Hello America!

Here we are reflecting back on summer’s adventures.  The fun in the sun days are waning, the schools and campuses are gearing up.  It seems even our attitudes change as we start to prepare for autumn.  We find ourselves either wishing that summer would be longer or wishing it to be shorter, in either event, Labor Day cometh.  The significance of Labor Day rattles our very core of leisurely activities but it honors the American worker.   The American worker is praised for his or her diligence in making America Strong.  I may be mistaken, but I believe the good old USA is the only country in the world that honors its citizens for working.  With that said, have a safe and happy Labor Day America.

American cultural icons, apple pie, baseball, ...

Labor Day, marks the end of summer, the start of schools, universities, campuses, and sports.  Ah, sports, you may say, well there’s baseball.  Baseball is a summer’s day event.  “Take me out to the ballgame” is not exactly participating in the sport itself. “Buy me some peanuts and Cracker-Jacks, I don’t care if I never come back.”  American Baseball, is as true to America as Mom’s apple pie, Uncle Sam and the Fourth of July.  Unfortunately, Labor Day, while hailing American workers as providing our country with the highest standard of living worldwide, beckons the beginning of the seriousness of going back to work or school.  Wouldn’t it be great if we were all independently wealthy and really did not “care if [we] ever came back?”  Reality is setting in and as time fly’s by, we will have to shake the sand from our shoes, dust off the books and manuals and start preparing for our own little disasters that we have let go over the summer.

You prepare for disasters such as making sure the oil in the car is changed, or pumping the septic tank (if you lack city sewerage), and having the furnace or boiler maintained for the heating season.  While we are at it, have your chimney cleaned on a regular basis, at least every other year.  I personally have witnessed several chimney fires.  Just thinking of all the things that could go wrong from the lack of maintenance, is mind-boggling.  However in the grand scale of events, these few things I have mentioned are, in reality, “little disasters.”

You avoid the consequences of these disasters by preparing for them.  I visited a home once, very beautifully built and decorated, in a well-to-do section of town.  The homeowner decided to save himself the cost of maintenance to his heating system.  His heating system decided to malfunction in the middle of winter during sub-freezing temperatures, while he and his wife were on vacation in Florida.  Yes, the homeowners saved the cost of maintaining their heating system for a while, but then disaster struck. When the heating system ultimately shut down, the water pipes on the second floor burst and eventually froze.

Chimney being inspected by the Fire Department, Portercreek
Chimney being inspected by the Fire Department, Portercreek

When they arrived home the ice was about a foot thick up against the garage door, there were icicles hanging from the interior light fixtures, and the dining room ceiling was awkwardly lying across the dining room table.  That was not the worst of it.  The black powdery soot caused by the mal-functioning system was extremely fine and found its way into every crack and crevice and sock and glass in the house, it even found its way into storage bins.  This is a fine example of not preparing for a disaster.

The gentleman, when I spoke with him, admitted his mistake of not being prepared by not maintaining his heating system. There were tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage when an annual maintenance fee of less than $200.00 could have prevented this catastrophe.  So America, those individual “little disasters” can carry a large burden and (as in this case) literally bring down the ceiling.

Home improvement companies, gas and oil companies, HVAC, auto mechanics, fire departments, first responders, and government officials all stress the importance of maintenance.  Maintenance is just another way of saying emergency disaster preparedness or rather preparing for an emergency or disaster.  By preparing or maintaining your home, car, place of work or school, you may not be able to prevent a disaster or emergency, but at least you will lessen the degree of the catastrophe.

We are now a member of FEMA’s National Preparedness Community.

Please do not hesitate to contact us.