Livingston Reporting

Safeguarding Pets During a Disaster

Don’t forget your pets while creating an emergency preparedness plan! For many people, pets are like family; therefore, they shouldn’t be overlooked in your plan. Yet, according to the ASPCA, roughly 6.5 million pets arrive at animal shelters nationwide. While not all of these are a result of emergencies, remember to plan ahead, so your pet doesn’t end up in a shelter as a result of a dire situation.

Pets require different supplies and equipment, including a first aid kit, food, leashes, carriers, and more. Be on the lookout for anything used daily and add it to your pet’s Bug Out Bag. Your pets rely on you for safety every day – they are an integral part of your life, so make sure you give them the best care possible during disasters.

Identification
Make sure your pet has a tag and collar, as this is the most surefire way of identification. Add your contact details so you can be notified if the animal is found. Pets often lose their collars, leashes, and tags, so another option is microchipping your pet. This is a full-proof method to identify your pet and return them to its proper owner. Make sure the registration is under your name, and keep it updated at all times. You can also include at least one emergency contact (relative or friend) in case your contact information is invalid or expires.

Emergency Kit
Just as you would for your family, ensure your pets are covered for emergencies. Some of the items to include in your kit should consist of at least these items, with enough to last a week:

  • Food and water
  • Medications, vitamins, or supplements
  • Vaccination record copies (potentially laminated if possible or electronically – as long as you can access it)
  • Photos (for identification)
  • Leash or carrier

Evacuation
In case of an emergency evacuation, try your best not to leave pets behind. Evacuating early is best, as pets won’t be as fearful, and you will be able to coax them more easily. Oftentimes emergency shelters do not allow pets, so make sure you have a backup plan or evacuate to an area where they will be welcomed.

Creating your human emergency kit? Check out the vast selection at Wolf Survival Gear today!

Wolf Survival Gear is a hub for all your prepping and survival needs. We are a trusted resource for concerned families, avid hunters, or serious preppers. Make us your one-stop-shop and prepare now, before you’ll need it later. Visit our website or e-mail us today for more information.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Car Maintenance Schedule Guide

Every car owner has at least a slight understanding of the importance of keeping their vehicle in tip-top shape. Though vehicle maintenance is important, it’s innocently not always done according to the proper schedule. Refer to your vehicle owners’ guide and check out our suggested maintenance schedule below.

EVERY THREE MONTHS/3,000 MILES

  1. Fluids: unless your vehicle is brand-new, have the following levels checked.
    1. Engine oil
    1. Windshield washer fluid
    1. Coolant
    1. Brake fluid
    1. Transmission fluid
    1. Power steering fluid
  2. Tire pressures
  3. Hoses
  4. Belts
  5. Interior cleanliness

EVERY SIX MONTHS/5,000 MILES

  1. Oil and filter change
  2. Tire rotation
  3. Check lights
  4. Fuel filter
  5. Battery
  6. Cabin and engine air filters
  7. Wiper blades

EVERY 12 MONTHS/10,000 MILES

  1. Synthetic oil and filter change
  2. Alignment
  3. Brakes

For assistance in properly maintaining your vehicle, visit one of our four locations at Complete Auto Maintenance Centers today. Our experts will ensure your car, SUV, or light-duty truck will last for years – and miles – to come.

Team CAMC is your Complete Auto Maintenance Center. For over 30 years, we have followed a single guiding principle: we never push or sell services a vehicle doesn’t need. Our team of trained technicians welcomes you like family and discusses all types of oil and fluid changes offered. Critical points are reviewed through a 13-point inspection to ensure your vehicle is ready for the next adventure on the road ahead. Contact us today to learn more about the professional service you deserve from a team you can trust.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Immense Solar Power Energy Development Throughout U.S. Set by DOE

Recently, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) published the “Solar Futures Study,” which outlines how vital solar energy will be in the effort to decarbonize the power grid. By as early as 2035, solar energy can power up to 40 percent of America’s electricity. More than 1.5 million people could be employed through this new field, while the power grid is significantly decarbonized. Also, electricity prices would remain steady.

The Biden Administration has been taking great strides to halt the climate change crisis by swiftly increasing access to renewable power nationwide. The DOE’s study recommends a large-scale and unbiased distribution of clean energy sources.

Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said, “The study illuminates the fact that solar, our cheapest and fastest-growing source of clean energy, could produce enough electricity to power all of the homes in the U.S. by 2035 and employ as many as 1.5 million people in the process. Achieving this bright future requires a massive and equitable deployment of renewable energy and strong decarbonization policies – exactly what is laid out in the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda.”

A record number of solar panels were installed in 2020 throughout the United States, making up roughly three percent of the current electrical supply. The Solar Futures Study predicts solar energy could produce more electricity than consumed in all residential and commercial buildings statewide by 2050. Thanks to electrification in the transportation, building, and industrial sectors, as much as 3,000 GW of solar could be produced by that time.

Interested in clean energy and going green? Contact the solar panel experts at State Electric today!

State Electric Company is a leader in the electrification of the nation. Our highly educated and experienced team of professionals uses industry-leading software technology and has partnered with manufacturers to deliver affordable solutions for all your electrical needs. With our combined, extensive knowledge in renewable energy sources through solar and battery storage, the team at State Electric works together to provide customers, large and small, with efficient electrical solutions. We specialize in smart electrical panels, E.V. chargers, battery storage, microgrids, and emergency generators with automatic transfer switches to ensure that all your energy needs are affordable and safely met. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

What’s the Best Age to Get LASIK?

How old do you have to be to get LASIK? The short answer: Laser vision correction procedures such as LASIK are approved for people 18-years-old and above. For an in-depth examination of the reasoning behind this, keep reading.

First, we need to examine ocular maturity and what that means regarding development. The eyes are one of the last organs to fully mature; in some people, it can take up to age 20, but for most, they are fully grown by 13. This feat, known as “achieving ocular maturity,” is considered when a patient’s eyeglass prescription remains stable for a year or more. With a consistent prescription, the likelihood of nearsightedness or farsightedness progressing is low.

Second, your vision correction options can be gauged based on how your experience with glasses or contacts has been. Most eye care professionals want to ensure you make the right decision and prefer to personally analyze you based on your habits, compromises, and vision goals. Annual eye exams are imperative to understanding whether LASIK is right for you.

Finally, it’s essential to understand that LASIK permanently reshapes the cornea, the surface of your eye. For this reason, LASIK procedures are done on people over the age of 18. The treatment has a better chance of success throughout the years if the eyes are fully developed before the procedure.

The aging process never ceases, however. While LASIK is effective for younger candidates, when people reach the age of 40, a condition called presbyopia occurs. This is categorized by a loss of flexibility in the natural lens inside your eye and can be corrected with another procedure or by simply wearing reading glasses.

While LASIK lasts for years – decades, even – it’s essential to keep up with annual visits and connect with your doctor when necessary. If your eyes aren’t mature, it’s a good idea to have a thorough evaluation to determine when you are a good candidate. If you are over 18 and have a stable prescription, your eye care professional will help you ascertain whether you are a good candidate for LASIK.

To learn more about how LASIK can improve your life by easing the stress of wearing contacts or glasses, contact the eye care professionals at Rohr Eye & Laser Center today.

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 or visit https://www.michiganlasik.com/ to schedule an appointment today.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

EPA Issues First PFAS Regulations

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is focused on distinguishing chances to better protect public health and the environment. Recently, the EPA unveiled the Preliminary Effluent Guidelines Program Plan 15, which aims to reduce chemicals in wastewater.

In an effort to lower toxins from specific industries, the EPA enacted three new rules or guidelines to reduce per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and other pollutants.

Radhika Fox, Assistant Administrator for Water, said, “To protect drinking water supplies, recreational waters, and aquatic ecosystems, it is essential that we utilize the latest scientific and technological breakthroughs in wastewater treatment. Importantly and for the first time, EPA is committing to limit PFAS in wastewater discharges.”

The two standards for PFAS pertain to the following industries:

  • Metal finishing industries are to remediate PFAS discharges from chromium electroplating facilities
  • Industries manufacturing organic chemicals, plastics, and synthetic fibers to clean up PFAS runoff from buildings manufacturing the chemical

Nutrient discharges from meat and poultry product industries are also to be addressed. Also included in the report was the steam electric power generating category. The EPA will consider reinforcing the already-strict limits which apply to coal power plants regarding waste streams used to produce electricity.

PFAS are man-made substances used in industrial settings to create thousands of products worldwide. Dubbed “Forever Chemicals,” these chemicals do not break down over time and are extremely persistent in the environment. Found in the blood of 99.9 percent of human beings across the globe, it’s impossible to reverse exposure to PFAS.

Present in everyday household items, food, drinking water, living organisms, workplace facilities, and much more, PFAS are found in carpet, Teflon products (cookware, Scotchguard, etc.), leather, apparel, rubber plastics, paper, packaging, and so much more. The list is seemingly endless.

PFAS is an emerging issue because it has been found to create a host of health issues in living beings, including humans. Adverse health effects include problems with the reproductive system, developmental and fetal complications, immune system impediments, autoimmune disease spikes, thyroid hormone disruption, and cancer.

To reduce PFAS from your drinking water, contact the treatment experts at Reynolds today.

Reynolds Water Conditioning was established in 1931 and is Michigan’s oldest water conditioning treatment company. Still owned and operated by the Reynolds family, we take pride in providing the highest quality products at a cost-effective price. If your tap water lacks the quality you deserve, contact us today at www.reynoldswater.com or call 800-572-9575.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Ultrasound Gel Recalled by FDA

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has recalled eight lots of Eco-Med Pharmaceuticals ultrasound gel, with contamination being the culprit. Confirmed bacterial infections affected 15 patients who were in contact with the Eco-Gel 200 ultrasound gel. Unconfirmed cases are also suspected.

Eco-Gel instructed customers to immediately halt the use of the gel and return it to the manufacturer if possible.

FDA officials said, “Eco-Med has initiated this recall and quarantine due to bacterial contamination in the affected loss of ultrasound gel with Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bxx). The source(s) of the bacterial contamination is currently unknown. Eco-med is conducting a comprehensive investigation to determine the root cause of this contamination and take all necessary corrective action.”

Patients who encountered the gel can be asymptomatic or develop severe toxicity, such as bloodstream infection, which can result in sepsis or death.

Eco-Med lot numbers included in the recall:

  • Lot number B029 – distribution: March 26, 2021
  • Lot number B030 – distribution: March 30, 2021
  • Lot number B031 – distribution: April 5, 2021
  • Lot number B032 – distribution: April 7, 2021
  • Lot number B040 – distribution: April 26, 2021
  • Lot number B041 – distribution April 26, 2021
  • Lot number B048 – distribution: May 7, 2021
  • Lot number B055 – distribution: May 26, 2021

These brand names were also tainted and are recalled:

  • Chattanooga Conductor USA – DJO Global
  • DJO Conductor – DJO Global
  • Liquasonic – Athena Medical Products
  • MediChoice Ultrasound Gel – Owens & Minor
  • MediChoice Ultrasound Gel – Mac Medical Supply Co.
  • Medline – Medline Industries
  • NDC Eco-Gel 200 Ultrasound Gel – NDC
  • Omni – Accelerated Care Plus Leasing

RadParts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts. We specialize in low-cost parts for repairing linear accelerator and radiation equipment. Our mission is to provide high-quality, user-friendly, low-cost parts and support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment. Contact RadParts at 877-704-3838 or visit us on the web: https://www.radparts.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Five Ways to Extend Pool Season

Summer has almost come to an end, and with that, pool season is winding down as fall looms ahead. You can easily extend your pool time by adding a gas heater, heat pump, or solar heater. Instead of closing your pool as soon as the temperatures drop, check out these ten tips for keeping your swimming water warm(er) through autumn.

  1. Solar Cover: The most effortless and cost-efficient way to extend your pool season well into spring and fall is to add a solar cover. By retaining warmth during the night and heating up during the day, these are effective for both inground and above-ground pools. Moreover, pool covers save owners money by decreasing the amount of evaporation coming from the surface. As much as 90 percent of evaporation is reduced, which means pool owners don’t have to waste time filling up the pool. Also, pool covers catch debris that would otherwise litter the water surface and create more work for you or your filter. Solar cover reels are also a must; they roll up the cover neatly and save pool owners the hassle of rolling and storing.
  2. Solar Sun Rings: Roughly 60 inches in diameter, these rings are coated with UV-resistant vinyl and rest gently on the pool’s surface. They heat the water and retain nighttime warmth. Since they don’t cover the entire pool, they aren’t as energy and debris efficient as a solar cover, but they are easy to maneuver and often come in attractive designs.
  3. Gas Heater: A propane or natural gas heater is the most powerful way to extend pool season. These are designed to increase pool temperature by about 30 degrees Fahrenheit or more.
  4. Heat Pumps: By gathering warm air around the pool, compressing it, and recycling it throughout the pool, these pumps are designed for sunny climates. They are less expensive than gas heaters, are easy to use, and are affordable. The only downside is they do not work in environments where the temperature drops below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Solar Heaters: Another product designed for use in sunny areas, solar heaters can increase a pools temperature by about 20 degrees Fahrenheit. However, these are meant to be used in areas where the sun is prevalent, even on chilly days. These heaters can be installed on a roof, fence, or wall and will absorb sunlight, turning it into heat within the pool.

Want to extend your pool season? It might be time for a renovation; call the experts at Pound Pool Plastering to learn how we can provide you with a top-of-the-line pool.

Pound Pool Plastering offers free estimates and complete pool renovations. Dale Pound, owner, personally oversees each pool project to ensure the highest quality is delivered. We offer Diamond Brite, Sunstone, Hydrazzo, Marcite, Pebble finishes, Bead Crete, tile choices, coping stones, etc. We are pool renovation experts – contact us today at 248-476-4544 or poundpool@sbcglobal.net.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Old Electrical Panels Can Delay Transition to Renewable Energy

With an increase in electrical homes nationwide, the end goal is to use electricity for heating water and living areas, cooking, vehicle charging, and more resulting in a lower reliance on non-renewable energy. A recent report from Pecan Street outlined how roughly 48 million residential homes throughout the United States will require upgrades to transition from fossil fuels. Residential electrification in total could amount to up to $100 billion, with an average cost of $2,000 for each panel.

The report states, “We estimate that more than half of the new homes being built today have electric panels that will not allow for full home electrification.” For 2020, that amounts to roughly 550,000 homes that will eventually face “a needless roadblock to transitioning away from natural gas.”

Existing electrical panels create challenges in the effort to fully-electrify homes through:

  • Panel sizing
  • Building and energy codes
  • Incentives through utilities

According to the report, “If electric panel upgrades are not managed proactively through policy and incentive programs, the cost and hassle have the potential to be an obstacle for millions of consumers trying to electrify their homes.”

Ranging between $1,000 and $5,000, electric panel upgrades can take weeks to accomplish. Some of the hurdles include waiting for permits and hiring an electrician, both of which can take some time. The report suggested utility companies offer incentives for upgrading electrical panels in existing homes to counterbalance these setbacks. State and local governments should also update codes for new construction to require the panels can withstand full house electrification.

The report stated, “This minimum panel size could be a requirement for new construction written into municipal, state, or national electric, building, or energy codes. These policy changes would remove critical roadblocks to full electrification and avoid combustion fuel technology lock-in, which would result in continued greenhouse gas emissions from these fuels for decades to come.”

Looking for electrical equipment for your infrastructure? Contact the electrification experts at J&P Electrical today! We have what you need, at a price you can afford.

J&P Electrical is a full-service electrical equipment company. At J&P, we supply contractors, end-users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We also purchase a wide range of electrical equipment such as bus plugs, ducts, panel switches, substations, and transformers. Call us at 877-844-5514 or visit us at https://www.jpelectricalcompany.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

The Importance of Cosigners on Mortgages

Buying a home is a huge decision, investment, and can be exciting for first-time homebuyers. Mortgage lenders help buyers with the process, ensuring success in every aspect. From time to time, roadblocks occur, which could postpone the outcome. Even with enough funds to cover a down payment, closing costs, and monthly payments, you could still be denied.

Thankfully, there’s a way around the mortgage denial roadblock: a cosigner. 

Someone who cosigns a mortgage has decided to join with another borrower to purchase a home. A cosigner is bound by a legal obligation to repay the mortgage if the primary borrower can no longer perform their financial responsibilities.

Close family members or friends can cosign mortgages and are generally meant to assist the applicant with funding, build credit, or reduce their financial risk. College students or recent graduates are good examples of those first-time homebuyers who might require assistance from a cosigner. With minimal credit history and zero income, it is challenging for them to get approved. Parents usually help these students or recent graduates by cosigning, as they are not required to live in the home. As long as their income can support the loan qualification, the borrower (student) would be approved.

Cosigners are treated the same as other applicants and should be prepared to fill out loan applications, financial information sheets, and explain their relationship to the borrower. The overall credit score will be averaged between the two borrowers. The cosigner will appear on the mortgage, and their credit will reflect that as well.

Ready to apply for a mortgage with your cosigner? Contact the home loan experts at Concord Mortgage today!

EB Mortgage is a locally-owned mortgage company with experts in new home purchase, refinancing, and commercial loans. Our wholesale rates can’t be beaten. We offer more products, more options, and more solutions. Our “3C” Process is simple: complete our pre-approval request, consider options based on your requirements, and choose the offer that suits your needs best. Call us at 866-246-0516 or e-mail contact@ebwmtg.com today.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Ransomware Attack Forces Howard University to Cancel Classes

Classes at Howard University were canceled due to a ransomware attack as “Unusual activity on the university’s network” sparked an IT investigation.

The university’s network was paused by the Enterprise Technology Services department while they examined the security breach. Only essential employees were permitted on campus, and Wi-Fi was shut down until the university could “determine the best and safest path to stand it up.”

“This is a highly dynamic situation, and it is our priority to protect all sensitive personal, research, and clinical data. We are in contact with the FBI and the DC city government, and we are installing additional safety measures to further protect the university’s and your personal data from any criminal ciphering.

There has been no evidence of personal information being accessed or exfiltrated; however, our investigation remains ongoing, and we continue to work toward clarifying the facts surrounding what happened and what information has been accessed,” Howard said in a statement. 

Ransomware is a type of malware that locks up a computer or a user’s personal information/documents until a specific amount of monetary funds is paid. The files are encrypted, and the ransom is usually paid in cryptocurrency, which makes tracing and prosecuting the criminals challenging.

Since 2012, these types of malware attacks have grown exponentially. In 2018, there were 181.5 million ransomware attacks during the first six months. Compared to the same timeframe in 2017, there was a 229 percent jump.

Don’t let your personal data fall victim to hackers. At CPS, we can help remove viruses, restore your computer, and protect your vital information from future attacks. Contact us today to learn more.

Founded in 1994, Creative Programs and Systems provides professional results for all computer needs. We design, create, and code an array of custom software programs and websites; offer top-notch digital marketing services including enhanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and paid advertising; repair and provide support for computers of both residential and professional nature; build custom systems and servers, and offer secure data backups. Need assistance or want to learn more? Call us at 810-224-5252 or e-mail info@cpsmi.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.