Doomsday Real Estate

First off, I don’t want to minimize the true tragedy that goes along with the loss of life and property resulting from the recent Superstorm or Hurricane Sandy that hit the east coast this week. flood restoration Gold coast There’s nothing funny about losing your home, pets, place of business, or God forbid, a loved one. Having lived through every Hurricane that’s hit southeast Texas since Carla, I know a little about storm prep. After Hurricane Ike in 2008, my home was without electric power for two full weeks. I THOUGHT that I was prepared for that potential event, but in the aftermath I learned that I made a number of serious preparedness mistakes and the oversight resulted in great discomfort and hardships for my wife and children. Hopefully, I can relay some of those mistakes here and you can avoid them the next time disaster strikes.

Before diving into a postmortem of my experiences, I will say that after many days of research, I did find that you can be prepared for a disaster without bankrupting your family, you just have to scale into the purchases over time. Ask anyone in lower Manhattan this week if $2,000 spent on a generator is a waste of money? They’d probably offer to buy it from you for $4,000! Speaking of generators; let me give you my opinion of what best suits the needs of your average disaster victim.

Generators come in all shapes, sizes and prices. office fit out Go down to the local Lowe’s or Home Depot and they’ll give you the details but most of what they sell falls into the category of a lawnmower engine attached to a generator with a fuel tank attached. IMHO this is not the type generator you want in an emergency situation. Most of these run at a constant speed of around 3,500 RPMs, no matter what load you place on them, they drink gas like it is water and they are loud enough to make it hard to sleep at night, even if running in your back yard. What’s more, very few are built or rated to run more than a few hundred hours. They typically run from $400 to $1,200 and they are affordable so they are better than nothing, but not much. During Hurricane Ike I ran a 5700 watt 11 HP generator about 12 hours a day and consumed an average of 5 gallons of gasoline per day. On the 8th day, the generator burnt out a capacitor and would no longer run. I replaced the capacitor (don’t ask how) and got it back up and running but most of my free time was spent trying to find gasoline, changing the oil and building a sound proof enclosure so I could sleep at night. Nothing about this machine was easy and I rarely needed more than 25% of the power I was buying gas to generate.

So, how much generator do you need? before you can accurately answer that question, you need to measure how much electricity your home would consume under emergency conditions. home renovations melbourne I suggest you start with your light bulbs and add up the wattage. I would also suggest you purchase a wattage meter and the Kill-a-watt is cheap and easy to use. After calculating the total watts of lighting (and replacing any incandescent’s with CFLs or LED’s) measure the minimal appliances you need to stay running like the refrigerator, ceiling fans, clock radio, small TV, margarita machine, Etc. In my case I ended up with around 1,200-1,400 watts minimum consumption. At this point we need to exclude any electric Air conditioning or heating, washer/dryers or other non-essential appliances. With your known wattage in hand, you are now ready to size a generator that will meet your BASIC electrical needs AND consume as little fuel as possible. Speaking of fuel, did you see the news stories about fuel lines in New York? Same thing happened here because whether a gas station has fuel in the tanks or not, it takes electricity to pump it out safely and now electric, no gas. It is important to oversize your generator to account for small additional loads and the start-up spike from appliances like the refrigerator and fans. My generator has a running load of 1,800 watts and a max load of 2,000 and I have few problems keeping the fridgerator, lights, TV and fans on since usually all are not on at the same time. My fuel consumption can get a low as 12 hours to a gallon or high as 6 hours a gallon, but it is nothing like the 5700 watt generator running at full power all day.

OK, so now for the generator recommendation; Knowing your minimum operable wattage needs, I suggest you seek out an INVERTER type Generator mananufactured by either Honda or Yamaha. Inverter generators use a small motor to generate DC power that is inverted to AC power. The tfour most important advantages they have on the other types of generators is that (1) with a smaller motor they consume much less fuel (remember gas lines?); (2) They adjust the engine speed to the load being powered so you don’t generate more power than you need (remember gas consumptiion?) (3) they run much quiter (remember sleep?) and (4) my favorite reason; they have a running life that is littlerally thousands of hours longer than the lawnmower style generators (remember saving money?). As is the difference between 30,000 mile tires and 100,000 mile tires, you will pay a premium price for the inverter generator, however, you will not regret the purchase when the lights go out (remember $4,000 for a $2,000 generator?). Personally, I like the Honda EU2000i inverter generator. Advantages include the fact it’s light and my wife can move/start it and it can be combined with up to two more EU2000i generators to increase power output (I have 2, one for backup or combining). Honda makes a smaller and larger inverter generators and I understand the Yamaha brand is also as capable and highly regarded. Unfortunately the Honda 2000 watt generator sells for around $1,100 in non-disaster dollars where as the big box brutes can be had for about half that with 2x the output. Still, I’d rather pay once for only the power I need and take two times as few trips to the gas line than buy the lower priced models (if I can avoid it).

I hope that this helps you if you’re now thinking about investing a bit more on preparedness. Remember, you WILL be in a disaster at some time, the only question is will you be prepared to help yourself and others or will you risk greater loss and hardship by not planning ahead today. Please join my family in praying for the families and victims of the storm on the east coast and for the sincere hope that conditions improve swiftly. My next blog will cover my personal experiences rekated to long term power outage and the psychological effects it can have on your family. In summary, the longer it drags on, the problems mount exponentially. Please feel free to comment on your experiences or ideas related to disaster preparedness as we all know that nobody in lower manhattan right now is regretting being too prepared.

Trade Gold Online

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Getting a great Forex schooling is the keystone in order to to be able to really become successful in foreign exchange trading. If you don’t have the knowledge that you’ll require, then you are most likely going to find yourself inside a situation where you are dropping money in the market. It has happened to many people in the past, and there is simply no reason to think that this part of background will not repeat itself.It is not always that we just turn on the computer, and there is a page about Gold Forex Trading System. We have written this article to let others know more about Gold Forex Trading System through our resources.

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How to reduce household expenses through smart water saving habits

As the overall cost of living increases, so too do the financial burdens and stresses of everyday life.

It goes without saying, more and more people are looking for ways to save money, even though it would seem the financial habits of most people suggest otherwise. This is especially true for home buyers with big debt and huge financial responsibilities.

Lets face it, buying your own home isn’t cheap, and often running can be more expensive.

Once you factor in the costs of electricity, water, rates, loan repayments, and insurance it can seem for some, that there’s never any money left over for anything else apart from bills.

This is why many home owners are continually seeking more affordable options, such as cheaper insurance, low energy lighting, solar heating and plumbing systems that use less water.

Infact, one of the biggest expenses, for a large number of homeowners can be water.

Here in Perth, water for many residents is capped at a certain threshold. This means once they exceed a certain usage level, they are then charged additional water usage fees. Now for single occupants, this might not seem such a big deal, but for larger families, with a number of children, the cost of water can really start to climb.

Showers, laundry, general usage, pools, gardening, dishwashers, washing pets, and even the car.

Infact, the cost of water in certain areas of Perth has become quite costly due to harsh water restrictions. Water restrictions are often implemented during times of drought, simply as a precaution to ensure adequate supply.

Its estimated that over 75% of homeowners in Perth have actively sought out efforts to reduce their water usage in an effort to lower costs.

We thought this number was interesting and decided to ask Superior Plumbing, what they thought were some of the best ways to save water.

Here’s what they had to say.

  1. When brushing your teeth, be sure to turn the tap off, rather than leaving it to run. A running tap can waste up to 6 litres of water per minute.
  2. Place a cistern displacement device in your toilet to reduce the amount of water required for each flush. These are easy to fit and are low cost. Believe it or not, some people still place house bricks in their cisterns too.
  3. Don’t have long showers. Be sure to get in, and get out quickly. Showers use a lot of water, infact up to 40 litres a minute.
  4. Be sure to load your washing machine to its maximum capacity each time. Avoid small, “frequent” loads. Also be sure to use the shorter time setting if possible.
  5. Fix dripping or leaking taps. Studies have shown that a simple dripping tap in say, the bathroom can waste up to 8,000 litres of water a year.
  6. Save grey water when possible and use it for gardening.
  7. Try using a small amount of water to wash the dishes, as opposed to running the dishwasher constantly. Many dishwashers these days are designed to use less water, however you can do better by using just a small amount in the kitchen sink. If you do use the dishwasher, make sure its loaded full each time.
  8. Track and measure your usage. Most homes are fitted with water meters, which should give accurate readings. Be sure that with each effort to reduce your water usage that its actually having the intended effect.
  9. Avoid constant watering or hosing of gardens and driveways. Use a set timer on your lawns and gardens to ensure regular, but limited usage.
  10. Use a dedicated car wash stations as opposed to washing your car at home. Washing your car each weekend can really add up over time.
  11. Invest in water-efficient goods when replacing household products. There are numerous options available such as water-efficient showerheads, washing machines, toilets, dishwashers, taps and more.

We hope these tips can provide you with some encouragement to get started. We thank the guys from Superior Plumbing for their help and advice and wish you the best of luck with your water saving ways!

2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon

Many people love wagons cars because its mix sport sedan handling with practical interior space of an SUV. It comes as a surprise to us that there are more cars available. But only increased the mobile car detailing number one with his 2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon.

As the model name, this machine based on the Acura TSX sedan, with the same engine and cabin tech. But Acura has added to the line size car model, retaining the capacity for five seats, but the addition of a large cargo space. Fold the rear seat, and the loading length gains considerable area.

After the recent update styling TSX sedan, the TSX Sport Wagon has the same “Transformers”-like openings headlight grille and angular, the front of the car, with a straight face off mechanism Japanimation shows. In creating the tailgate, the Acura engineers did a great job that blend seamlessly with the front sedan, and the addition of a number of interesting curvature along the roofline.

Slick Interface

With its technology package, the TSX Sport Wagon navigation features modern, telephones and stereos. Acura is part of a hard disk to cards for in-dash navigation system and reserve a space for storing music store. The result is a system that responds quickly to user input, and quickly recalculates routes after a missed turn.

Sitting in the car’s LCD is the familiar Acura controller, an excellent joystick / quadrant, although ugly, is very useful. Latest Models Acura has a dependency on all the buttons in their dashboards, but the TSX Sport Wagon comes with an honest commitment to cut.

The on-screen interface is a pleasant change from antiquity. Although using a similar paradigm, the look is much nicer than the previous generation, which can still be seen in the Acura RL. Instead of gray buttons with jagged lines, the new graphical interface shows a higher resolution with a more pleasant color scheme.

Although the maps of the navigation system have a higher resolution, are still only 2D or 3D elements, without perspective. Under the guidance of course, the system will not read street names, either, but data is integrated into the system, and we will try to keep clear of traffic jams.

Some very nice things about the navigation system are the Zagat restaurant guide included with the database of points of interest and the list of scenic routes throughout the country. Both features make the TSX Sport Wagon car excellent road trip. Weather data is a useful feature.

The Bluetooth phone system is full-featured, please download a phone contact list and allows you to dial by name with the voice control system. And one other advanced feature Acura introduced in several models is that song with the voice that calls, a feature that allows you to request music from an iPod or related to your hard drive in the machine by artist, album or song title . This feature works well and had no problems with a name of an artist hard as Blitzen Trapper.

Pros
Voice command in the 2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon lets you select songs from an iPod or the car’s hard drive, and dial phone numbers by name. The wagon body style is very practical.

Cons
The automatic transmission is only a five speed, and the engine tech is only average.

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