No Power? No Problem
Imagine your house without electricity. What would you do without heat, food, water or phone? This is a great time to review your homeís emergency preparedness.
Communications: Do you have a corded phone and a working landline? In an emergency, conserve electricity on your cell phone by reducing screen brightness and closing unnecessary apps. During a major disaster, text or email instead of clogging up phone lines. Follow B.C. Hydro, local police and Emergency Info B.C. on Twitter. A crank-operated radio may be your most reliable device.
Supplies: Stock your emergency kit with sufficient water, non-perishable food, medical and first-aid supplies, flashlights, batteries, warm clothing and blankets, a battery- or crank-operated clock and radio, and your emergency preparedness plan.
Safety: Install a battery-operated CO detector, and donít use portable generators or barbecues indoors. Never plug a home electrical generator into a household outlet: it may feed back into the B.C. Hydroís grid and possibly electrocute Hydro workers or your neighbours. Use flashlights, rather than candles.
For more tips, visit B.C. Hydroís Home Outage Preparation page.
Allergy Awareness in Schools
| So, Zachary has a peanut allergy. Just avoid peanutsóno big deal, right? As headlines about fatal reactions remind us, it is a big deal.
Anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction involving multiple body systems, can kill you within minutes. The first time Zachary ate a peanut butter cookie, he had swollen lips and an upset stomach. In future, an ice-cream or chocolate bar may have enough traces of peanuts to stop his breathing. Perhaps a supervision aide at school will notice him, recognize who he is and fetch his epi-pen within five minutes. Perhaps not.
And itís not just peanuts. Eggs, sesame seeds, shellfish, fish, tree nuts, soy and dairy are also common allergy triggers.
The next time you pack a PBJ sandwich in your childís lunch, consider where that peanut butter might end up. Zachary canít help being anxious about peanut butter on the table, on his friendís hands, touching his treats. That also makes him a bullying target.
For more information:
Allergy Safe Schools, Canada Safety Council
British Columbia Anaphylactic and Child Safety Network, B.C. Ministry of Education
Itís in the Cards
In a wi-fi world, itís refreshing to pull out a deck of cards for some family fun. Even preschoolers can challenge grandparents to a game of Go Fish, War, Old Maid, or Concentration. Strategy comes into play with Crazy 8, Hearts or Big Two (Deuces). And before the days of online games, friends would form Whist, Euchre, Bridge, Gin Rummy and, of course, Poker, clubs. All alone? Thereís always solitaire.
You can look up the rules for virtually any card game imaginableóonline.
What's On In
Main and Pender by Jon Shaw, courtesy of East Side Culture Crawl
Halloween Ghost Train
October 11 to November 2
Circle Craft Christmas Market
Vancouver Convention Centre West
November 7 to 11
East Side Culture Crawl
Vancouver East Side
November 15 to 17
Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver
Santa Claus Parade
Vancouver Festival of Lights
VanDusen Botanical Garden
December 11 to January 4, 2014
(except December 25)
Not Too Small to Hack
CYBERSECURITY FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
See 5 Tips for Business Security, PC Magazine
- Use strong passwords (see our Summer 2013 newsletter)
- Scan your web site regularly for malware.
- Update software and install patches for your server and web site regularly.
- Use a reputable SSL certificate.
- Keep control of your SSL certificate, domain name and web siteís hosting account.
Quick Safety Tip
Avoid by: Slowing down, driving in a lower gear, avoiding puddles, keeping tires properly inflated and rotated.
What to do: Ease off the accelerator, steer in the direction you want to go, avoid braking.