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Weather Alert: review these storm preparedness tips

Precautions You Can Take Against Lighting As A Homeowner

Warm weather usually means fun in the Carolina sun, but summer heat also can bring severe weather. Threatening thunderstorms often loom large on summer afternoons, so it’s important to be prepared for downpours and accompanying lightning. Consider the following suggestions when planning both outdoor and indoor events this summer to reduce the risk of a lightning strike.

  • Watch the weather. Pay attention to your local weather forecast before participating in outdoor activities. If there’s a chance of thunderstorms, consider rescheduling or moving the event indoors. If that’s not possible, have an emergency plan in place in case a severe storm rolls in, and designate a sufficient nearby structure as an emergency shelter.
  • Stay inside. If severe thunderstorms are imminent, go indoors and wait until they pass. Safe, enclosed shelters include homes, schools, offices, shopping malls and vehicles with hard tops and closed windows. Open structures and spaces do not provide adequate protection.
  • Duck and crouch. If you’re caught outside during a severe storm, it’s important to crouch low on the ground, tuck your head and cover your ears to help protect yourself from harm. Do not lie down; lightning strikes can produce extremely strong electrical currents that run along the top of the ground, and laying horizontally increases electrocution risk.
  • Turn off faucets. During a thunderstorm, lightning can sometimes be conducted through the plumbing. Avoid any type of contact with running water, including bathing, showering and washing your hands, dishes or clothes.
  • Turn off electronics. All electrical appliances—televisions, computers, laptops, gaming systems, stoves and more—that are plugged into an electrical outlet could carry a current from a lightning strike. Surge protectors will reduce the risk of damaging electronics.

Stay away from windows. Not only is lightning a threat, but high winds and hail create flying debris that could be harmful during a thunderstorm. Close all windows and doors and stay as far away from them as possible.

Winter Storm Watch in Effect

With the Winter season comes seasonal storms, which can vary from icy roads to freezing temperatures. It is important that as a home resident you know the correct precautions to take against harsh Winter weather. Please be sure to take the necessary precautions in regards to freezing temperatures.

Home tips
Frozen pipes can lead to a big mess. Here are a few tips for guidance on avoiding weather-related disasters at home:

  • Allow a small trickle of water to run overnight, preferably through a faucet on an outside wall.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinets so warmer air can circulate below the sinks.
  • Know the locations of your shut-off valves, in case a pipe bursts.
  • Shut off any outdoor spigots and bring in hoses.

If you haven’t already taken steps to protect your plants, here a few ways to care for them during the cold weather:

  • Bring your smaller container plants, especially succulents, indoors. Mulch or cover outdoor plants with straw, blankets or cardboard.
  • Be sure to turn off automatic sprinklers, detach hoses from faucets and wrap the faucets to protect outdoor pipes.
  • Don’t worry if plant leaves wilt; they protect themselves against cold by dehydrating themselves. Given time, most will perk back up.

Pet owners should take special precautions with their animals during freezing temperatures. It’s best to keep all pets indoors.

Cats will curl up against almost anything to stay warm, including car engines. Before you turn your engine on, check beneath the car or make plenty of noise by honking the horn.

Stay warm!

Thoughts Entering the New Year

As we begin another year, the community association board wants to offer some thoughts about how we can improve our community in the upcoming year and beyond.

Responsibility. We all take responsibility for adhering to rules and meeting our financial obligations to the community so we can avoid the costly and unpleasant task of pursuing legal actions.

Sharing. We want everyone to share ideas, perspectives and concerns so we can work together to build an even better hometown.

Fellowship. We actively participate in the recreational, social and cultural activities of the community.

Involvement. Consider attending association meetings and taking the time to review important information about our community.

Inclusiveness. We actively welcome new residents, making all owners and renters feel part of the community.

Pride. We are proud to live in this homeowners association community and recommend it to others who are looking for a good place to call home in the Southeast.

We will certainly strive to do our part as members of the elected board. It’s our goal to serve as neighborhood facilitators and regard our authority as a temporary stewardship, even as we plan for a future well beyond our tenure on the board.

We wish you a happy and healthy new year!

Cold Weather Advice

Snow can make children squeal with delight, but it can also make adults snort with dread and frustration. Although we don’t get much wintery weather in the Southeast, our homeowners association try to remove any snow and ice quickly and safely from roads and walkways, while still allowing the kids to have some fun. In the meantime, please keep these cold-weather tips in mind:

  • Each homeowners association has shovels and salt available for good-Samaritan residents who wish to help out with the sidewalks. Shoveling can be good exercise, but pace yourself and drink plenty of water.
  • Please ask your kids to use the designated sledding areas. They’re safer for your children and easier on our landscaping. Make sure sledders have a buddy and only sled during daylight hours. We want to make sure everyone stays safe and has fun!
  • If possible, for everyone’s safety, clear the snow away from fire hydrants near your home.
  • When you warm up your car, wait a few minutes before turning on the heat to give the windshield time to adjust. Drastic changes in temperature can cause your windshield to crack. That includes pouring warm water on cold glass outside or immediately blasting your defroster inside the car. If you just can’t wait, consider using de-icer sprays instead, which are quick and effective. Rain-X defroster wiper fluid, or similar products, prevent ice from bonding to your windshield making your scraping job much easier.
  • Keep a supply of drinking water and food on hand. Remember to keep blankets, flashlights and warm clothes handy. If you lose power, it’s up to you to call the utility company before you call us.
  • Don’t expect to see the snow plows until at least multiple inches of snow have accumulated—that’s what we’re contracted for. Please keep this in mind before calling us with your reminders and questions. In cold weather, don’t go out if you don’t have to. Be smart and stay warm.

Are You Ready for Cold Weather?

Fall is the time to prepare for winter—cold and wet conditions not only make you miserable, but they can damage your home and property. Some winterizing can wait, while some can’t. Make a list of what needs to be done, and tackle the time-sensitive tasks first. Here’s a simple checklist suggested from your homeowners association to help you get a jump-start on winter this year.

Indoor Winterizing:

  • Examine doors and replace weather-stripping as needed.
  • Clean chimneys and flues.
  • Examine window caulking and reseal where needed.
  • Remove items near heat vents.
  • Examine and repair vents where needed.
  • Place nonskid runners or door mats outside to help keep water, sand and salt out of the house.

Outdoor Winterizing:

  • Cut back tree branches and shrubs that hide signs or block light.
  • Close hose bibs.
  • Examine outdoor handrails and tighten if needed.
  • Turn off electrical breakers for outdoor equipment.
  • Spray outdoor locks and hinges with lubricant.
  • Clean out gutters and downspouts.
  • Clear yard drains.
  • Stake driveway and walkway edges that may be difficult to find under deep snow.

Assemble, stockpile or refresh winter supplies:

  • Batteries
  • Candles and matches
  • Snow shovels
  • Ice melt and deicer
  • Generator fuel
  • Sand
  • Antifreeze

See You Later, Summer!

It’s that time of year in the Carolinas when you’ve exchanged your swimsuits for sweaters and scarves just in time to roll up your sleeves and prepare your home for the cold weather. As you watch summer fade into the sunset, consider adding the following items encouraged from your HOA, to your winterization checklist, and ensure your home is in tip-top shape for the fall and winter seasons.

  • ŸUpdate your window treatments. Summer’s venetian blinds and sheer curtain panels won’t keep the frigid air from creeping in on a cold night. Consider switching to a denser curtain fabric for the winter months to keep your home feeling cozy and keep heating bills low.
  • Ÿ Schedule appliance check-ups. Your HVAC system, air ducts and hot water heater should be checked by a licensed professional to ensure all elements are in good shape for the change in weather—especially if any appliances worked overtime during summer months.
  • ŸDeep clean and declutter. Thoroughly clean your home’s nooks and crannies inside and out. Ensure electrical cords, outlets and air vents are dust and clutter-free; tidy up garages and storage areas; and clear any debris from your home’s exterior, especially around vents and drains.
  • Ÿ Replace weather stripping. Doors and windows need extra help to hold heat inside your home. Inspect all door and window perimeters for cracks or tears in your current weather stripping. You also can add a second layer of protection with temporary weather stripping applied overtop your existing seals.
  • ŸAnd lastly, don’t forget the attic. Check for leaks in the roof, possible cracks in attic windows and insufficient insulation. With the help of a licensed professional or advice from your local home improvement store staff, you can shield your attic from harsh weather.

Safe Summer Fun

During the summer, children take advantage of the many fun activities that’s offered in the Carolinas, such as the beach, pools and other outdoor activities. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and your homeowners association recommends that parents and guardians take action to keep their children safe during both structured and unstructured summer activities. The first step is to talk to your children.

Here are a few things your kids need to know:

  • Ÿ Whom to call and where to go in case of an emergency.
  • Ÿ Neighborhood boundaries and whose homes they may visit.
  • Ÿ Their full name, address and telephone number.
  • Ÿ Their curfew, and to call you if they will be late.
  • Ÿ To keep doors locked at all times and not open the door if they are home alone.
  • Ÿ Not to approach a vehicle or accept a ride from anyone without your permission.
  • Ÿ To avoid pools and other bodies of water without adult supervision.

Parents also should remember to:

  • Ÿ Supervise children at malls, movies, arcades and parks.
  • Ÿ Choose and screen babysitters wisely and with care.
  • Ÿ Investigate day care centers and recreational camps thoroughly before enrolling your children.
  • Ÿ Always listen to your children.

For more information, visit The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s website at

Tips for Safe Swimming

Nothing says summer vacation like warm days in the Carolinas spent at the pool or a quick weekend retreat to Myrtle Beach. Whether you’re jumping waves in the ocean in Charleston or splashing around in a pool, these tips from the Federal Citizen Information Center will help keep you and your family safe this summer:

ŸTeach your kids to swim. Giving your kids the basic water skills they need will help keep them safe. Check for swimming lessons in your area on

ŸCheck your drains. If you have your own pool, make sure your drains meet safety standards. Drains that don’t could catch children’s hair or limbs and pull them with great force to the pool’s bottom.

ŸKeep an eye on your kids. With lots of kids splashing around in public pools, it’s easy for someone to get dunked by accident. Know where your kids are at all times, that way if you see them go under you can make sure they come right back up.

ŸPlay it safe in the lake. Lake water can be murky, making it hard to see what hides below the surface. Wear water shoes to protect your feet from sharp rocks or other debris. Avoid swimming too far from shore. You may not realize how far you’ve gone until you try to stand and can’t find the bottom.

ŸRemember to not panic in a riptide. Before you or your kids go in the ocean, make sure you all know what to do if you get caught in a riptide. Try to swim parallel to the shore. Don’t fight your way directly back to the beach, but swim sideways until you are out of the current. Wave for a lifeguard to help get you back to shore safely.

Playing in the water should be a fun family summer activity. With the proper safeguards, your family can stay safe while cooling off. For more ideas on water safety, visit The Federal Citizen Information Center’s website at