February Employee Spotlight: Judy Groening -Marketing Team
Judy has been part of our SERVPRO family since January of 2005.
Judy is a mom, grandmother and a great grandmother. She loves Quarter horses, reading, family history and she loves baking. Judy says the best part of her job is building relationships and helping clients get to know and understand SERVPRO's story and procedures. Judy loves growing morning glories in her garden. Her dad served in WW-2.
Judy's hometown is Lewisville where she was a cheerleader and a reporter in high school. We would like to thank Judy for all of her dedication and hard work to her job.
Maricela has been working at SERVPRO of Plano for over 12 years. Maricela works on our very Prestigious Fire Crew. Maricela says her favorite part of this job is customer Service and the detail she provides to her work. Maricela has three daughters who are 14,12 and 6 and a fur baby who is an english bulldog named Gorgio who is very active! In Maricela's free time she enjoys doing puzzles and is an avid runner who also loves to donate her time to her local Children's Shelter. Maricela says one of the best part's of her job is meeting new customer. Thank you Maricela for all of your hard work and dedication to SERVPRO of Plano.
Did you know earthquakes can happen anywhere? Whether you are at work, at home or on vacation, it’s important to know what to do in the event of an earthquake.On October 18, 2018 at 10:18 a.m.,people across the world will participate in the “world’s largest earthquake drill,” according to shakeout.org.Participants will “drop, cover [and]hold on,” which is the best way to reduce your chance of injury in an earthquake situation if you are inside.The day can also raise awareness for what to do in other scenarios such as if you are outdoors or in a vehicle.If you or your organization are interested in participating in The Great Shake Out, register and find more information at shakeout.org.
SERVPRO of Plano invites all of our followers to Attend 2018 SERVPRO First Responder Bowl on December 26,2018 game starts at 12:30pm at THE COTTON BOWL Please follow this link to purchase tickets https://bit.ly/FRBTIX Thank you for your support!
SERVPRO of Plano supports our Local Little League Teams! We believe anytime that we can work with the children in our community we set an example for our youth. With a minimal amount of time and monetary donations these children have the best time and are out in the nice fresh air doing a fun and Healthy activity. We are so very proud of the Dragonitas!
SERVPRO of Plano loves to support our community in any way possible. Our staff loves to volunteer for any up coming events as needed.
SERVPRO of Plano would like to Thank our Local Little League Teams for allowing us into your club.
We look forward to working with the Little League Teams again in the spring time.
First Responder Bowl TICKETS GO ON SALE SEPTEMBER 15TH12:30 PM KICKOFF | DECEMBER 26 HISTORIC COTTON BOWL STADIUM BLOCK AND PROTECT EXPERIENCE A GREAT FOOTBALL GAME IN APPRECIATION OF THE PEOPLE WHO PUT THEIR LIVES ON THE LINE EVERYDAY TO HELP OTHERS. JOIN US FOR THE NEW SERVPRO FIRST RESPONDER BOWL AS WE RECOGNIZE OUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS ACROSS OUR COMMUNITIES WHO BLOCK, PROTECT AND SERVE.
During extremely hot and humid weather, your body's ability to cool itself is challenged. When the body heats too rapidly to cool itself properly, or when too much fluid or salt is lost through dehydration or sweating, body temperature rises and you or someone you care about may experience a heat-related illness. It is important to know the symptoms of excessive heat exposure and the appropriate responses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides a list of warning signs and symptoms of heat illness, and recommended first aid steps. Some of these symptoms and steps are listed below.
–Heat Exhaustion Symptoms:
Heavy sweating Weakness Cool, pale, clammy skin Fast, weak pulse Possible muscle cramps Dizziness Nausea or vomiting Fainting First Aid:
Move person to a cooler environment Lay person down and loosen clothing Apply cool, wet cloths to as much of the body as possible Fan or move victim to air conditioned room Offer sips of water If person vomits more than once, seek immediate medical attention.
–Heat Stroke Symptoms:
Altered mental state One or more of the following symptons: throbbing headache, confusion, nausea, dizziness, shallow breathing Body temperature above 103°F Hot, red, dry or moist skin Rapid and strong pulse Faints, loses consciousness First Aid:
Heat stroke is a severe medical emergency. Call 911 or get the victim to a hospital immediately. Delay can be fatal. Move the victim to a cooler, preferably air-conditioned, environment. Reduce body temperature with cool cloths or bath. Use fan if heat index temperatures are below the high 90s. A fan can make you hotter at higher temperatures. Do NOT give fluids.
As summer approaches, it is time to consider safety precautions for extreme heat in the coming months. Heat affects all people, but especially the young, elderly, sick, and overweight. Urban area residents also have a greater chance of being affected than those who live in rural areas due to the heat island effect. According to the EPA, “the sun can heat dry, exposed urban surfaces, such as roofs and pavement, to temperatures 50–90°F hotter than the air, while shaded or moist surfaces—often in more rural surroundings—remain close to air temperatures.” These surface heat islands are strongest during the day when the sun is shining, while the atmospheric heat islands are more likely after sunset “due to the slow release of heat from urban infrastructure.” Whether you are in an urban or rural area, there are several things you can do to prepare for and prevent extreme heat from affecting you. If possible, stay indoors in air conditioning. Be sure to check on your pets who may be outdoors or bring them inside. Stay hydrated and limit alcohol and caffeine intake. If you must go outside, wear loosefitting, light-colored clothing, and be sure to apply sunscreen often. Pay attention to signs of heat exhaustion, which are heavy sweating; weakness; cold, pale, and clammy skin; nausea or vomiting; and fainting, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which is lifethreatening. Signs of heat stroke are a high body temperature (103°+), rapid and strong pulse, and possible unconsciousness. If you think someone has heat stroke, call 911 immediately and move the person somewhere cool. Reduce body temperature with cool, wet cloths or a bath. Do not give a person with heat stroke fluids, and treat the situation as a serious medical emergency (CDC). If you live in a humid climate, be aware of the heat index. The heat index factors in the humidity, which can make the temperature feel 15° hotter. Extreme heat is a serious danger. For more information on preparation and prevention, visit ready.gov or cdc.gov.
CARBON MONOXIDE:A Silent Killer You can’t see or smell carbon monoxide, but at high levels, it can killa person in minutes. Often called the silent killer, carbon monoxide, or CO,is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas,created when fuels, like gasoline, wood,coal, natural gas and propane burn incompletely.According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning. It is estimated another 20,000 visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000are hospitalized due to CO poisoning.All people and animals are at risk for CO poisoning, with some groups—including unborn babies, infants, and people with chronic heart disease,anemia, or respiratory problems—being more susceptible to the effects of carbon monoxide.An excess of CO, leading to CO poisoning, can result from faulty furnaces or other heating appliances,portable generators, water heaters,clothes dryers, or idling cars left running in garages.Taking some basic, precautionary steps can help eliminate the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Protect yourself by reviewing the following tips, provided by the United States Fire Administration. Have fuel-burning appliances, like oil and gas furnaces, gas or kerosene heaters, fireplaces, and wood stoves inspected by a trained professional every year. Open the damper for proper ventilation before using a fireplace.Never use your oven or stovetop to heat your home. Make sure all fuel-burning vented equipment is vented to the outside to avoid CO poisoning. Keep the venting for exhaust clear and unblocked. If you need to warm a vehicle,remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Never run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not blocked with snow, ice, or other materials. Make sure vents for the dryer,furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of snow and other debris. Only use barbecue grills outside,away from all doors, windows,vents, and other building openings.Some grills can produce CO gas.Never use grills inside the home or the garage, even if the doors are open. Use portable generators outdoors in well-ventilated areas away from all doors, windows, vents, and other building openings to prevent exhaust fumes from entering the home.
It may seem early, but hurricane season is currently underway. For the Atlantic, the season begins June 1 and runs through November 30. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season began in mid-May and also ends November 30. Hurricanes can be life-threatening as well as cause serious property threatening hazards such as flooding, storm surge, high winds, and tornadoes. While the primary threat is in coastal areas, many inland areas can also be affected by these hazards, as well as by secondary events such as power outages as a result of high winds and landslides due to rainfall. Preparation is the best protection against the dangers of a hurricane. Plan an evacuation route and your emergency plan, take inventory of your property, and take steps to protect your home or business. For more information and preparation tips, visit the Ready campaign website at www.ready.gov/hurricanes.
The Plano Chamber Ambassadors recently embraced a service project to assist one of our Chamber nonprofit members in need. Heritage Farmstead Museum, the premiere living history site interpreting the Texas Blackland Prairie region in North Texas, submitted a service project to Leadership Plano (LP) Class 35 requesting assistance with updates to their property. LP ultimately selected a different class project, so our Ambassador leadership team willingly stepped up to the plate to lend a helping hand.Over 25 Ambassadors and LP class members arrived to complete the updates, which included sanding, painting, landscaping, and other organizational tasks. We even had some future Ambassadors join us to contribute their helping hands.
JB Owen is one of our marketing reps at SERVPRO OF PLANO 972-403-9004
With over 5 million cases diagnosed in the United States each year, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. Fortunately, skin cancer is also one of the most preventable forms of cancer. About 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers and 85 percent of melanoma cases are associated with exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. By raising awareness of the dangers of unprotected exposure and encouraging sun-safe habits such as using sun block, we can change behaviors and save lives.
With the incidence of this disease reaching epidemic levels, we can’t do this work alone. We need your help. we need you and your family members to take the time to go to your doctor and get your skin checked out.
THANK YOU for your SERVICE! INTERNATIONAL FIREFIGHTER'S DAY.On December 2, 1998, a tragic event shook the Linton Community, Australia and the world. Firefighters in Linton, Australia- a populated region in Victoria- were fighting a large bush fire and called for mutual aid. This urgent mutual aid call brought the Geelong West Fire Brigade to the scene not knowing the despair and tragedy that was in store. Garry Vredeveldt, Chris Evans, Stuart Davidson, Jason Thomas, and Matthew Armstrong all loaded into company’s truck. They were part of a strike team and were being sent to help extinguish the flames. As the five headed into the hot zone, the wind suddenly switched direction, engulfing the truck in flames and killing all five members. This unfortunate incident is what inspired JJ Edmondson to bring about an international holiday, called International Fire Fighters Day, to support the lives lost and dedicated fire fighters who risk their lives every day to save life and property.One of the most significant symbols of International Fire Fighters Day is the red and blue ribbon. This ribbon is cut precisely five centimeters long and one centimeter wide, with the two separate colors conjoined at the top. JJ Edmonson chose red and blue because the red stood for the element of fire whereas the blue would represent the element of water. Coincidentally, red and blue are also the colors recognized world-wide to signify emergency services; therefore, red and blue being the best choice of color to recognize an international holiday. The ribbon is traditionally worn on the lapel-otherwise known as the fold of fabric on a shirt- but is not limited to that certain spot. Some people may also put it on their cars visors, hats, hang them in windows or off of car mirrors, or even hang them from trees in their front lawn. The places this ribbon can be placed are plentiful- just be creative! The red and blue ribbon is a simple but yet effective way to show support for International Fire Fighters Day.
May Day is a May 1 celebration with a long and varied history, dating back millennia. Throughout the years, there have been many different events and festivities worldwide, most with the express purpose of welcoming in a change of season (spring in the Northern Hemisphere). In the 19th century, May Day took on a new meaning, as an International Workers’ Day grew out of the 19th-century movement for labor rights and an eight-hour work day in the United States.
Many Christians around the world observe Good Friday on the Friday before Easter Sunday. It commemorates Jesus Christ's Passion, crucifixion, and death, which is told in the Christian Bible. It is the day after Maundy Thursday.
Texas Independence Day is the celebration of the adoption of the Texas Declaration of Independence on March 2, 1836. With this document signed by 59 delegates, settlers in Mexican Texas officially declared independence from Mexico and created the Republic of Texas.
Chili & The President U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson was a big chili lover. His favorite recipe became known as Pedernales River chili after the location of his Texas ranch. Johnson preferred venison, which is leaner to beef, probably due to doctor’s orders about his bad heart. Lady Bird Johnson, the First lady, had the recipe printed on cards to be mailed out because of the many thousands of requests the White House received for it.
"Chili concocted outside of Texas is usually a weak, apologetic imitation of the real thing,” Johnson is quoted as saying. “One of the first things I do when I get home to Texas is to have a bowl of red. There is simply nothing better.”
In 1977, chili manufacturers in the state of Texas successfully lobbied the state legislature to have chili proclaimed the official "state food" of Texas “in recognition of the fact that the only real 'bowl of red' is that prepared by Texans.”
National Chili Day – Fourth Thursday in February.NATIONAL CHILI DAY. The fourth Thursday in February honors one of America's favorite winter dishes–chili, which is also known as chili con carne (chili with meat). In Spanish, chili refers to “chili pepper” and carne means “meat”.
Enthusiasts of chili say one possible though far-fetched starting point comes from Sister Mary of Agreda, a Spanish nun in the early 1600s who never left her convent yet had out-of-body experiences in which her spirit was transported across the Atlantic to preach Christianity to the Indians. After one of the return trips, her spirit wrote down the first recipe for chili con carne: chili peppers, venison, onions, and tomatoes.
Another yarn goes that Canary Islanders who made their way to San Antonio as early as 1723, used local peppers and wild onions combined with various meats to create early chili combinations.
Most historians agree that the earliest written description of chili came from J.C. Clopper, who lived near Houston. While his description never mentions the word chili this is what he wrote of his visit to San Antonio in 1828: "When they [poor families of San Antonio] have to lay for their meat in the market, a very little is made to suffice for the family; it is generally cut into a kind of hash with nearly as many peppers as there are pieces of meat--this is all stewed together.” In the 1880s, a market in San Antonio started setting up chili stands from which chili or bowls o'red, as it was called, were sold by women who were called "chili queens." A bowl o'red cost diners such as writer O. Henry and democratic presidential hopeful William Jennings Bryan ten cents and included bread and a glass of water. The fame of chili con carne began to spread and the dish soon became a major tourist attraction. It was featured at the World's Fair in Chicago in 1893 at the San Antonio Chili Stand.
By the 20th century chili joints had made their debut in Texas and became familiar all over the west by the roaring ‘20s. In fact, by the end of that decade, there was hardly a town that didn't have a chili parlour, which were often no more than a shed or a room with a counter and some stools. It’s been said that chili joints meant the difference between starvation and staying alive during the Great Depression since chili was cheap and crackers were free.
National Sticky Bun Day is observed annually on February 21st.
Originally known as “schnecken” and still considered to be a Philadelphia specialty, it is believed that the sticky bun’s origin in the United States began in the 18th century when the German settlers brought baking tradition with them when they began settling near Pennsylvania.
Most often served for breakfast or as a dessert, sticky buns consist of rolled pieces of leavened dough that often contain brown sugar and sometimes cinnamon. Before the dough is placed in the pan, the pan is lined with sticky sweet ingredients such as maple syrup, honey, nuts, sugar and butter. When the buns are finished baking, they are then flipped upside down so that the sticky bottom becomes the topping.
Washington's Birthday, also known as Presidents' Day, is a federal holiday held on the third Monday of February. The day honors presidents of the United States, including George Washington, the USA's first president.
Washington's Birthday officially honors the life and work of George Washington, the first president of the United States. The day commemorates past presidents of the USA. Washington's Birthday is sometimes known as Presidents' Day. This is because while most states have adopted Washington's Birthday, some states officially celebrate Presidents' Day.
Some states pay particular attention to Abraham Lincoln, as his birthday was also in mid-February. In the weeks or days leading up to the holiday, schools often organize events and lessons for students about the presidents of the United States and George Washington in particular. It is a popular day for stores to start their sales.
The US federal holiday is on the third Monday of February each year, but records show that George Washington's birthday is on February 22.
THE LEGEND OF ST. VALENTINEThe history of Valentine’s Day–and the story of its patron saint–is shrouded in mystery. We do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. But who was Saint Valentine, and how did he become associated with this ancient rite? Did You Know?Approximately 150 million Valentine's Day cards are exchanged annually, making Valentine's Day the second most popular card-sending holiday after Christmas. The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl–possibly his jailor’s daughter–who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories all emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and–most importantly–romantic figure. By the Middle Ages, perhaps thanks to this reputation, Valentine would become one of the most popular saints in England and France.
On February 20th, pet lovers everywhere observe National Love Your Pet Day. This holiday is a day set aside to give extra attention to and pamper your pets. This is a good day to focus on the special relationship that you have with your pets.
Did you know that most households in the United States have at least one pet? While there are more cats than dogs in the United States, more households have dogs than cats, but not by much. Pets are not limited to the canine and feline categories. There are quite a few who prefer the companionship of birds, reptiles, fish or rats. Whoever your pet companion is, we are sure you will enjoy spending a little extra time with them on National Love Your Pet Day and reap the benefits, as well such as stress relief and lower blood pressure. So on February 20 (and every day) show your appreciation to your pets!
HOW TO OBSERVE
Bring your pet a special treat, take an extra long walk or give them more attention on National Love Your Pet Day. Whatever you decide to do, spoil and appreciate your pets!
Fat Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday. It is also known as Mardi Gras Day or Shrove Day. It is a day when people eat all they want of everything and anything they want as the following day is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of a long fasting period for Christians.
Related popular practices are associated with Shrovetide celebrations before the fasting and religious obligations associated with the penitential season of Lent. In countries such as the United Kingdom, Mardi Gras is also known as Shrove Tuesday, which is derived from the word shrive, meaning "confess".
Mardi Gras and Carnival are the same celebration. Though Mardi Gras technically refers only to Fat Tuesday, the Mardi Gras season actually begins on Epiphany, a Christian holiday celebrated on January 6 that is otherwise known as Three Kings Day or the Twelfth Day of Christmas.
SERVPRO of Plano is privileged to honor our local scouts troops.
NATIONAL BOY SCOUTS DAY
Since 1910, boys across America have been doing good deeds, learning survival skills and developing moral foundations through the Boy Scout of America. February 8th annually recognizes National Boys Scouts Day.
The Boy Scouts of America has roots in the British Boy Scouts organization which was created in 1908 after the success of the book Scouting for Boys by Robert Baden-Powell.
On a foggy day in London an American newspaperman, William Dickson Boyce, became lost when a Boy Scout came to his assistance. With the boy’s guidance, Boyce arrived at his destination. When Boyce offered payment for the assistance, the Boy Scout refused explaining it was a good deed.
Boyce was inspired to organize similar youth groups into one organization. On February 8, 1910, Boyce filed papers of incorporation, and the Boy Scouts of America was born.
Boy Scouts have had a profound impact on the United States. Many presidents and other dignitaries have been Boy Scouts. A total of 181 Astronauts have also been a part of the Boy Scout program.
SERVPRO of Plano celebrates National umbrella day.
Dolly Parton once said that if you want the rainbow, you’ve got to put up with the rain. Although she never said anything about how to put up with the rain, for generations, the method-of-choice has been the umbrella. As part of many cultures since ancient times, umbrellas have a storied history worth commemorating. So on February 10, we celebrate National Umbrella Day!
Why We Love National Umbrella Day
A. There are dozens of varieties From the classic to automatic, and from collapsible to comical, there are dozens of types of umbrellas for countless types of scenarios. Which is your go-to?
B. They're still seeing innovation If you search for "umbrellas" on any number of crowdfunding websites, you might be surprised by what you find — there are some seriously strange umbrella innovations happening out there. There aren't many things that have been around for so long, and are still seeing innovation!
C. They've got history From the scrawlings of ancient Rome, to China, and to Greece, umbrellas can be spotted in the artwork of many early civilizations. It's one of the many examples of a tool that was invented multiple times, in multiple places, as the need for it was so universal.
How to Celebrate National Umbrella Day
1. Watch a movie that features an umbrella Singin' in the Rain? Mary Poppins? There are dozens of movies with umbrellas prominently featured, and today's the perfect day to watch one!
2. Get a cocktail with its own umbrella Can anyone say "Mai Tai?" There's perhaps no better way to celebrate National Umbrella Day than with your very own miniature!
3. Buy a backup Let's face it — umbrellas break all the time. Plan ahead by using National Umbrella Day as an excuse to stock up on an extra
SERVPRO of Plano likes to celebrate Send a card to a friend day!
February 7 is Send a Card to a Friend Day.
While we all love our friends and would like to keep in touch with them all the time, daily life can sometimes make it hard to stay connected. If you are unable to keep up with the lives and times of your friends, then Send a Card to a Friend Day is the prefect excuse to take some time during the day to write a note to a dear friend to let them know you are thinking of them.
How to Celebrate?
Celebrating this holiday is very simple. Take some time out of your busy day and write notes to your friends.
Everyone loves a handwritten note, but if you can’t do that send them an e-card or even an email. No one will judge you as long as they hear from you.
Did You Know…
…that the earliest known greeting card is a Valentine’s Day card thought to have been sent sometime in the 1400s?
SERVPRO of Plano is a 24/7 365 days a year company we always celebrate National Caffeine Awareness month!
March is Caffeine Awareness Month, which comes at a time when caffeine from coffee, tea, energy drinks, chocolate bars, and other foods and beverages is an especially buzz-worthy topic for consumers around the world.
The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs) recently published recommendations with caffeine mentioned a whopping 414 times. And for the first time ever, an evidenced-based guideline was provided to the public, indicating that caffeine consumption of up to 400 mg/day, or approximately three to five 8-oz. cups of coffee per day, can be incorporated into healthful, daily eating patterns.
While the DGAs are primarily centered on coffee, there are several sources of caffeine that can contribute to this recommended 400 mg threshold.
Ever wonder which foods contain caffeine and how much is recommended for you? Let’s take a quick look at a few common food and beverage sources and how much caffeine they contain:
An 8.4-oz. energy drink, a 20-oz. diet cola, and a shot of espresso, all undeniable sources of our glorious jolts, contain about the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee (80 mg). Other recognizable choices include:
A cup of green tea or a 12-oz. can of soda, both of which contain about 40 mg of caffeine.
A 1.5-oz. chocolate bar, which contains about 10 mg of caffeine, whereas a darker chocolate bar the same size contains about 30 mg of caffeine.
So know your sources of caffeine and the amounts. It all adds up across the day.
January 31st honors everything backward. National Backward Day is an opportunity to reverse our ways, our direction or simply our shirt. Dessert for breakfast, perhaps? There are many ways to celebrate this fun day, so just let your imagination be your guide.
This day is very popular with school-aged kids, but there is no age limit on who can participate in all of the backward fun. So EVERYONE, let’s have some fun!!
FUN FACT: Leonardo da Vinci wrote backward. Not only did the artist and inventor write from right to left, but he also wrote his letters backward.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Do things backward and use #NationalBackwardDay to post on social media.
There are plenty of obscure dog breeds out there, but some breeds just rise to the top more than others. These dog breeds are so popular that almost everyone in the world has heard of them, seen them, or lives with them. In fact, if you ask a stranger to picture a dog in their mind, chances are good it will be one of these breeds. The most popular dog breeds in the world can be found in dog shows, in homes, and even as hard workers in all kinds of fields. Here are the most popular dog breeds in the world and some of the reasons they’re so famous.
You may remember the Beagle breed from the film Shiloh, or you may recognize the most famous Beagle ever, Snoopy, the dog from the Peanuts comic strip. If you take one look at a Beagle, it’s easy to see the appeal. They have adorable, puppy-dog eyes, floppy ears, and soft features. And they have a very friendly personality to match. But most of all, they have powerful noses. They’re scenthounds, which means they were bred to rely mostly on their sense of smell to hunt. They are still used for this purpose today.
In fact, all of these traits make them the perfect choice for working in airports around the world. They’re friendly and cute, so they don’t intimidate people, and they have great sniffers, which helps them detect contraband, even in a crowded airport. This began in 1984 when the U.S. Department of Agriculture started using Beagles to detect illegal food products being brought into Los Angeles International Airport. The Beagle was so successful that the “Beagle Brigade” still patrols 20 international airports and points of entry into the U.S. today!
The Poodle held the title of most popular breed in the United States for almost 20 years. While they may seem prim and proper to those who have only seen the fancy-hairdo-wearing pups from dog shows, those familiar with Poodles know just how friendly and loyal they can be. And that fancy hairdo may be for show today, but it once served an important purpose. Poodles were originally bred to be waterfowl hunters. Their fur would be cut short in places to prevent being caught by underwater debris, but was left long around the joints and organs to protect the dog from cold water.
Their biggest asset is their intelligence. Circus performers recognized their talent for learning tricks, and their fur was perfect for styling into a visual spectacle for shows. These days, Poodles continue to dazzle audiences with their obedience and agility feats, which earn them high honors in many dog shows. Their friendly nature, intelligence, and “hypoallergenic” status makes them highly sought-after for interbreeding with other dogs, leading to the rise in popularity of breeds like the Goldendoodle.
The German Shepherd owes his popularity, at least in part, to the dog who saved Hollywood, Rin Tin Tin. But the German Shepherd has kept his status as one of the ten most popular breeds in the United States with its ability to be trained to do just about anything. They work as assistants to the disabled, police dogs, military dogs, therapy dogs, search and rescue dogs, contraband sniffing dogs, and herding dogs among other jobs.
German Shepherds are loyal, sometimes to a fault, and must be socialized early on to be friendly to other dogs and humans. But they make excellent guard dogs for this reason. They are naturally suspicious, so if an intruder breaks in to a German Shepherd’s home, he’s likely to have a hard time getting away without some teeth marks. The German Shepherd’s reputation as an intelligent, trainable dog with a strong sense of loyalty makes it a favorite as a worker dog and as a regular companion.
stock)The Bulldog may have one of the most unique looks in the world of dogs. Perhaps it is their easily recognized appearance that draws it such popularity. Or maybe it’s their friendly, albeit lazy demeanor. In fact, it’s this good nature that separates it so strongly from the ancestors they originate from. The Bulldog was bred in England from Mastiff dogs for the purpose of bull baiting, which was a bloody, vicious sport that involved the dog biting the nose of a bull and shaking it. Eventually the sport was outlawed, and the Bulldog lost its purpose as a working dog.
Rather than let the Bulldog fall by the wayside, patient breeders selected only the kindest, most pleasantly-tempered members of the breed to reproduce. So the Bulldog we have today has none of the vicious tendencies of its forefathers. Still, their unique body structure causes joint and respiratory problems. They tend to be overweight and lazy, they snore, they have excessive gas, and they’re sensitive to extreme temperatures. Even with all these problems, they are one of the most beloved and popular breeds in the world. Their looks may be both their biggest asset and their biggest downfall.
The Labrador Retriever is the most popular breed in the United States. And if you’ve ever met a Labrador Retriever, it’s easy to see why. They’re incredibly friendly and loyal, great for families, and perfect companion dogs. In fact, they’ve been made famous by art, books, and movies, like Old Yellerand Marley & Me. But a good natured personality isn’t the Labrador Retriever’s only strength. They were bred to be working dogs. It won’t take you long to notice that Labrador Retrievers love the water. That’s because they originated in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, where they accompanied fisherman and helped with work on the ship. The loyal Labrador would haul in nets, fetch ropes, and catch fish that got off the hook.
Labradors may not be helping fishermen as much today, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t working dogs. Labrador Retrievers are employed as assistance dogs for the disabled, therapy dogs, search and rescue dogs, and hunting companion dogs. Their intelligence and pleasant demeanor make them great at working with humans. The only job they’re not so talented at is being watchdogs. They’re too friendly, even to intruders. But their loving nature and adaptability make them the most popular dog breed in America.
In this season of severe weather, the Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar is raising awareness of the Emergency Preparation Supplies Sales Tax Holiday, April 23-25. Now is the time to stock up on all your disaster supplies and save in the process. You can find the information below at
You can purchase certain emergency preparation supplies tax free during the 2016 Emergency Preparation Supplies Sales Tax Holiday. There is no limit on the number of qualifying items you can purchase, and you do not need to issue an exemption certificate to claim the exemption. This year’s holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, April 23, and ends at midnight on Monday, April 25.
These emergency preparation supplies qualify for tax exemption if purchased for a price:
Less than $3000:
Less than $300:
Less than $75:
Batteries, single or multipack (AAA cell, AA cell, C cell, D cell, 6 volt or 9 volt)
First aid kits
Ground anchor systems and tie-down kits
Mobile telephone batteries and mobile telephone chargers
Nonelectric coolers and ice chests for food storage
Portable self-powered radios, including two-way and weather band radios
Reusable and artificial ice products
Smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and carbon monoxide detectors
Tarps and other plastic sheeting
These supplies do not qualify for tax exemption:
Batteries for automobiles, boats and other motorized vehicles
Repair or replacement parts for emergency preparation supplies
Services performed on, or related to, emergency preparation supplies
Additional Charges Affect Purchase Price Delivery, shipping, handling and transportation charges are part of the sales price. If the emergency preparation supply being purchased is taxable, the delivery charge is also taxable. Consider these charges when determining whether an emergency preparation supply can be purchased tax free during the holiday.
For example, you purchase a rescue ladder for $299 with a $10 delivery charge, for a total sales price of $309. Because the total sales price of the ladder is more than $300, tax is due on the $309 sales price.
For more information, contact us at comptroller.texas.gov/taxhelp, or call 1-800-252-5555. Pub. 98-1017 March 2016
With the establishment of FEMA and their preparedness initiatives, we have easy access to a lot of information we need to assist in preparation for potential disasters at the individual, local and national levels. However, results of a 2013 SUNYIT/Zogby Analytics Poll show only 36% of the respondents indicated that they have an emergency plan in place . In a survey done by FEMA in 2015, the results (1) show the same trend, that only 40% are prepared . With all the readily available information on the (2) process, why is our culture holding steady at a low level of preparedness?
Is it because we’re accustomed to the government stepping in? Is it because we just don’t know how or where to start? Maybe it’s on our ‘To-Do’ list among many things that are assigned a higher priority. Perhaps the words ‘preparedness’ and ‘disaster readiness’ have been thrown around so much they’ve become cliche’ and just don’t mean enough to cause people to take action. It could be a mixture of all of these things.
Regardless of our perception or priority of preparing in advance for possible emergencies, the importance of the process remains critical. Not only are there monetary advantages of having a plan, but the positive impact on post-disaster well-being is significant.
Response time matters. At an individual level, if a family is prepared in advance for a water leak, for example, quickly turning the water supply off will reduce the area effected. This lowers the cost of clean up and potentially the time it takes to get things back to normal. The steps to teach able bodied members of the home how to do this is minimal and the benefits are well worth the time.
State of mind matters. Having a practiced plan in place significantly reduces stress at any level of crisis. This also becomes very important when kids are involved; when they see others handle emergencies with a rational state of mind it will put them at ease. When children are included in the planning process they feel more empowered and know better how to handle the situation rather than sit there and feel helpless. This applies to adults as well. During a crisis, most people experience anxiety which impedes clear, logical thinking and can lead to mental shutdown depending on the severity of the situation. With written plans to reference or the plan has been practiced enough, the process becomes methodical and limits the required critical thinking necessary to get through the initial moments after a crisis. Without the pressure of guessing what to do, anxiety is reduced, allowing one to more calmly take steps to handle the crisis.
Recovery matters. Steps taken in advance of a disaster can improve the recovery process and make it less difficult. Medications, for example, should be a part of anyone’s plan who requires them daily. Having an extra month’s supply on hand can reduce the chance of severe illness or death resulting from not being able to take the daily regimen.
These are just a few reasons why taking time in advance to think things through and draw up plans can prove to be so beneficial. The decision to prioritize the task is the first step and from there, taking more small steps goes a long way. For more information about how to start, see the Red Cross and