Preparing for Disaster

With all the wildfires and natural disasters underfoot, now is the time to make a safety plan and share it with your friends and family. It is essential to know what hazards your home and community are susceptible to.

Here is a list to help you and your loved ones prepare before a time of crisis strikes:

Inventory Your Household
Do a walkthrough of every room in your home and write down what items you have. If you have the cloud, perhaps you can scan upload a copy just in case one that is in your notebook, desk, or safe gets lost or destroyed. The last thing you need when coping with the aftermath of a natural disaster is to have your insurance questioning about what you had and need to replace. Another good reason to have an inventory list is to evaluate your insurance policy.

Double-Check Your Insurance Policies
Are you underinsured? Boy, that would be a bummer not to have enough coverage to replace your home and items if disaster strikes. You want to be sure the total you are insured for is enough for that just-in-case.

Create a Disaster Plan
First, you will want to start by having a safe place to meet. Think up a place or home that will serve as your meet-up location, just in case you become separated from your family. Talk to your friends and family. It’s essential that your friends and family know what to do in case of an emergency, and you are unable to return to your home.

Plan Ways To Communicate
Have you thought up ways that you will communicate with each other in an emergency situation? How will you contact each other, or find each other after separating? Talk with your family and about a place to find one another during an emergency.

Evacuation Planning
During a crisis, there is often no time for talking and planning, so you will want to plan. Does each member of your family have copies of your emergency contacts? You want to make a list of contacts and give it to each member of your family.

Practice your Safety Plan
Does everyone in your family know how to turn off the power, water, and gas to your home? How about first-aid and CPR? Now is an excellent time to meet your neighbors, when a natural disaster strikes, your community is who you will be surrounded by. You will want to know who they are. What is up high that can come down and cause injury, it is an excellent time to secure these items to prevent unnecessary injuries. Is your fire extinguisher handy? It is a good idea to check both your fire extinguishers and smoke alarms twice yearly.

Talk With Emergency Services
Knowing what your community plan, evacuation routes, and emergency shelters are located will help keep you, your family and neighbors safe. The authorities are an excellent resource to talk about what types of emergencies to plan for.

If you’d like to donate your car to help someone recover from a natural disaster, reach out to to donate a vehicle that runs, and to donate a vehicle that does not. Check out their respective websites

The 11 oldest cars in the world

Do you get all giddy thinking about how your “classic” automobile is still tooling around the highways under its own power? Well, if you want to be really impressed, take a gander at these cars that are still running – all of which are at least 100 years old!

  1. Screenshot 2016-07-28 at 11.20.49La Marquise is the world’s oldest running automobile, as of 2011. It is an 1884 model made by Frenchmen De Dion, Bouton and Trépardoux. The car was a quadricycle prototype named for de Dion’s mother. Powered by paper, wood and coal, it can cover 20 miles on a tank of water with a maximum speed of 38mph. But it takes 45 minutes to get steamed up.
  2. Britain’s oldest car is a two-seater Wolseley 6 built in 1904. The car, which is now 110 years old, ‘runs like a dream’, according to owner Brian Caseley, and has never broken down – a stroke of luck, really, since it was built before the AA had even been established. The car has a top speed of 29mph, but no one knows its mileage since it was built before milometers were installed in British cars.
  3. The 1896 Roberts Electric is the world’s oldest running electric car. In 1896, its creator, Charles Roberts, had his friend, the famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, build him a stable. The horses Roberts housed there soon had company; a carriage with nowhere to hook the whiffletree, no provision on the tall Stanhope for traces or shafts, and no iron on the dash to support the reins. Yet it moved.
  4. The 1898 Stanley Steamer. This was the nickname for the vehicles produced by the Stanley Motor Carriage Company, the top-selling automaker in the two years before the turn of the century. Actually, these steam-engine cars had another moniker: the Flying Teapots.
  5. The 1904 Rolls Royce. This 10 horsepower two-seater was sold at auction a few years ago for a whopping $7.275 million. That was not only the highest price ever paid for a Rolls, but the sale also earned this vehicle the distinction of being the most expensive car ever purchased over the phone.
  6. The 1893 Benz Victoria. One of the Victoria’s brethren undertook the first long-distance “road trip” in motoring history. Theodor von Liebieg was the driver on that historic journey, and he probably pushed the Benz to its top speed of 12 miles per hour while on the open road.
  7. The Circa 1895 Panhard et Levassor. This car was made by a French company, which today limits its product line to light tactical and military vehicles. But the manufacturer holds the distinction of being responsible for various automotive innovations, including a modern transmission, a front-mounted radiator, and a clutch pedal connected to a chain-driven gearbox.
  8. The 1896 Lutzman Victoria. Automaker Frederich Lutzman followed in the footsteps of his fellow German countrymen, Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler. In fact, Lutzman produced some of the first cars ever to be imported into Britain.
  9. The 1896 Steam-Powered Salvesen. This vehicle never went into production, but was instead used to toodle around the Salvesen family estate in Scotland. The cart not only required a steersman in the front, but also a boilerman-stoker in the back to operate the rear-mounted coil-fired boiler.
  10. Screenshot 2016-07-28 at 14.20.29The 1897 Delahaye Limousine. The Delahaye brand was best known for making roadsters and Jeep-like vehicles in the first half of the 20th century. But this belt-driven limousine was one of the first autos made by founder Emile Delahaye in Tours, France.
  11. The 1898 Benz Dogcart. You could call this the first “green” car in history. This “dogcart” was the first to be fitted with a electric self-start dynamotor, which helped it climb hills more efficiently.

20 questions you should know about the 4th of July!

pexels-photo-largeAcross America, millions of people are celebrating this holiday. And they should, it’s a historical day for the United States. But what do you really know about this great holiday? Test your knowledge:

1.Was July 4th the date Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence? No: Initially adopted by Congress on July 2, 1776, the revised version of the Declaration of Independence was not adopted until two days later.

2. What’s he oldest, continuous Independence Day celebration in the United States? The 4th of July Parade in Bristol, Rhode Island; it began in 1785.

3. Who signed The Declaration of Independence? It was penned by Thomas Jefferson and signed by 56 men representing 13 colonies.

4. Who first sang Yankee Doodle? One of the United States’ patriotic songs, “Yankee Doodle” was originally sung by British military officers prior to the Revolution as a means to mock the disorganized American colonists who fought alongside them during the French and Indian Wars.

5. Were there any countries who followed our example? France, Greece, Poland, Russia and several countries in South America used the Declaration of Independence as a beacon in their own struggles for freedom.

6. Who wrote the official national anthem? The “Star Spangled Banner” was written by Francis Scott Key during the War of 1812 and not decreed the official national anthem of the United States until 1931.

7. How many Presidents dies on the 4th of July? Three U.S. Presidents, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe, died on July 4th; Adams and Jefferson died within hours of each other in 1826 while Monroe died in 1831.

8. How many people lived in the United States on July 4th 1776? In July 1776, the estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation was 2.5 million. According to the U.S. and World Population Clock, the nation’s estimated population in July 2013 will be 316.2 million.

9. Which newspaper printed the Declaration of Independence first? The Pennsylvania Evening Post was the first newspaper to print the Declaration of Independence.

10. What othe countries celebrate the 4th of July? Both the Philippines and Rwanda celebrate July 4th as a day of liberation. In Southeast Asia, it is known as “Republic Day” and Rwandans celebrate “Liberation Day.”

11. Which President was born on the 4th of July? The country’s 30th president, Calvin Coolidge, was born on Independence Day in 1872.

12. How many hot dogs are consumed on the 4th of July? Americans consume about 155 million hot dogs on Independence Day alone; it is the biggest hot dog holiday of the year.

13. When was the 4th of July considered a holiday? In 1870 Congress made Independence Day an official unpaid holiday; in 1938, it was changed to a paid federal holiday.

14. When did Americans really start celebrating the 4th of July? Americans began observing the Fourth of July as early as 1777, when the first-ever major celebration in Philadelphia included a parade and a thirteen-shot cannon salute and fireworks.

15. How many times is the Liberty bell tapped on the 4th of July? To avoid cracking it, the Liberty Bell has not been rung since 1846. To mark the quintessential day, every fourth of July it is symbolically tapped 13 times.

16. Who decided the bald eagle should be the national bird? John Adams and Thomas Jefferson are responsible for the bald eagle as the national bird; Benjamin Franklin wanted it to be the turkey.

17. How many of the 56 signers were Brittish? Eight of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were born in Britain.

18. How many firework displays take place on the 4th of July? The American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) estimates that more than 14,000 professional firework displays light up the skies in the United States each 4th of July.

19. Where were casted the Liberty Bell and the Statue of Liberty? Two of our nation’s great national symbols were made overseas. The Liberty Bell was cast in England, and the Statue of Liberty in France.

20. What was the average age of the Signers? The average age of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence was 45. Benjamin Franklin was the oldest at age 70, and Edward Rutledge was the youngest at age 26.

Polio: we’re almost there, but not yet.

Screenshot 2016-05-30 at 13.25.12They say the last 100 yards are the hardest and they are right. Polio has been eradicated for several years in almost all the countries in the word, but there are still a few more battles to win before we can call it a complete victory.

Poliomyelitis (polio) is a paralyzing and potentially fatal disease that still threatens children in some parts of the world. The poliovirus invades the nervous system and can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours. It can strike at any age but mainly affects children under five. Polio is incurable, but completely vaccine-preventable.

Rotary, along with our partners, has reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent worldwide since our first project to vaccinate children in the Philippines in 1979. We are close to eradicating polio, but we need your help. Whether you have a few minutes or a few hours, here are some ways to make a global impact and protect children against polio forever.

In 1985, Rotary launched its PolioPlus program, the first initiative to tackle global polio eradication through the mass vaccination of children. Rotary has contributed more than $1.5 billion and countless volunteer hours to immunize more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries. In addition, Rotary’s advocacy efforts have played a role in decisions by donor governments to contribute more than $9 billion to the effort.

Today, there are only two countries that have never stopped transmission of the wild poliovirus: Afghanistan and Pakistan. Less than 370 polio cases were confirmed worldwide in 2014, which is a reduction of more than 99.9 percent since the 1980s, when the world saw about 1,000 cases per day.

Rotary has a growing roster of public figures and celebrities participating in its “This Close” public awareness campaign, including Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, action movie star Jackie Chan and peace advocate Queen Noor of Jordan. These ambassadors help educate the public about polio through public service announcements, social media and public appearances.

Join us! Let’s end polio today!

6 reasons why charity is so rewarding

pexels-photo-13918-largeYou don’t need an excuse to give: you’re altruistic, generous and love others without expecting anything back. But sometimes we need a little incentive. Here are a few reasons:

  1. Be part of something greater than yourself: an ocean is made of little drops, and your contribution, together with many others can make a difference in this world. There are many other charities have opportunities so you can see how your small donation really does make a big difference, like Cars2ndChance!
  2. Setting an example: children are most likely to repeat what they’ve seen while they were growing up. If you show them how to be generous and caring towards others, they will likely be like that in the future. If you involve your children in choosing charities, you will instill a desire to share and serve that will last throughout their lives.
  3. Join a cause: By volunteering, you have the opportunity to build your social circles while reaping the physical, mental and spiritual benefits from the labor you contribute to your favorite cause. You probably know people who run or bike a race to support a cause close to them. If you feel passionate about a cause like this, join a race or donate money or time.
  4. A grateful heart: The act of helping others can create an improved sense of well-being. Knowing that you sacrificed something such as time, finances or property in order to help others in need can give you a sense of purpose in life or work and inner satisfaction. As you give food to a local food bank, or write a check for an organization that helps people in need, you can’t help but feel thankful for the blessings in your own life.
  5. Social injustice awareness: You may discover new points of view and opinions on topics about which you were previously uninformed. This knowledge may position you to help increase the awareness of social problems among those in your sphere of influence from a balanced and educated standpoint.As a result, you become more educated about social injustices around the world.
  6. It’s tax deductible! Although this isn’t the main reason we’d suggest donating to charity, it is a nice bonus. Keep records of money or property you donate so you can itemize correctly on your tax forms. But not only is the money you give tax deductible, so are the amounts you spend on travel, parking costs and even convention and event fees that are related to the non-profit group, as long as you are not being reimbursed by the charity for these expenses.