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72 Hours: Staying Alive During a Disaster


DisasterDanger has many faces—the Oklahoma giant tornadoes and Hurricane Katrina are just a few of most devastating disasters to hit America as of late. Random shooting haunts you whenever you leave the house. Climate change has given birth to catastrophic events, such as super typhoons and tsunamis.

The threat to your loved ones is everywhere—a reality you can’t change, and an inconvenient truth that leaves you no choice but to deal with. While any form of disaster is dreadful, it only becomes more tragic if it catches you unprepared.

It pays to be ready to react ahead of time and keep your family out of the possible harm. In most cases, you need to craft a survival plan for at least three days for your safety.

Here are some gems on how to do it:

Move Away from Densely Populated Areas

A bug out location far from the major city is ideal. This keeps you away from high-density population areas—a sound strategy to stay safe, especially in times of unrest. The farther you go the better, but make sure your chosen location is reachable with a single tank of gas. Refueling can pose problems during a crisis.

Bring Food That Live Longer than You

It’s not enough to bring food; you have to bring the types of food that last long. Top food storage company, myfoodstorage.com, shares that freeze-dried meals have an extensive shelf life while staying great-tasting. Some emergency food products can even last up to 25 years. More importantly, they’re easy to carry and simple to cook.

Forget Everything but the Essentials

An adequate supply of food and drinking water, clean clothes, a match, and a knife are the things that should be in your bug-out bag. As much as you need them all, don’t overdo it. The weight of your backpack matters when you’re on the go. Learn how to pack properly to maximize space without missing anything.

No disaster is too great for the prepared. Be a smart survivalist to keep your loved ones out of harm’s way.

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Why Intimacy is Significant in Every Marriage

Significant of Marriage

Significant of MarriageThere are different reasons people decide to marry. Some find a spark from their very first meeting, others genuinely fall in love and never leave each other’s side, but there are people who just want to be intimate with their partner. Nonetheless, there are also many reasons couples file for divorce: money, affairs, and lack of intimacy.

People may scoff at the last reason, but sexual compatibility is just as important as financial stability and fidelity. Marriage isn’t an obligation or a job; people get married to enjoy life with another person. Life can’t be much fun if the couple no longer has any private moments.

It’s common to see a failing marriage stay together because the couple has excellent sexual compatibility. Likewise, an otherwise perfect marriage can fail unexpectedly because the spouses can’t seem to make a meaningful connection. Just consult a divorce lawyer in Alpharetta or in any place in Georgia, and they’ll readily say that sex plays a much bigger role in the ending a marriage than almost anything else.

Does this mean that relationships are built on intimacy? Not entirely, as there are certain factors that determine whether a relationship will work. After all, it’s not as if couples live in their bedrooms and never do anything else; they still need to talk about work, along with the other events going on in their lives.

Psychologists think the pedestal intimacy is put on in a relationship is because of a battle between social pressures and biological instincts. The need to procreate is strong in every person, which is why the human body evolved in a way to make the activity an enjoyable experience. So, nature is literally pushing humanity to do it plenty and often.

On the other side of the table, society tries to limit the promiscuity of its members in the name of modesty, population control, and a host of other reasons. It’s this push and pull that give sex its mystique and power over the fate of a relationship.

So, before getting married, it’s important for couples to determine whether they’re compatible with each other or not.

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4 Ways Your Mattress Might Be Keeping You Up at Night


MattressYour sleeping habits significantly affect how you feel and perform when you’re awake. One of the biggest factors that contribute to a satisfying and adequate sleep is the mattress you lay on. The wrong mattress or a very old one may be the cause of pains that keep you up at night and feeling terrible in the morning.

The experts at hmk Wholesale Mattress company offer insights on how a mattress can affect your sleeping habits.

A New Mattress Might Kill Your Stress

Sometimes, the problem is the age of the mattress you are sleeping on. A new medium-firm mattress from a reliable company may just do the trick to decrease your stress. Remember, though, that new is only better if you buy a high-quality mattress.

You Might Be Allergic to Your Mattress

Dust mites can live in your mattress, and this may cause allergies. These microscopic beings feed on dead skin cells, which you naturally shed. Dust mites cause even bigger problems for people with asthma. Get into the habit of washing your pillowcases and sheets in hot water to get rid of dust mites. Cleaning the mattress using a vacuum may also be necessary.

Tossing and Turning Might Be a Sign

It might be time to invest in a brand new mattress if you no longer experience the restful and continuous sleep you once did in years past. Even if you don’t see obvious damages like springs sticking out, the mattress may already be affecting your sleeping habits negatively.

Doing Work on a Mattress Might Keep You Up

Experts say that the bed should only be used for sex and sleep. If you use it to do your work, your brain might expect to always be active even while you’re trying to get some sleep. This makes it increasingly hard to get sleepy. Bringing your gadgets to bed is also bad, because they emit a blue light that is unsettling to your brain’s natural bedtime mechanism.

Always choose a good mattress and buy a new one if you think your sleeping habits may benefit from it.

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“Ew!” and “Yuck!”: Telltale Signs You’re a Germaphobe


GermaphobeIt may be a sign of a more serious condition, such as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), but you maintain that you’re not too anxious to preserve a ritual. You simply fear germs and contamination. Or in some cases, you despise them. How difficult is it to be a germaphobe?

In case you’re someone who can’t tolerate germs of all sorts, you might have mastered the art of refusing a handshake or flushing the toilet hands-free. It’s normal to dislike dirt and germs, but going overboard can sometimes be downright frustrating, not only on your part but also on others’. Below are some situations that you will surely identify with if you’re a germaphobe.

Home Clean Home

Perhaps, a clean home is one of the obvious signs of being a germaphobe. Guests won’t see dirty socks lying around, and your space obviously doesn’t smell funny. During cases that keep you from cleaning your home, you enlist the help of professional house cleaners. Cleaning towels, air fresheners and vacuum cleaners are always accessible.

Food (and Trust) Issues

Potlucks are just the worst! No matter how scrumptious the dishes are, you’re compelled to verify if those who made them were not sick or do not have pets. You’re not a fan of sharing cups, plates, or utensils. Double dipping is one of the major violations of food ethics.

Public Restrooms? Hell, no!

You don’t fancy going to public restrooms. They’re just your last resort. For you, using a public restroom may mean undertaking laborious tasks; cleaning the toilet seat, covering the flush knob with a wad of toilet paper, washing your hands incessantly and pushing the doors with your knee or elbow.

Phones? Tablets? They’re Clean, Don’t Worry

You always keep your handheld devices squeaky clean. In unfortunate cases where someone needs to borrow your phone or tablet, you have Kleenex and a hand sanitizer at the ready to wipe off those fingerprints or facial oil smudges.

It’s alright to be conscious of the cleanliness of the things around you, but you have to learn to recognize if you’re going overboard. Don’t hesitate to consult a specialist if you believe (or signs show) that you’re bordering on OCD.

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FCA Authorisation: Becoming And Remaining Authorised

fca authorisation

fca authorisationIn order to practise almost any form of financial services in the UK, authorisation must be obtained from the regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Carrying out financial services activity without authorisation is a criminal offence.

The first step is for the firm to satisfy the FCA that it meets their Threshold Conditions – a set of basic requirements all regulated firms must meet.

Scott Robert states that firms seeking authorisation need to provide comprehensive information to the FCA, such as financial details and extensive information on its systems and controls. Examples of documentation the FCA is likely to require include:

  • A regulatory business plan
  • A risk management strategy
  • Compliance procedures, e.g. sales process, complaints procedure, data protection procedure, rule breaches procedure
  • Evidence of how the firm will ensure it will treat its customers fairly
  • Evidence that the firm has systems in place to combat financial crime
  • Details of the intended remuneration structure
  • Marketing strategies to be used

As important as the process of authorising the firm is securing individual authorisation for key personnel. Individual authorisation is required for those carrying out ‘controlled functions’, e.g. directors, chief executives, heads of compliance and anti-money laundering officers. Holders of controlled functions are known as ‘approved persons’ once the FCA has ratified their application. Financial advisers are deemed to be carrying out ‘customer functions’ and also require individual authorisation before they can give advice. Anyone who will carry out a controlled function must pass the FCA’s fit and proper test, which includes a series of assessments regarding: honesty, integrity and reputation; competence and capability; and financial soundness.

This comprehensive process will also need to be followed by consumer credit firms that currently hold interim permission. The time will shortly arrive when these firms need to complete the full FCA application process.

FCA authorisation is granted for specific financial services activities, such as insurance mediation, advising on investments or lending money. Any existing FCA authorised firm which wishes to expand its services must submit a Variation of Permission application to the FCA for the proposed new activities.

Essentially, FCA authorisation is granted for an indefinite period, and there is no need to submit renewal applications. The firm does need to pay an annual authorisation fee, but otherwise the authorisation remains in place until either the firm or the FCA decides to cancel it. Withdrawal of a firm’s authorisation is the ultimate enforcement sanction available to the FCA, which may also decide to impose fines or ban key individuals from working in the industry in case of wrongdoing.

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Shop’s Up: 4 Ways to Stage Your Products on Your Online Store

online store

online storeE-commerce sites follow specific principles when displaying products. One business may choose to make their product shelves interactive, while others may favour a simple brochure. The website’s aesthetic requirements are among the deciding factors you need to consider in terms of product displays. But, such factors should not hinder you from coming up with streamlined and optimised product pages and categories.

Online marketing experts, such as Digital Cherry, explain that product displays have significant effects on conversion rates. This is why you should periodically check your shelves, dust off the cyber-cobwebs and rearrange the products.

Here is what you need to keep in mind during one of those revisits:

Limit the Choices

Too many products on one page overwhelm customers, as excessive choices could lead to indecision and pressure. These factors usually cause customers to abandon their shopping carts. Instead, focus on well-chosen items and put them on the front display.

Use Good Photographs

Pixelated photographs and subjects under poor lighting conditions can make your customers lose interest. They can even give an impression that your business is not professional enough to provide your customers’ needs. Invest in an imaging professional who specialises in product photography.

Use Videos

There are products that need demonstration. Other than using static images, use videos that will exhibit the features of the items you are selling. Videos can up your business’s conversion rate by providing your customers with an almost actual feel of your products. Videos work best for mechanical devices and consumer electronics, such as kitchen equipment, laptop computers and smartphones.

Create a Sense of Urgency

You have the images and the videos. All you have to do to complement them is write the pitch. Your marketing copy should create a sense of urgency; it should make your customers realise that they need your product. For instance, instead of simply saying “Buy our smartphone”, you can be creative and convincing by saying, “Helps navigate tricky roads, sends emails and more. Limited supply only.” It is in the marketing copy where you can convince customers that they are missing out on something.

These are only some of the things you need to think about when staging your products online. Consult an e-commerce specialist if you find some aspects quite difficult to manage.

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Getting Ready for a Dental Surgery: 5 Tips for New Patients

dental surgery

dental surgerySimple oral problems lead to severe conditions when left untreated. Sometimes, surgery is necessary to solve these issues. Depending on the results of your examination, your dentist may suggest that you undergo a certain procedure. Knowing what to do before the surgery will help prepare your mind and body for what you will experience.

The preparations greatly depend on the type of dental surgery Perth dentists perform. You will receive instructions from your specialist regarding the things you can and cannot do before your surgery. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Discuss your fears and set expectations

The consultation is the best time to tell your dentist about how you feel about undergoing a surgery. Be honest and do not be shy to discuss all your fears and concerns. Your dentist will be happy to explain everything you want to know about the procedure. Together, you may think of ways of overcoming your fear and anxiety. Expect your dentist to provide a list of things to do and avoid after your surgery; make sure you will follow the instructions.

Rest and relax

Be ready when the day your oral surgery comes. Forget about staying up all night and watching your favourite TV shows. Getting enough sleep is important to prepare your body before and during the surgery.

Watch your blood pressure

Your dentist may not perform the procedure if your blood pressure is high, so watch what you eat and get some rest. Do not let your fear keep you from getting the treatment you need. The dentist may tell you which food you can and cannot eat before the procedure.

The success of your oral surgery will greatly depend on how prepared you are. Follow these tips to avoid delays or any other problems and ensure the best results. Ask your dentist for a few more reminders.

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4 Low-Priced Must-Have Photography Accessories


reflectorsThe art of capturing memorable moments is priceless. It is one way to look at the images and reminisce on the good times. Photography is an ideal hobby or profession. Learning how to handle DSLR cameras and take good shots relatively boosts pride, as shared by some photographers.

Taking on photography as a profession, though, can cost more. Cameras do not come low-priced, especially premier lenses. According to DSLRPros.com, Panasonic Lumix GH4 camera for sale and other makes are in the$1,700 price range. Fortunately, some essential photography accessories are low-priced and cost-efficient.


Light is perhaps the most essential element in photography. If you cannot bag a flash accessory, you can go for reflectors instead. You can buy quality reflectors that feature versatility and effectiveness for as low as $20. You can use these accessories as a fill light, main light, hair light, scrim, or sitting mat.

Flash Diffusers

As light is important in photography, camera flash can sometimes ruin the quality. With flash diffusers, you can turn it into a much better and softer quality of light. Unlike reflectors, different brands of flash diffusers have contrasting results.


For the same price as flash diffusers, you can buy good filters. Filters protect the lens, but may somehow ruin the image quality. Although this accessory is often used for certain situations only, it is cost-effective for its price. Experts say that in buying filters, you could complement the quality of the lens.

Accessory Holder

Is losing your camera lens cap or lack of storage space a constant problem? With an accessory holder that you can strap on your bag or belt, storing small items would not be an issue anymore. It is usually pouch-sized, allowing you to store items such as batteries, filters, or memory cards. At about $10 to $15, this photography accessory is a steal.

Going for lesser priced items does necessarily mean you are producing lower quality of work. These accessories can even help you become a better photographer. Never think twice at being practical.

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The Dark Side of Things: What Causes Dark Underarms and What You Can Do About Them


underarmYou feel conscious to wear sleeveless tops, hailing a cab is a struggle, and you feel embarrassed going to the beach. Is your armpit darker than the rest of your body? Dark underarms are a common beauty dilemma for many women these days.

We all have secrets. Sometimes, we chose not to tell anybody, even our family or closest friends. Your dark secret, however, should not be your underarms. You don’t have to stay that way for the next decade or more. The best way to get rid of this skin problem is to know the reasons behind it. Doing this will allow you to think of effective, permanent solutions.

Friction When Shaving

This is the main culprit for dark underarms. When you shave, the hairs grow back immediately in a few days, so the constant friction from a razor leads to discoloration. The same goes for plucking, as it results in unsightly stubble that creates the illusion that your armpit is dark. To lighten it up, you may want to stop shaving and try laser hair removal. It’s time to ditch those temporary solutions to whiten dark underarms.

Using Antiperspirants Excessively

Most of the antiperspirants contain harsh ingredients that react with the skin and result in discoloration. Not all hygienic products are suitable for everyone. Even if antiperspirants help you stop sweating or give your body a nice scent, it causes significant impact on your underarms. To end that, use natural deodorants or resort to home remedies. Apart from lemon, potato and cucumber also act as a natural bleaching agent.

High Insulin Levels

This could be the last thing on your mind. You are not alone, though. Many people don’t know that the main reason behind their dark secret is diabetes. The condition causes pigmentation and triggers the skin cells to produce melanin, resulting in darker underarms. The best solution to this is to keep certain insulin levels and other lifestyle changes. As much as possible, adopt a low-carb diet and eat more fruits.

It’s time to get rid of that problem that makes you feel gloomy every day. Add these tips to your daily beauty regimen to brighten the darkness and make your underarm skin tone fair.

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Make Your Home Child-Friendly with these Tips


carpetYou always want the best for your kids, so you do everything to keep them safe and healthy. Caring for your little ones starts at home. Make sure nothing bad will happen while they’re walking or playing. That means you should make your home more child-friendly.

There should be no room for mistakes when it comes to ensuring the health and safety of your kids. Any wrong decision or negligence can lead to an unfortunate event. Making every room in your home a safe place is key to keeping your children happy and away from danger. These tips from industry mainstay Eco Carpet will help you get started:

Keep allergens away

Allergens could be anywhere in your home, and it’s quite difficult to notice them until symptoms start to show. Your carpet, for instance, could be home to pet dander, dust, and other debris that can cause health problems. Kids love to play and roll around on the carpet, making them prone to allergic reactions. Stay worry-free by keeping your carpet clean all the time. If frequent washing isn’t possible, then let professional carpet cleaners do the job. Cleaning experts use effective methods and equipment to remove unwanted materials from carpets.

Keep things organized

When did you place that knife you used to peel the fruits last night? You might have left your toolbox open in the garage. Children are curious and accidents can happen when you leave sharp or hazardous items unattended. Keeping things organized will help you and your kids stay away from any harm.

Design the play area and kitchen carefully

For safety reasons, don’t let the children play in the kitchen. Design it in a way that you’ll provide a space for just about everything. If possible, use appliances that have a child lock feature. The play area or room should also be a safe place for children. Do away with sharp or pointed toys and make sure you’re always there to supervise your kids.

It only takes one mistake to put your kids at risk, but there are many ways to avoid the danger. Follow these tips so you can ensure the safety of your little ones.

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