Why Get Your Flu Shot and other Facts

It’s never too early to start preparing for flu season, and that’s exactly what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging Americans to get their vaccines for the 2018-19 flu season by the end of October. Last year, seasonal influenza hit epidemic levels for 16 straight weeks and more than 700,000 people were hospitalized.

Everyone over 6 months old should get a flu shot. Children under the age of 5, adults over the age of 50, anyone pregnant, and those with chronic health conditions are especially at risk for severe influenza infection.

People should know that the flu shot can’t cause a person to get the flu. This has been demonstrated in several randomized controlled trials, said Dr. Judy Tung, an internal medicine physician at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. “Part of the reason why the flu shot is never 100 percent effective is because the flu virus is tricky and undergoes antigenic drifts (or genetic changes) all the time, forcing us to try to keep pace with these changes with annual vaccine updates. Drifts can happen within a season which renders the vaccine less than effective,” she explained. CDC announcement stated that this season’s vaccines have been updated to better match circulating viruses. Last year’s vaccine was not well matched, reducing the effectiveness to about 36%. Another perk to getting a flu shot, even if you’re not at high risk for the flu, is that it protects you and the people around you.

Source: www.healthline.com

Manufactured Housing Educational Trust Takes Position to Oppose Proposition 10 Statewide Ballot Measure

The Manufactured Housing Educational Trust is a non-profit trade association of mobile home communities.  It is dedicated to promoting mobile home parks and the manufactured housing industry.   At a recent meeting the organization took a position to oppose Proposition 10, which will be on the November 6, 2018 ballot.

While the proposition does not directly impact mobile home parks and manufactured housing communities, it impacts housing costs and availability, which is very important to all Californians.  Included among the reasons the Manufactured Housing Educational Trust is opposing Proposition 10 are that it will drive up the cost of existing housing, it exposes taxpayers to the risk of millions in legal costs and it adds tens of millions in new costs to local government.


Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Kills

Every year, over 400 people die in the U.S. from accidental carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.  Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas, which can cause sudden illness and death.  It is produced any time a fossil fuel is burned including natural gas or propane.

Carbon Monoxide poisoning is entirely preventable. First, install a CO detector in your mobile home in a central location.  They are relatively inexpensive, but you do need to check the batteries every six months or so,

Below are additional steps on how to recognize and prevent CO poisoning:

  1. The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion. People who are sleeping or who have been drinking alcohol can die from CO poisoning before ever having symptoms.
  2. Never leave the motor running in a vehicle parked in an enclosed or partially enclosed space, such as a garage.
  3. Never use a charcoal grill, hibachi, lantern or portable camping stove inside your mobile home, RV or tent.
  4. If you suspect CO poisoning, call 911 or a health care professional right away.

Sources: Center for Disease Control and Prevention

National Center for Environmental Health



Being Water Wise in Drought Conditions

In beautiful sunny California, drought conditions are all too familiar.  Here are some water saving tips to help us conserve as much water as we can:

LaundryWhen doing laundry, always wash full loads or adjust the load size if you have a more modern efficient machine.  Conventional washers built before 2011 typically use about 40 gallons per load; resource-efficient washer may use as little as 15 gallons per load.

DishwashingIf washing dishes by hand, fill the sink with water rather than continually running the tap.  If possible, Install an efficient dishwasher. Selecting a new dishwasher that uses less water per cycle will reduce household water use.  Dishwashers use less water than handwashing, particularly if you limit pre-rinsing. Only wash full loads of dishes in the dishwasher

FaucetsFind and fix any leaky faucets.  A faucet leaking 60 drops per minute will waste 192 gallons per month, that it is equal to 2,304 gallons per year.   And, remember, turn off the faucet when lathering hands, shaving, or brushing teeth.

LandscapingIf an irrigation system is used, make sure it is properly set up and maintained.  Use native plants or plants that require little water to thrive in your region.  Keep soil healthy and add mulch to prevent water loss through evaporation.  If watering with a hose, make sure it has a shut-off nozzle.  Water in the morning to prevent water loss due to evaporation. Never let the water run from your landscaping and under your mobile home.  It is important to keep the area under you home dry if at all possible.

ShowersIf it takes a long time for hot water to reach the shower, use it as an opportunity to collect water for other uses, such as watering house plants.  Take Shorter Showers.  Reducing a 10-minute shower to 5 minutes will save 12.5 gallons of water if the showerhead has a flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute (even more if the showerhead has a higher flow rate).

ToiletsReplace toilets installed before 1992 with High Efficiency Toilets.  Some older toilets may use as much as 7 gallons per flush.   Check toilets to verify they are working properly.  A running toilet can waste hundreds of gallons of water per day.

Source:  www.home-water-works.org


Health Experts Warn About the Dangers of Ash

Wildfires are burning throughout California, and health officials are warning residents in burn areas to take precautions when cleaning up ash that has fallen on to their property.  Depending on where the ash comes from, it can be toxic.

Ash from burned homes may contain more toxic substances than forest fire ash because synthetic materials such as metal, chemicals and asbestos are present.  If this ash is breathed in or touched with wet skin, it can enter the bloodstream and cause major health problems.  Wet ash can also cause chemical burns.

Public health officials said residents should not clean up ash while it is still falling. Once it is safe to clean up, ash should be moistened before it is wiped or swept up to avoid stirring up harmful dust.  Also, wiping dry ash from a vehicle can scratch the paint.

If you have to clean up ash, wear a well-fitting dust mask to avoid breathing in particles, and wear gloves, a long sleeve shirt and pants to avoid skin contact.  If you do get ash on your skin, wash it off as soon as possible.

Sources: OC Register and the California Air Resource Board

Volcanoes and California

The recent volcanic activity in Hawaii should alert Californians to be prepared for disasters.  Although most Californians are not aware, there are seven active volcanoes that pose a threat to California.   The probability of an eruption is unknown, but the likelihood of a major earthquake is always a threat.

The seven active volcanoes in California consist of two threat levels:  “Very High” and  “High”.  Three volcanoes in Northern California are in the “Very High” range, and four are in the “High” range; two in Northern California, one in Central California and one in Southern California by the Salton Sea.

Volcanic eruptions will occur in California in the future, and the one thing these eruptions have in common with earthquakes are short warning times.  We need to always be prepared, and have the following items stored in a disaster preparedness kit:

  1. Water: One gallon per person per day
  2. Food, for at least 3 days
  3. Radio
  4. Flashlights
  5. First aid kit
  6. Extra batteries
  7. Whistle
  8. Dust mask
  9. Wipes or toilettes
  10. Wrench or pliers
  11. Can opener
  12. Cell phone

In the event of a disaster or emergency, it is your responsibility as a homeowner and mobile home park resident to be prepared  to take care of yourself and your family.   If you or someone in your family requires electricity for life support equipment, be sure you have a back up generator available as well.

Sources:  www.OCRegister.com        www.sandiegouniontribune.com

CARE and FERA Can Reduce Your Monthly Energy Bills!!

The California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) and the Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) programs, provide discounts for income-qualified customers.

The CARE program provides a discount of approximately 30 percent on monthly electric bills for eligible customers. And the FERA program gives a reduced monthly discount for income-qualified households of three or more based on energy usage. Rates are structured by the California Public Utilities Commission.

Two Ways to Find Out if You Qualify

Option 1: Public Assistance Programs

You can qualify for CARE if you or someone in your home participates in at least one of these public assistance programs:

  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
  • CalFresh/SNAP (Food Stamps)
  • CalWorks (TANF)/Tribal TANF
  • Head Start Income Eligible (Tribal Only)
  • Medi-Cal/Medicaid
  • Medi-Cal for Families (Healthy Families A&B)
  • National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • WIC

Option 2: Household Income

You can also qualify for CARE or FERA if you meet the low-income requirements.

Please contact your community manager for more information and an application.  Your electric and gas utility provider will also have information on these programs.

Source:  www.sce.com



Keeping Your Mobilehome Safe While You Are on Vacation

While there are a few instances where no amount of preparation can prevent a break in, with a few simple steps, you can lower your home’s risk of being targeted by burglars while you are away, or on vacation.

First, ask someone to keep an eye on things for you.  A neighbor or family friend work just fine.     You just want to make sure things around your home look normal.

Second, install timers on your electronics.  A dark house for a week straight is a sure sign that someone is on vacation.  By the same token, you don’t want to leave a light on the entire time you are gone.  There is a huge variety of timers on the market that plug right in to an outlet, turning your lights and other electronics on and off at certain times of the day.  Use timers not only on your lamps, but also on your TVs and/or radios.  It is a good idea to create noise, and flickering lights associated with most American homes.

Third, stop the mail.  An overflowing mailbox and a pile of packages on the front door step are clear indications that someone hasn’t been home for a while.  It is very easy to stop your US Postal Service delivery for any amount of time.  The US Postal Service even delivers your mail in a large bundle once you return home.

Fourth, beware of social media. In our very social society, every vacation is instantly shared on the internet for the entire world to see.  Although it is tempting to stream your photos to all of your friends, it also broadcasts to the world that you are not home, and your stuff is ripe for the taking.  If you can, skip the photo posting, checking in and status updates, and wait until you get home to share all of your amazing photos.

Fifth and finally, lock everything!!  While it seems like common sense, be sure to lock every single possible entry to your home, including dead bolts.

Source:  www.artofmanliness.com

Cool Summer Treat Ideas

As the temperature heats up, turn off your ovens and whip up these delicious and simple chilled treats. No-bake or freezer desserts are easy and fun.  From ice cream sandwiches to milkshakes and everything in between, this list has you covered!!!

  1. Ice Cream Pie using your favorite flavor ice cream
  2. Chocolate Brownie Milkshakes
  3. Ice Cream Bars made with fresh fruit or sherbet
  4. Angel Food Cake with Fresh Berries
  5. Peaches with Vanilla Ice Cream
  6. Frozen Sangria
  7. Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches
  8. Frozen Lemonade
  9. Key Lime Pie
  10. Fresh Fruit with Whip Cream

For specific recipes, check out www.cookiesandcups.com. Stay Cool !!

Source:  https://cookiesandcups.com


Keep Summer Bills Low While Staying Cool

Temperatures will be rising this summer, and in some places, it is unbearable without using the air conditioner. Using the AC often will result in high utility bills, but it is also important to keep your home at a tolerable temperature.

If you are looking for ways to stay cool by not using the AC, consider the following methods to keep you cool:

During the day, close your windows and do your best to keep the sunlight from coming into your home. You might be tempted to leave the window open when there’s a breeze, but you won’t benefit from the breeze if it’s warm. In addition, avoid using appliances and lights that generate a lot of heat so that the inside of your home will be lower than outside.

Also think about visiting air conditioned buildings such as your local library or mall. Some malls have indoor playgrounds for kids which is a nice alternative to playing outdoors.

Finally, try to avoid using your stove or turning your oven on, and use a fan to circulate air throughout your home.

Source:  www.southerncaliforniaedison.com