.

Tips for Protecting Your Heart

Before You Shovel Snow
  • Talk to your doctor before you take on this task of snow shoveling
  • Avoid shoveling immediately after you awaken as most heart attacks occur early in the morning when blood is more prone to clotting. Wait for at least 30 minutes and warm up
  • Do not eat heavy meal before shoveling: blood gets diverted form the heart to the stomach
  • Warm up your muscles before starting by walking for a few minutes or marching in place
  • Do not drink coffee or smoke for at least one hour before or one hour after shoveling or during breaks. These are stimulants and elevate your blood pressure and heart rate
While Shoveling Snow
  • Use a small shovel: shovel many small loads instead of heavy ones
  • Begin slowly and take frequent, 15 minute breaks
  • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration
  • Dress in layers, to avoid hypothermia (low body temperature) or overheating
  • Cover your head and neck (50% body heat lost thru head and neck)
  • Cover your mouth (breathing cold air can cause angina or trigger breathing problems
  • Watch for warning signs of a heart attack, lightheadedness, dizziness, being short of breath or if you have tightness or burning in chest, neck, arms or back. If you think you are having a heart attack call 911.
Article taken from MetroHealth website at:

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

How Are We Doing?

As board member volunteers, we work hard to make sure our residents feel at home and our community thrives. To be more effective, we feel it’s important to seek out other perspectives to learn about our perceived strengths and weaknesses. So to help us better serve you and our association, we want to know how we’re doing.

Do you feel that the board is successfully handling issues pertaining to the community, or are there some important matters we’re neglecting? Has the board been transparent with residents about the actions we take, and have residents been given a fair opportunity to weigh in on these decisions? Does the board listen to what you have to say when you disagree with the association or when you have suggestions to better the community? These are just some of the important questions we’re eager to have answered, and we hope you’ll share your thoughts with us on these and other issues.

Your opinions can help shape our community, so please don’t hesitate to give us honest feedback. Get in touch with us today to let us know what areas the board can improve on, as well as any other suggestions that would benefit our community. Thank you in advance for helping us make our association a place we’re all proud to call home.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Becoming A Homeowners Association Volunteer

If you care about the value of your house, you need to take good care of it regularly and properly. Making some improvements to the house or tackle any necessary repair quickly will make your house a decent place to live in. In addition to that, it is advised that you take part in the association dedicated to maintaining the value of your neighboring buildings or Homeowner's Association. Almost everyone thinks that becoming a Homeowner's Association volunteer would eat up your energy and time. Well, most of them tend to forget that volunteering for their Homeowner's Association can be very rewarding as well. When the Homeowner's Association in your neighborhood has no enough volunteers, it would be hard for them to perform their main functions. In shorts, this association will start to fall apart without enough individuals to volunteer.

Everyone in your neighborhood has their own role in preserving the value of their properties and the best way to do it is to put their names in the Homeowner's Association volunteers. When you get yourself involved in this important association, you can play a bigger role in maintaining the quality of life that you always expect.

When you live in a certain community, it is very common that some issues has to arise and need to be resolved quickly before causing some conflicts. When you join the Homeowner's Association as a volunteer, it would be a lot easier to bring up the issue and find the best solution together with other homeowners in the neighborhood. Joining this association should be seen as a great way to give back to your community as well.

Living in a busy neighborhood makes us a lot harder to meet our neighbors or make some friends. This is where your Homeowner's Association steps in. The meeting held by the association will be a great opportunity for you to get to know your neighbors. This is a great event for you to grow your social life. More interestingly, volunteering for this association will also improve your personal resume. Little that you know, it can also be beneficial to your efforts to build up your career. The association seems like a good place for you to build up your community volunteer service and leadership capacity. Obviously, there are many other benefits that come from becoming a Homeowner's Association volunteer. Thus, no matter how busy your life is, you should no longer hesitate yourself from taking part in this important association.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Does Winter Get You Down? It May be More than Just the Weather

Most of us rue the end of summer—sunny days, mild nights, vacations, the beach, ball games, picnics and so much more. Although fall and winter bring holidays, the warmth of a fireplace and football (actual and fantasy), for many people the winter months mark the return of seasonal depression.

It’s known in medical circles as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that affects a person during the same season each year. If you get depressed in the winter but feel much better in spring and summer, SAD may be the culprit. Symptoms typically start in September or October and end in April or May.

Anyone can be affected by SAD, according to WedMD, but it is most common in:
People who live in areas where winter days are very short or there are significant changes in the amount of daylight in different seasons.
People between the ages of 15 and 55; the risk of SAD declines as we age.
People who have a close relative with SAD. Like many other ailments, genetics can play a role.

Experts are not sure what causes SAD, but they suspect a lack of sunlight, which may upset your sleep patterns. It also may cause problems with a brain chemical called serotonin that affects mood. Symptoms may include feeling sad, moody and/or anxious; losing interest in your usual activities; eating more and craving carbohydrates, such as breads and pasta; gaining weight, and sleeping more and feeling drowsy during the daytime.

Doctors often prescribe light therapy to treat SAD. There are two types of light therapy:
Bright light treatment. For this treatment, you sit in front of a “light box” for half an hour or longer, usually in the morning.
Dawn simulation. For this treatment, a dim light goes on in the morning while you sleep, and it gets brighter over time, like a sunrise.

Other treatments can include antidepressants and counseling.

There are many articles online about SAD—check out Wikipedia and the Mayo Clinic or type “season affective disorder” into your browser.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Food Safety During a Power Outage

Power failures can be one of the most annoying—and disabling—occurrences in a community. Whether caused by summer storms, power lines crippled by winter ice, equipment failure, an overloaded regional grid or an animal disrupting a power line, electrical outages can be costly, uncomfortable—and without forethought—sometimes even dangerous.

Residents can face many hazards when a power failure occurs—usually without any warning—including losing refrigerated and frozen foods. Some food items can be salvaged, however, if you’re prepared.

In anticipation of a power failure:

  • Have at least one or two coolers on hand, and at least one spare 5-pound bag of ice in the freezer.
  • Know where to get bag, block or dry ice quickly when you need it, particularly if you anticipate a long-term outage. (Caution: Dry ice is made from carbon dioxide, so it requires safe handling. Never breathe in its vapors or touch it with your bare hands.) According to the Food Safety Branch of Kentucky’s Department of Health, a 50-pound block of dry ice will keep a tightly packed, 18-cubic-foot freezer cool for up to two days.
  • Have an instant food thermometer or appliance thermometer available to ensure your freezers, refrigerators and coolers are staying cool enough store food safely.
  • Arrange the refrigerator and freezer efficiently. Frozen food will last longer in a full freezer—up to 48 hours if tightly packed—and refrigerated food will last longer—up to four hours—if there is room for air to circulate around items.

When the electricity goes off:

  • Avoid opening and closing the refrigerator unless absolutely necessary.
  • Cook and use perishable food before using canned food.
  • Check the temperature of refrigerated foods if the power is out for more than a few hours. Discard any food item than has been at 40° F or warmer for two or more hours. Exceptions include butter and margarine; hard cheeses like parmesan and Romano; some condiments like mustard, peanut butter, soy sauce, olives and vinegar-based salad dressing; and fresh, uncooked fruits and vegetables.
  • Check the temperature of frozen foods as well. While tightly packed freezer foods will stay frozen for many hours, some items that may have thawed can be refrozen if they still retain ice crystals or have remained at a temperature lower than 40°. Fruit and vegetable juices; breads, rolls and pie crusts; flour, cornmeal and nuts; meat and chicken; and prepared foods and casseroles can be refrozen safely if they have not been at 40° F or warmer for more than two hours.
  • After the power comes back on, you may need to deodorize the refrigerator and freezer by washing surfaces with a solution of 2 tablespoons baking soda dissolved in a quart of warm water. Place an open box of baking soda inside the refrigerator to absorb any lingering odors.

Since the appearance and odor of a food item isn’t an accurate indication of its safety after a power outage, use the 40° rule-of-thumb. And when in doubt, discard the food.

While a power can go out any time, most power failures occur between mid-July and late September. But no matter when our community experiences an outage—and it inevitably will—knowing how to handle frozen and refrigerated foods can help us keep your food supplies safe until the lights come back on.