Homeowners Left With Massive Repairs After Hurricane

Now that flood waters from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have receded, what is left behind? Destroyed homes and damage to thousands of residences in Texas, Florida and Georgia with a giant price tag. Moody’s Analytics expects that cost to exceed $150 billion, on par with that of Hurricane Katrina.

Hurricane Harvey hit Texas as a Category 4 with winds at 132 mph. Hurricane Irma sustained winds of 185 mph for 37 hours, left millions without power, and destroyed one out of every four homes in parts of Florida.

Parents Get Help Coaching Teen Drivers from Michelin, NFL Star

(NewsUSA) -; As a parent, there is no shortage of things to worry about when it comes to your kids. If you have teenagers, that anxiety can rise even more, especially when they start to drive.Car crashes remain the top killer of teenagers in the United States, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.To bring awareness of teen driver safety among teens and parents, top tire manufacturer Michelin has teamed up with football legend -; father of a teen driver -; Emmitt Smith in an educational campaign, "Coaching Your Teen Driver.""As parents, we play a critical role in coaching our teens to be safe drivers," Smith says in a statement announcing the campaign in conjunction with National Teen Driver Safety Week."Keeping a cool head on the road starts with a strategy and a plan -; that’s where Michelin’s resources for coaching your teen driver can help."The campaign features a downloadable handbook that includes practical road safety advice for coaches and trainees, as well as a series of "offensive" and "defensive" driving plays to master with your teen driver.Offense: The handbook’s offensive driving plays are designed to build new drivers’ confidence on the road. Offensive plays include adjusting mirrors for maximum visibility, as well as changing lanes, passing other cars and merging smoothly onto highways safely and with confidence.Defense: Defensive driving maneuvers are essential for safety on the road. The handbook reinforces key defensive driving plays, such as how to manage tailgaters, drive safely near large trucks, keep a safe following distance and respond to changes in road conditions due to weather or other factors."The handbook also emphasizes critical tips for coaches -; such as knowing when to call a "time out" and pull over when stress levels rise, and the importance of conducting a "post-game analysis" with your teen after the driving lesson to review what went well and where they can still improve.In addition, a section on basic vehicle and tire maintenance includes information that teens should know to stay safe on the road, but that often are not taught in drivers’ education classes."Sharing even simple tips with teens, like how to maintain tires, could result in a few extra feet of stopping distance that could mean the difference between life and death," Scott Clark, chief operating officer for Michelin North America says in the statement.Find more driving and tire safety information for teens – and download the full Coach’s Handbook – at www.MichelinMan.com/SharingSafety

Why One War Hero Turned to Chiropractic Care For Pain Relief

(NewsUSA) – Just when he thought he was pulling his life together after being hit by a roadside bomb during his second deployment in Iraq, Retired U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Shilo Harris suffered yet another injury in 2014 — this time not military-related — that caused him to once again turn to opioids to try to relieve his pain. But doing so, he says, left him so depressed that he "contemplated suicide." The alternative to opioids that finally did work for him? Drug-free chiropractic care, which Harris so credits with "literally giving me back my life" that he’s now encouraging support for the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress’ opioid awareness campaign. Watch the video here.

Medical Device Protects Doctors, Nurses from Pathogens in Patient Fluids

(NewsUSA) – Every time a patient has surgery or any other procedures at a hospital, the hospital faces the challenge of disposing of all the blood, urine, and other fluids that result. These fluids can contain pathogens such as HIV or hepatitis, so they may be dangerous.The traditional method for taking care of these fluids is suctioning them up into canisters. Once each canister is full, hospital workers cart them out of the operating room, open them up, and dump the fluid down the drain. The problem is that the workers can be exposed to the infectious agents in the fluid.That’s what happened to Fran Hahn, now a nurse at Huntingdon Valley Surgery Center in Pennsylvania. When she was working at a different hospital, "I was changing a full suction canister-and contaminated fluid splashed in my eye," she recalls. "The patient was HIV-positive, so I had to be tested for the next 18 months." She wasn’t infected, but the ordeal was agonizing. "No one should have to go through that," she says.Now no one has to — ever again. Skyline Medical (NASDAQ:SKLN) has developed an automated system that suctions fluids from the patient directly to a unit mounted on the wall that’s hooked up to the sewer system. The fluids are put directly down the drain right in the operating or procedure room.Huntingdon Valley Surgery Center found that the FDA-cleared STREAMWAY® System not only virtually eliminates the possibility that doctors, nurses, and other medical staffers will be exposed to pathogens; it also improves suction, helping doctors do better operations. "For facilities like ours, that take pride in providing the best patient care and keeping staff safe, STREAMWAY is such a logical choice," says Hahn.Moreover, hospitals such as the Tucson Medical Center (TMC) have learned that the system saves time and money as well. "We’re not spilling fluid or accidentally pulling the patient’s catheter out, because we aren’t having to stop and exchange bottles," says Moravia Costanza, TMC Ultrasound Department Supervisor. "One of our radiologists said the STREAMWAY System is worth its weight in gold."

How to Increase Your Savings on Your Terms

(NewsUSA) – "You need to save money." You tell yourself this. Others tell you this too. However, according to the 2015 FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households*, approximately nine million U.S. households don’t use any type of bank account to save their money. Since banks tend to offer similar products and services, even those who do save often don’t see a need to explore their options. Understanding the ins and outs of saving for the future is the first step to becoming a successful saver.It’s important to note that all savings accounts are not created equal. Online bank accounts often offer higher yields than traditional bank branches, with savings account interest rates and certificate of deposit (CD) interest rates that are higher than the national average annual percentage yield (APY).For instance, Goldman Sachs Bank USA (GS Bank) empowers consumers to save by offering a high yield savings account and CDs to help achieve savings goals, while at the same time providing the convenience and the security of a traditional bank. Additional advantages include no minimum deposit required to open an account, no transactions fees and only a $1 balance required to earn the APY associated with an account. With the backing of Goldman Sachs, GS Bank customers have access to a range of savings products that will help them save, as well as the expertise of a 148-year-old financial institution.Digital alternatives to traditional banking don’t have the overhead that comes with managing branches and are therefore able to be more competitive with their rates, providing consumers with a realistic way to accumulate savings with higher interest rates and a stronger financial portfolio.Accumulating savings can be difficult at any age. Here are some small steps that can make a big difference in the long run:Make a budget: If you don’t know what you’re spending each month, start paying attention. Track your spending for a few months and make a budget to live by. Track the money you save by eliminating unnecessary spending and put it right into your online savings account.Split-deposit paychecks: Consider having your employer split-deposit your paycheck to your checking account and a separate high-yield savings account. This way, saving becomes automatic and because your savings account is separate, you might be less tempted to spend it.Manage spending: For instance, you could save money by bringing your lunch. If, for example, you average $8 a day for lunch at work, that’s $40 per week and $2,000 per year. It adds up. If you were to bring your lunch from home for about $2 per day, you could achieve a savings of $1,500 per year to add to your savings account. Homemade sandwiches taste pretty good when you’re watching your savings grow.Sock your money away: Once you accumulate significant savings, you may want to move some of your savings to an FDIC-insured fixed-rate CD account to lock in an interest rate. A CD is a type of savings tool that offers a higher rate than most standard savings accounts. Generally, there is little risk and most typically don’t have monthly fees.Keep your savings safe and secure: Consider keeping all or a portion of your core savings in an FDIC-insured bank. This can mean keeping your money in savings or CD accounts that are insured by the FDIC up to the maximum allowed by law. According to the FDIC**, since the FDIC was established in 1933, no depositor has lost a penny of FDIC-insured funds. For more information about FDIC deposit insurance coverage and limits, visit FDIC.gov/deposit.As you work towards achieving your savings goals, you can learn more about savings strategies and financial insights from GS Bank by visiting www.GSBank.com. Have additional questions? You’ll find someone to connect with at 1-855-730-SAVE (7283). Start saving more right now to make a difference for your future.*2015 FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households (link to: https://www.fdic.gov/householdsurvey/) **According to the FDIC (link to: https://www.fdic.gov/deposit/deposits/) **According to the 2015 FDIC

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Medicare Advantage Plan

(NewsUSA) – The Medicare Annual Election Period takes place this fall from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. It’s a time for people with Medicare to make important decisions about their health care.There are many factors, in addition to premiums and medical provider networks, to consider when researching the Medicare plan that best meets your health and budget needs for 2018. Knowing the benefits offered by Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans — both offer enhancements to Original Medicare — will also be key in your decision making.Here are five common hiccups Medicare beneficiaries may experience when considering their options:* Your monthly payments are not the only thing to consider. After you analyze your previous year’s plan and assess the most affordable option for the coming year, including extra costs that can be incurred down the road, consider the total value of the Medicare plan you select.* Your drug coverage is not the same everywhere. Drug prices can vary depending on your location, pharmacy and how much you’ve used your prescription benefits. Make a list of your medications and consider prescription drug plan options that include mail-order.* Your plan is not just for medical visits or emergencies. People living with a chronic condition may want to look for plans offering personalized care, such as health coaching. Many Medicare Advantage programs also offer benefits, such as fitness programs, for maintaining healthy, active lifestyles.* You may not need the same plan as your spouse/significant other. It’s important for spouses to sit down and assess your health needs, and doctors and hospitals. This ensures your Medicare plan makes sense for your health, budget and lifestyle.* You’re not on your own in making this decision. Utilize free resources, such as licensed Medicare health insurance agents, Medicare.gov or go to Humana.com/Medicare, to help identify the best plan for you.You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or TTY: 1-877-486-2048 24 hours a day, seven days a week for 2018 Medicare plan information. Or you can call Humana at 1-888-204-4062 (TTY users can use 711).Understanding the resources and tools at your disposal will allow you to take "advantage" of all the benefits Medicare plans have to offer in 2018.Humana is a Medicare Advantage [HMO, PPO and PFFS] organization and a stand-alone prescription drug plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in any Humana plan depends on contract renewal.ACCEPTED: Y0040_GHHK3KFEN 

Main Street Series Promises to Revitalize One Small Town

(NewsUSA) – Small businesses are the lifeblood of communities and the U.S. economy. Now, Shark Tank’s Robert Herjavec and Amanda Brinkman, of Deluxe Corporation are debuting Season 2 of the acclaimed "Small Business Revolution — Main Street" series, which streams on Hulu and at SmallBusinessRevolution.org. The series showcases the importance of small businesses and chronicles how Deluxe provides a $500,000 makeover of one lucky small town and its small businesses. They’re also asking the public to nominate their favorite small town for a chance to receive their own transformation and be featured in Season 3. Earlier this year, people across the country cast nearly 1 million votes to select Bristol Borough, Pennsylvania, as winner of a $500,000 Main Street makeover and to be featured in Season 2. With the help of Herjavec and Brinkman, the riverfront town is now seeing new life. Watch the video here:

PepsiCo Recycling Helps College Students Take Sustainability to the Next Level

College campuses are not just about education: they want to encourage students to make a difference. And PepsiCo wants to help make that happen.

According to PepsiCo, “Simple acts lead to a big impact.” The company, for the second year in a row, is assisting colleges and universities in reaching their environmental goals by giving students the chance to win up to $10,000 in funding to implement new sustainability initiatives or improve existing efforts in their communities.

The Zero Impact Fund (ZIF), which launched in August 2016, provides cash prizes for college and university sustainability projects related to energy, waste or water that aim to achieve long-term environmental, economic and social impacts.

Solving A Major Problem in “Additive” Manufacturing

(NewsUSA) – A new approach to making everything from jet engines to toys, called 3D printing, is creating a revolution in manufacturing — and a small company called Sigma Labs, Inc (NASDAQ:SGLB) has an enabling technology that can make it happen.In traditional manufacturing, companies start with metal or other materials, then cut, shape or drill the material to get the finished products.In the late 1980s, however, researchers at MIT came up with a radical new idea. Instead of cutting material away, why not build things by adding layer after successive layer? The method they developed was similar to printing ink onto paper, only in three dimensions.3D printing, also called "additive manufacturing," is now becoming big business. GE Aviation uses it to build jet engine fuel nozzles, for instance, instead of welding together 20 small pieces. Technology Review recently named additive manufacturing one of its 10 "Breakthrough Technologies."But 3D printing turns out to have a major challenge: It’s extraordinarily difficult to build identical top-quality parts every single time. In fact, Sigma Labs has now solved this problem, ensuring that every part and product is built correctly.How? The company uses sensors to measure key parameters such as the temperatures of the material as each layer is deposited. Then it uses sophisticated algorithms to process the data, and to determine if the resulting part meets customer quality standards."When we monitor every layer, for every part, we can tell if it’s a good part," explains John Rice, CEO of Sigma Labs.Sigma has installed its PrintRite 3D system at 3D manufacturing facilities for more than a dozen key companies, such as Siemens, Honeywell, Woodward, and Pratt & Whitney.Rice envisions that, once the technology is proven in actual operations, Sigma’s patent-protected approach may fuel explosive growth in 3D printing, and become an essential part of 3D metal manufacturing operations, dreaming of "Sigma Inside," such as Intel chips in personal computers."This has the potential to be a major transformative technology by enabling the leap to volume AM metal production," says Rice. 

Help for Homeowners On the Hook for Billions in Hurricane Damages

(NewsUSA) – Sponsored by GAF – And now comes the arduous task of rebuilding hundreds of thousands of houses destroyed or damaged by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.And with it, alas, the realization by all too many homeowners that they’re the ones on the hook for the cost of a large chunk of their own repair work.The main reason? In a word: flooding.While areas like the Florida Keys were decimated by winds that reached 130 mph — a quarter of all houses there were demolished and another 65 percent suffered major damage — a lot of the wreckage from this summer’s double wallop came from floodwaters. And since homeowners’ insurance policies typically cover wind and hail but exclude (you guessed it) flood damage. . .Well, even given the miscellany of federal, state and local aid programs out there, you can see why some estimate the total out-of-pocket costs for Texas and Florida homeowners at $28 billion and $13.1 billion respectively."There’s going to be a huge uninsured economic loss here," Pete Mills, a senior vice president at the Mortgage Bankers Association, has said.As in past emergencies, fellow Americans immediately joined a long list of companies like Apple, Verizon, and Chevron in donating truckloads of money, clothes, and other products to help with the relief efforts.One of the latest corporate initiatives seems especially apt, given all those houses that need to be rebuilt.In what it says is a first-of-its kind program for them, GAF, North America’s largest roofing manufacturer, is offering a special financing program for homeowners in need of roof repairs in FEMA-designated areas for individual assistance of Texas, Florida, and Georgia. Through November 30, 2017, they can take advantage of zero percent interest over 36 months of equal payments."The hurricanes have had a devastating impact on so many people," said Jim Schnepper, president of GAF. "We recognize that restoring communities begins with getting homeowners back into their homes as quickly as possible, with a roof they can trust to protect the things that matter most in their lives."Know that the financing is available only through GAF factory-certified contractors, who can be located through the company’s website at gaf.com/rebuild.