Are your finances disaster-ready? By Marcie Geffner · Bankrate.com
Expect the best, and prepare for the worst. No one likes that advice, but it's nonetheless sound, especially when it comes to getting your finances in order before a natural disaster strikes.
To help you and your family get ready, the Independent Community Bankers of America, or ICBA, an industry association of community banks, has put together this list of tips and suggestions:
Keep family records in a bank safe-deposit box. Examples of such records include adoption papers, marriage licenses, property deeds, birth certificates, wills, insurance policies, passports, Social Security cards, immunization records, credit card account numbers, car titles or lease contracts, bank and investment account numbers and three years of tax returns. Put each document in a sealed plastic bag to keep out moisture.
Make copies of critical documents for safekeeping. Notify a trustee, close relative or attorney as to where your important financial information is located.
Keep names and contact numbers of executors, trustees and guardians. These can be kept in a safe deposit box or give to a close relative.
Make a list of household valuables. Photographs can help, too.
Build an emergency fund to cover at least three or four months' of expenses. Keep this fund separate from any savings or investment accounts.
Include extra cash, ideally small denominations, in a home emergency kit. The kit also should include a three-day supply of water and food, a first-aid kit, a can opener, flashlights, a radio and extra batteries.
Identify records that are kept only on a computer and consequently might not be available during a power outage. Make printouts and safeguard them or back up these records to an external device or web storage facility.
Jeff Gerhart, chairman of ICBA and Bank of Newman Grove in Nebraska, said in a statement that knowing your financial papers are secure can give you one less worry during a time of distress.
"Hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires and other natural disasters remind us how important it is to be organized and have a plan," Gerhart says. "Having a financial preparedness plan will protect you and your family from the long-term effects of damaged or destroyed financial documents."
One of the most important rights of American citizens is the right to vote-the right to have a say in who our leaders are and how our government should work. After all, it's a right that was fought for by our military throughout our history as a nation.
"People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote -- a very different thing." ~ Walter H. Judd
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Beware of Poisoned Search Results
From Trend Micro Consumer Newsletter
In the early days of the Internet, most viruses were spread by email. Not so anymore: you're far more likely to fall victim to malware through poisoned search results than you are from clicking on a malicious email
Say what you want about cybercriminals, but one thing you can't say is that they're illogical. They're playing a simple numbers game: people perform millions and millions of searches on the web every day, so it makes perfect sense that the crime would naturally gravitate to where the largest number of victims could be found. That means search engine results pages, or SERPs
Here's how the scheme works. The bad guys set up websites designed to rank at the top of certain SERPs (search engine results page). They pack those websites full of keywords and use other techniques to game the search-engine ranking system. And they booby-trap those pages with malware, ads for bogus antivirus software, or phishing schemes designed to lure victims into turning over their personal information.
Fortunately, not every Google or Bing search has to be a roll of the dice. There are ways to identify and avoid poisoned search pages. Here's how:
Look at the first few lines of text in a search result. If it looks like random nonsense that's been thrown together by a robot, it probably is. You're looking for a specific piece of content, right? So go to where the real content is and ignore the gibberish that's at best evidence of a spam site (set up just to get page views) and at worse a malware site that will infect your computer as soon as you visit it.
Look at the URL. If it's not a site you recognize, be suspicious. It's also hard to go wrong by steering clear of sites with domain extensions from countries where hackers tend to be most active, for example, ".ru."
As we all know, even smart people can get distracted-which is why we recommend being vigilant but having good antivirus software as a backup.
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t the request of our members, RAUS is pleased to provide the ability to renew their membership online and pay by credit or debit card. Just go to our website at www.raushome.com
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Columbus Day first became an official state holiday in Colorado in 1906, and became a federal holiday in 1937. However, people have celebrated Columbus's voyage since the colonial period.
In 1792, New York City and other U.S. cities celebrated the 300th anniversary of his landing in the New World. In 1892, President Benjamin Harrison called upon the people of the United States to celebrate Columbus Day on the 400th anniversary of the event. During the four hundredth anniversary, in 1892, teachers, preachers, poets and politicians used Columbus Day rituals to teach ideals of patriotism. These patriotic rituals were framed around themes such as support for war, citizenship boundaries, the importance of loyalty to the nation, and celebrating social progress.
Catholic immigration in the mid-19th century induced discrimination from anti-immigrant activists such as the Ku Klux Klan. Like many other struggling immigrant communities, Catholics developed organizations to fight discrimination and provide insurance for the struggling immigrants. One such organization, the Knights of Columbus, chose that name in part because it saw Christopher Columbus as a fitting symbol of Catholic immigrants' right to citizenship: one of their own, a fellow Catholic, had discovered America.
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To be sure your benefits are properly recorded, please advise the association when you change your name or address. If you receive inaccurate membership cards or other correspondence, we want to know. We do not mind reissuing membership cards.
Apple juice may curb Alzheimer's symptoms.
During a study, twenty-one adults (ages 72 to 93) with moderate-to-servere Alzheimer's disease who consumed eight ounces of apple juice daily for one month showed a 27% improvement in behavioral and psychotic symtoms (including decreased anxiety, agitation and delusions). Theory: Apple juice may boost production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which declines as a result of Alzheimer's. If a loved one suffers from Alzheimer's: In addition to giving prescribed medications, try serving apple juice to enhance his/her comfort.
Cinnamon can help you stay focused. It speeds the rate at which the brain processes visual cues. Try chewing cinnamon flavored gum before doing something that will require quick responses, such as playing tennis. To make cinnamon a regular part of you diet, sprinkle one teaspoon of it on oatmeal or cereal at breakfast.
Mineral water may help lower blood pressure. A recent finding shows that after drinking one liter of mineral water per day for one month, people between the ages of 43 and 64 with borderline hypertension (high blood pressure) experienced a significant decrease in blood pressure. The theory is that most mineral waters contain significant amounts of magnesium and calcium, both of which help to reduce blood pressure.
Today's Halloween Traditions
The American Halloween tradition of "trick-or-treating" probably dates back to the early All Souls' Day parades in England. During the festivities, poor citizens would beg for food and families would give them pastries called "soul cakes" in return for their promise to pray for the family's dead relatives. The distribution of soul cakes was encouraged by the church as a way to replace the ancient practice of leaving food and wine for roaming spirits. The practice, which was referred to as "going a-souling" was eventually taken up by children who would visit the houses in their neighborhood and be given ale, food, and money.
The tradition of dressing in costume for Halloween has both European and Celtic roots. Hundreds of years ago, winter was an uncertain and frightening time. Food supplies often ran low and, for the many people afraid of the dark, the short days of winter were full of constant worry. On Halloween, when it was believed that ghosts came back to the earthly world, people thought that they would encounter ghosts if they left their homes. To avoid being recognized by these ghosts, people would wear masks when they left their homes after dark so that the ghosts would mistake them for fellow spirits. On Halloween, to keep ghosts away from their houses, people would place bowls of food outside their homes to appease the ghosts and prevent them from attempting to enter.
How did pumpkins get in the act? No one knows! But most probably, pumpkins replaced turnips, which is the vegetable people used to carve during the ancient new year festival.
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Annual dues are $10 per year. Discounts apply for multiple year memberships: 3 years for $25 and 5 years for $40. Like memberships are available based on the age of the member at the time of the Life conversion. A Life Membership is exempt of dues increase and covers both the member and the spouse.
We are a non-political military association organized in 1970 to secure quality benefits for our members at rates only available to groups. Qualified retired and active members of the United States armed forces and related departments may join.
Membership benefits include discounts and perks, self-help and financial calculators, time-savings and educational resources, along with TRICARE Supplement, CHAMPVA Supplement and other insurance products.
RAUS is partnering with other organizations to establish a long term win-win relationship based on mutual benefits and information available to military families.
For more information, visit our website at www.raushome.com.
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Retired Association for the Uniformed Services, Inc.
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