“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt
I was raised in Michigan and in 1996, after spending over thirty years living in several other parts of the United States, returned home to live out the rest of my “Golden” years. The weather is not perfect here, but we haven’t experienced any real natural disasters lately. We do have an occasional tornado, but so far, I haven’t experienced one of those, and I’ll die happy without experiencing one.
We should all be prepared for the worst. One of the things we can do right now is protect some of our records in case a natural disaster does pay a visit to our own community. Here are some suggestions:
- Key documents – These may include recent tax returns, Social Security cards, birth certificates, deeds, insurance policies and medical records. These type of documents should be kept in a waterproof/fireproof container in a secure location. You might want to make copies and store the digitized files on a portable external hard drive in a safe deposit box or entrust them to someone in a different location.
- Records of your valuables – You should compile a list of your art, collectibles, or other valuable personal property, and have photos or videos to catalog the items. These will help support your claims for insurance proceeds or even a tax deduction.
- IRS tax relief – Following a declaration of a disaster zone by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the IRS frequently postpones tax filing and payment deadlines. If you are in a federal disaster zone, or not in a covered disaster area, but are impacted by a specific disaster, you may qualify for relief. For more information on this, go to IRS.gov and check out the IRS Disaster Relief page.
I recently mentioned things we all might do wrong when using our outdoor grill. You “Kings of the Grill” might want to make note of a few more I came across:
- We don’t refrigerate food soon enough. Raw meat, poultry and seafood needs to be kept refrigerated below 40 degrees Fahrenheit until just before being placed on the grill. Germs can start to multiply once the internal temperature rises above 40 degrees. Leftovers should be refrigerated or frozen within two hours of cooking. If it’s a hot day with temperatures above 90 degrees outside, food should be refrigerated or frozen within one hour of cooking.
- Charred meat. According to the National Cancer Institute, consuming muscle meat, including beef, pork, poultry and fish that has been prepared using high heat or smoke can increase cancer risks. Potentially harmful chemicals are formed when substances inside the meat react to the high heat, flames and smoke. To reduce the risks, avoid prolonged cooking at high heat. Perhaps you could use a microwave and precook meat prior to grilling, then continuously turn the meat when its being cooked over a high-heat source, then remove the charred portions prior to eating.
Under-cooking your meat. In general, make sure the meat, including poultry and seafood, are cooked to their recommended safe internal temperatures. Every “Grill King” should own and use a food thermometer.
“Life is sweet, but oh how bitter. To love a gal and then not git ‘er.” -BURMA SHAVE
See you Out and About!
Norm Stutesman lives in Three Rivers. He receives mail at P.O. Box 103 in Three Rivers.