Since 1997, I've focused on assisting professional practices (doctors, dentists, veterinarians, chiropractors, et al.) financially organize their practices to make better business decisions and protect their revenue as a Certified Fraud Examiner.
I’ve written 36 books (Getting The Most Out of QuickBooks In Your Practice series), spoken nationally, consulted & investigated privately. From the beginning, I recognized the value in communicating with the masses.
Now, I have a new book, Matters Of The Heart: A Journey In Caring For Aging Loved Ones. It's based on my 16 year caregiving journey with my parents and step-grandmom.
This blog will be a culmination of other writings - some related to professional practice business, some related to caregiving and some just related to life. Check back often so you don’t miss what may be relevant to your own life!
Thursday, April 6, 2017
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Cell phone – check. Compliant cat – check. Following close dog – check. Escape artist cat last – check. Into the prepared shelter we go to wait out the storm. The night before an anticipated storm, I lay out what I need to wear in case the storm is severe, in the shelter. Time to get dressed.
Having experienced storms, some resulting in extended power outages and having volunteered at Serve Moore cleanup hearing their stories, here are a few tips if a storm causes damage at your home or business:
1. Assess your damage vs. your deductible. If it appears that your loss is less than the home owners deductible, do not call the insurance company. If you may have had roof damage, not obvious damage, call a trusted roofer first to determine if there is damage. If you call the insurance company and there is or is not a claim, your rates can/will be raised. I was abrasively confronted with this fact last year.
|From one of the many North Texas storms|
3. Beware of roofer trolls targeting your neighborhood. They crawl out of the woodwork to take advantage of those in need. I am sure some are honest and qualified but do your research before signing up. Get their information and check the Better Business Bureau. Google™ for reviews. Ask for references. Never ever sign an agreement before doing your research. If you decide to go with them, do not give money up front. If it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true. After a storm, you will be inundated with phone calls and door knockers. Be firm.
4. Alert the power company of your outage, even if you know your neighbors have called. It is how they schedule. You only need to call once. Do not clog the lines by calling them more than once. Restoring power can take days. The longest we were out of power was a week, when I still had both my parents here to care for. Dad was on portable oxygen tanks, for which we went through fairly quickly but was grateful the company delivered to replenish.
5. Unplug all your electronics. Power surges when it is restored. If you do not have adequate joules on your power strips, then you could damage your electronics. Computers, televisions, everything. Turn off your lights too but leave one lamp on so you will know when the power comes back on.
6. If your car is in the garage and the power is out, you need to know how to do the manual release of your garage door opener. By the way, if you need gas, realize your local on the corner gas stations are operated electronically and probably do not have power either. This is also true if you need gas for your chain saw. And do not turn the car on with the door closed to charge your cell phone. If you get carbon monoxide poisoning, you won’t need your cell phone.
7. Refrigerator. If you lost electricity, keep the doors shut. If you have kids, this doesn’t work. Your alternative? Put everything spoil-able from the refrigerator part to the freezer. Get a small thermometer and place it in the freezer. If it is colder than 40°, then it is good to refreeze. If not, you must throw it away. It is not worth the risk of getting sick. If a large population area is out of power, you may be out of power for a while. My biggest cost of one storm was losing freezer food – almost $1000. There is no need to lose freezer food. If you have friends in the area with power, see if they have space available in their freezer. If they do not, they will know someone who does. Cook the food and share. Of course, that only works if you have a gas stove top. One neighborhood cooked all their food on a grill and invited the neighborhood to come eat. It made me sick to throw away all the food.
8. Prepare for the worst and be happy when it comes back on. Waiting to get batteries for the evening lamps until they are sold out at the store is not a good idea. I prefer to use flashlights or battery operated camping lamps vs. candles. I have animals and candles are not a good idea. Candles are fire and can cause much bigger fires.
9. If the storm is bad, texting most always works when phone calls may not get through. Make sure your family and friends know you are safe, and where you are sheltered.
10. If it is a hot day, stay at a friend’s house that night. The hotels will most likely be full. If you have friends in the area, let them know you are open for options.
11. Now is a good time to read a book or go to a movie. In the midst of storm stress, take a break. It can be overwhelming and likely something you may never forget.
Just as in most crisis’, planning ahead can help in the midst. It is spring. Severe spring storms in North Central Texas, and many other parts of the country, have become the new norm. It is only March, with plenty more storms ahead. I still think it is ironic that the tornado that went through me and my hotel room was in downtown Atlanta, GA, not Texas. Plan ahead and if you need resources, reach out.
Most of all, stay safe!
[Since it’s only March, and the Dallas Fort Worth area has been hit hard twice now this week with storms, I preempted the previously scheduled blog posting to provide needed information.]
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
|The ceiling where I had been lying just moments before the tornado hit.|
|Part of the ceiling was flung across the room and the windows exploded.|
|The room to the left of the shredded curtains was mine.|
Here is a NBC5 news report from nine years ago.
Friday, February 10, 2017
The wires were hanging from the remaining ceiling, blowing from the wind. A steel beam was creaking as it moved ever so slightly. I could see the light coming in the back door that I chased many shoplifters through to the parking lot. Most of the building has quickly been torn down, with a pipe here and there sticking up through the dirt.
They can tear down the mall, but I will forever appreciate all that I learned there, the years it provided me a job and the memories I have stored in my heart.
Wednesday, January 4, 2017
If you didn’t reach your goals, why not?