Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Disaster Preparation Tips For Families: Navigating Power Outages

Whether caused by heavy winds, electricity overloads or a disaster of some sort, downed power lines are an inconvenience that cuts off energy sources to households for, sometimes, an extended time. In certain situations, power outages can be a safety risk to your family, as well. If you live in an area that is prone to power loss or just want to prepare for an occasional crisis, the following information is beneficial for your household members to learn and remember.

Educate your kids about electricity in advance: To help alleviate your children's fears about electrical outages, explain how power restoration works. Ask if local schools and power companies participate in power and electricity education with resources programs designed to teach children about electricity and its related issues.

Keep backup energy sources on hand: Emergency electrical sources, including battery packs and outdoor generators, are ideal to have in the event of a power outage. Ensure that you have a cellular phone charged and ready. A wood-burning stove is also something to consider as an extra heat source.

Protect your home against carbon monoxide emissions: Breathing in carbon monoxide can be fatal so, if you are experiencing a power-related disaster, refrain from using grilling devices, propane heaters, gas ovens or any other energy source that emits carbon monoxide indoors. Burning candles is generally safe if your home has plenty of ventilation and you don’t leave them unattended.

Follow food-safety guidelines: You can take several steps to prevent your perishable food from spoiling during a power outage. Freeze containers of water in advance, and use these to chill food during the crisis. Also, be sure to keep your freezer and refrigerator doors shut as tightly as possible.

Have a plan to check on friends and family: Share your preparation tips with friends, family members and neighbors in order to ensure that they will also stay safe when power lines go down. Remind others to keep a cellular or handset phone available so that you are able to check in during a disaster.

Turn electrical sources off: While the power is out, conserve energy by turning most appliance and light switches to the “off” position. Exceptions include the freezer and refrigerator: You want to preserve the food and you have one light source to signal that your home's power has returned.

Ensure that you can enter your home and car without power: If you are accustomed to entering and leaving your home through an electric garage door, then you should establish the habit of carrying an emergency door key at all times. This also applies to your vehicle in the event that you need to drive during a power outage.

Keep your gas tank full: Make it a practice to keep your gas tank at least half-full at all times if you live in an area that experiences frequent power loss. Remember that gas pumps will not be in operation when an electrical crisis is underway.

MNLF: Marwan still alive

Zulkifli Abdhir alias “Marwan” is still alive according to the spokesman of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) spokesman. Marwan and Basit Usman, a Jemaah Islamiyah bomb-making expert, were the subjects of the bloody police operation in Tukanalipao village in Mamasapano. But MNLF spokesman Emmanuel Fontanilla said Marwan wasn’t even in Mamasapano but actually in Lanao.

Both Marwan and Usman are said to be top members of international terror group Jemaah Islamiyah and the United States has offered a $5 million reward for him, while a $1 million reward has been posted for Usman.

Where's Marwan's body?
No info on Marwan's whereabouts: Iqbal
Marwan alive has serious implications: Trillanes

Pacquiao met Mayweather at NBA

Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao and rival Floyd Mayweather Jr. met and exchanged numbers when they met each other at an NBA game. Both were at the courtside when the Miami Heat hosted the Milwaukee Bucks at the American Airlines Arena. The boxers who are in the midst of negotiations for a May 2 fight were introduced on the arena’s big screen with a video board read “Coming on 2015?”

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

How to Help Disadvantaged Children in Your Own Neighborhood

More than 22 percent of all children in the United States live in families below the federal poverty level. Children living in poverty are disadvantaged from the start. Poor families are typically unable to provide proper nutrition for physical and mental health and often cannot afford medical services to keep children fit. Children who live in impoverished areas are less likely to be exposed to books and early learning than children in higher economic regions. Research shows that giving poor children access to the right food and educational experiences can change the cycle of persistent poverty. There are ways you can help children in your own neighborhood overcome the tremendous obstacles they face and get on track to break the cycle and live full and happy lives.
Feeding Little Bodies to Help Them Grow Strong
Children who don’t get enough to eat struggle in every aspect of their lives. Learning and cognitive skills are impaired and their immune systems are weakened, leaving them vulnerable to chronic illnesses. One of the best ways to improve the lives of poor children is by making sure they get enough nutritious food. Local food banks and homeless shelters are often primary sources of food for poor families. Donating food is an excellent way to help. Unfortunately, many food donations are obvious rejects from the donator’s cabinet.
Here are some tips to remember when donating food to make sure your donations do the most good:
  • Donate non-cook food: Items like tuna, peanut butter, canned meats, canned fruit and granola bars are ideal for families that may not have a way to cook.
  • Watch the packaging: Donated food should be in its original packaging. Do not donate items contained in glass. Easy open packaging, such as pouches or canned foods with pull-top lids, is preferred.
  • Consider the nutritional value: Low sugar, fat and salt content and whole grain types of items are healthier than junk food.
  • Consider the shelf life: Foods like soup, pasta, spaghetti sauce, crackers and cereal all have long shelf lives and can be used as needed.
Do not donate bulging or dented cans, expired items, home canned goods or open packages. Never donate anything you would not eat yourself.
Another way to help is to volunteer your time. Contact the homeless shelters and food banks in your area to find out what kind of help they need and spend a few hours a week volunteering your time. Monetary donations are also welcome.
Research shows that the influence of a supportive adult in the lives of at risk children is the key to protecting them from repeating the cycle of economic poverty. One of the most well-known mentoring organizations in the United States is Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Big Brothers Big Sisters has over 340 agencies across the nation, serving approximately 200,000 children and their families. The organization’s mission is to provide children facing adversity, many from single parent homes with fathers or mothers who are incarcerated, in the military or otherwise not involved in their lives, with an adult role model and mentor dedicated to changing their lives for the better.
A study conducted by Public/Private Ventures, an independent national research organization, found that after spending 18 months in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, children were less likely to use drugs and alcohol, less likely to skip a class or school day and less likely to resort to violent behavior than their non-participating counterparts. They also performed better in school, reported more self-confidence and got along better with other family members.
Mentoring organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters work because they give a child the chance to experience everyday activities like going to movies, sightseeing, attending sporting events and just hanging out with a caring adult who supports them. Many pairings result in lifelong friendships.
Children in the lower economic brackets don’t always get the solid academic foundation they need to succeed in school and, tragically, most never catch up. Children who receive supplemental instruction from tutors, either on a one-on-one basis or as part of a small group, however, show significant academic improvement and often carve out a path for school and career success. If you have expertise in a specific field, tutoring is a great way to help disadvantaged children in your neighborhood.
If you don’t have a specific field of knowledge, you can still help. The volunteer reader program administered by the United Way is designed to assist children between kindergarten and third grade acquire reading and comprehension skills. Volunteers read stories, ask questions to encourage understanding and help students learn to read on their own.
Check with the schools in your area about existing tutoring and reading programs already in place or contact the United Way for more information about their programs.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

2015 Fiesta of the Black Nazarene

Feast of the Black Nazarene

The Black Nazarene (Spanish: El Nazareno Negro), (Filipino: Poóng Itím na Nazareno), is a holy life-sized iconic statue of Jesus Christ carrying the cross to Calvary Hill in the Philippines. It displays one of the stations of the cross during the journey of His crucifixion. The image is one of two statues sculpted from pure ivory and were burnt aboard a ship during the Manila galleon expedition from Mexico leaving the other destroyed. The descriptive name of the sculpture is then taken it being "Black" resulting from the incident that happened. The older and more popular copy belonging to the Recollects was destroyed in the Second World War during the Liberation of Manila in 1945. Originally both of fair complexion referring to the natural skin tone of Jesus Christ as an impression of the artist. The statue is well-renowned in the Philippines and is believed to be miraculous and a religious pilgrimage to many Filipino Catholics.

The Black Nazarene is currently in its resting place at the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene (Basilika Minor ng Itim na Nazareno)(colloquially known as the "Quiapo Church"). In honour of the statue, the image is carried and brought around the streets of Manila as an event of the "Fiesta of the Black Nazarene" (Pista ng Itim na Nazareno) displaying the importance of the Holy Stations of the Cross. The event is removed from public procession from its home basilica on two of three annual occasions on New Year's Day, Good Friday and is only currently being held on January 9 of its first novena feast. The January 9 feast was chosen as a date for the original transfer in 1787, the ninth day after New Year's Day and an enshrinement in the present Basilica is commemorated. The event is attended by millions of devotees that crowd the streets of processional route.

Parish Church of Quiapo
Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Blessed & Prosperous 2015

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