Meteorologists must be feeling a lot of job security these days, given the uptick in severe weather. Even if your geographical location is typically not in the line of severe weather, there are steps every homeowner can and should take. Remember, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.
There’s the obvious – be prepared. Dedicate a section in your pantry for bottled water, canned and freeze-dried food. A three-day supply seems to be the standard. If you have a baby or a senior living with you consider purchasing a small generator. You don’t need a mega power source to plug in the entire house, just something to keep the fridge and microwave going. If you have a sump pump in your basement you may want a generator dedicated for that as well.
BEFORE a disaster strikes is the time to sit down with your insurance company. Most policies do not include flood insurance.
If time is short and the forecast calls for a punishing storm, gather important paperwork, family items and fine-tune your shelter and evacuation route.
While boarding up windows is the go-to home prevention for extreme weather, a number of insurance experts suggest this is futile in the event of a major storm. What is recommended is installing window shutters, roof clips and garage braces. None of these items are cheap. Functional (not decorative) shutters can cost hundreds of dollars. Garage door braces typically run $200. Roof clips are less than a buck, but unless you’re a handyman you’ll want a professional to install them.
Tree care should always be a priority. If you’re unsure about a tree’s health consider hiring an arborist to check it out. Even if a tree is healthy you want to prune it, which allows the wind to pass through the tree without a lot of stress.
If you have outside pets bring them inside. Keep emergency pet supplies (food, water, treats) in the pantry along with your own supplies. A crate can provide a safe place for your pet during the storm. Microchip your pet and keep the contact information UPDATED on the website that monitors your pet.
Make time now to prepare your home, and your family.
Here in the South, outdoor grills don’t get shuttered when Winter arrives. We’re lucky enough to enjoy 365 days of grillin’ time. So, it makes sense to create an outdoor space worthy of that prized grill. And your guests, of course. And, no need to go BIG if that’s not your style. There are many smaller grilling stations that simply make the task that much more enjoyable.
First – The center of all outdoor kitchens is the grill (Duh!). And here you have options:
Finally – Probably the #1 outdoor item, other than the grill, is a TV. Nothing compares to watching the BIG game outdoors with food grilling away. Make sure to plan shade (such as an awning) for the TV, to minimize glare when it’s sunny out.
Has your house gone to the dogs?
No - Then perhaps it’s time!
These handy additions will make any pooch feel extra special, and without breaking the bank.
One of the most functional additions to a home is the dog bath. A great mudroom addition that will keep your pups clean without all the maneuvering. Especially with the extendable shower-head and splash guard, this shower will save pet owners a lot of headaches.
Pooches are curious creatures. Put them in front of a window, and they could be there all day. But there may not always be window of the correct height for your pup. Do you have a tall backyard fence because you need to keep in a large dog? Consider a mid-fence cut out.
Or maybe you have an especially little dog. Windows of normal height can be complicated to get up to without assistance. Add extra light to your home by installing a modern, floor level window.
While there are portable gates, but when it comes to larger dogs, these gates usually fold under the pressure. For persistent dogs, you will need a sturdier, installed gate. Whether it be a pop-out wall gate, a hinge gate, or a dutch door, these barriers will help you divide and restrict rooms in your home.
Install a baseboard drawer to hold your pup’s water and food dish in place. You could even use the cabinet above the drawer to store crunchies, chew toys, and other treats.
Not just for apartment or condo dwellers, the porch potty is a most convenient addition. It's a faux lawn with a draining system that allows your pooch to go when you're stuck at the office.
An Atlanta City Council committee delayed action Tuesday, July 25, on an ordinance setting aside surplus land as affordable housing to get more information on how many city-owned properties might be available.
While the city owns 1,419 parcels that have been deemed surplus, 1,188 are under the purview of the city Public Works, Parks and Recreation or Watershed Management agencies, Katrina Taylor Parks, deputy chief of staff for Mayor Kasim Reed, told the council's Community Development & Human Services Committee.
"Those departments may have some future need associated with these parcels," she said.
Parks asked the committee to postpone a decision on the ordinance to give the city's staff time to perform a "deep dive" analysis to find out how many city-owned properties might be available for use as affordable housing and where those parcels are located.
"We need to honestly know what we have," she said.
Councilman Michael Julian Bond, the ordinance's chief sponsor, asked Parks to expedite the administration's research because Atlanta faces an affordable housing crisis.
"Most of our employees don't live in the city because they can't afford to," Bond said. "We want people who work for the city to live in the city. But that doesn't happen by happenstance. It takes purposeful effort."
Another part of the debate involves where the affordable houses would be built. The surplus sites are said to be located in all council districts. But developers have resisted taking the city’s incentives to build even 20 percent affordability in their housing projects, said Councilmember Cleta Winslow. The result is that the majority of affordable housing projects are located south of I-20.
“I could take some people to NPU-S, where there are not abandoned homes, there are abandoned blocks,” Winslow said. “When you talk about affordable housing, I’ve got affordable housing. I’ve some some abandoned blocks.”
*Portions courtesy of Atlanta Business Chronicle and Saportareport.com
A notice of intent has been issued to nominate the Pratt-Pullman Yard as a landmark site due to its historic, cultural and architectural significance. This is a major move that could preserve the century-old fixture in Kirkwood.
Atlanta Urban Design Commissioner Executive Director Doug Young initiated the nomination and designation process on June 20 for the property, located at 225 Rogers Street, N.E.
A public hearing on the designation went before the Atlanta Urban Design Commission Wednesday, July 12. The commission found the site meets or exceeds specified criteria for designation as a "Landmark District."
The measure will now go through the city’s regular procedure for all zoning papers. That process includes another public hearing before the Zoning Review Board. It must also receive a recommendation from the Zoning Committee and final designation action from the Atlanta City Council.
With the issuance of the notice of intent, an “interim development control period, “ takes effect, meaning no alterations, renovations, additions, new construction, demolition or site work of any kind is permitted on the property for 180 days unless approved by the Office of Design’s Historic Preservation staff.
For years, the site faced an uncertain future, having passed through several ownerships and uses.
“This is a giant leap forward in our quest to preserve such a unique piece of our city’s history,” said District 5 City Councilmember Natalyn Archibong, who represents this historic Kirkwood neighborhood. “I am pleased that a process is underway to allow for the preservation of the buildings at the Pratt-Pullman Yard. Some of the buildings on this property are more than 100 years old and today serve as a testament to Atlanta’s railroading history and to contributions made by African-American workers.”
In 1904, the site began as the home of Pratt Engineering and Machine Company, a parts manufacturer for sugar and fertilizer processing plants. In 1917, the property served as a plant which manufactured munitions used by soldiers in World War I.
In 1922, Chicago-based Pullman Company purchased the property and turned it into a rail car repair station. At the time, the site was a major employer in Atlanta. In a segregated South, Pullman’s Atlanta shop manager began recruiting black workers from local porters and car cleaners. The company became one of the largest employers of African-Americans in the country.
The Pratt-Pullman Yard is comprised of 100,000 square feet of historic buildings and sits on 25.88 acres.
*Contains information from www.atlantaga.gov
The Atlanta City Council has approved an ordinance proposed by Councilmember Natalyn Archibong to impose a citywide 180-day moratorium on the acceptance of any application to remove more than 10 trees on residential zoned parcels of five acres or larger.
During the moratorium period, the city will examine the impact development is having on the city’s tree canopy. The six-month period will also provide an opportunity to develop strategies for increasing and preserving the city’s tree canopy.
The city of Atlanta has a reputation as the “city in a forest” due to its abundance of trees. With 36 percent of the city covered in trees, Atlanta is more densely forested than other cities in the U.S., which average only 27 percent tree coverage. However, a recent tree canopy study conducted by Georgia Tech revealed a shortage of tree canopy in select areas of the city.
In November 2016, the City Council approved the use of a portion of the Tree Trust Fund to be used to procure privately-owned afforested property to be designated in perpetuity as forest land.
“Protecting our old growth forests is vitally important for our city. We are lucky to have several parcels of land throughout the city that have not been disturbed and that play an important role to our eco-system and to our quality of life,” said Archibong in a media statement. “As the result of this moratorium, we will be able to develop an intentional strategy for expanding our tree canopy for the benefit of generations to come.”
*Reprinted from atlantaintownpaper.com
Temperatures really begin to heat up in June -- and that typically marks the end of the planting season. But continue to check out clearance sales for plants as there are often good deals to be had!
Be sure and add organic matter to your soil as you plant -- it will improve your ground over time and help get your new plants off to a great start.
Watch your lettuce and other cool-season vegetables; they tend to bolt, or send up a flowering stalk once it gets hot. Once they bolt, they're usually too bitter to eat. It's probably too hot to sow new lettuce seeds in the sunny garden, but you may be able to get a small crop if you plant in the shade.
Or, replace cool-season vegetables with warm-season crops such as beans, pumpkins, squash, and corn.
Spring-blooming bulbs' foliage should be yellowing. Add the leaves to your compost pile once they have turned yellow and pull out of the ground with no resistance. Don't remove the leaves before this, however -- otherwise your bulbs may not perform as well next year.
If you haven't already mapped out your garden's spring bulb display, do so now. That way you can know exactly what bulbs you'll want to purchase this fall and where to plant them so they'll look good next spring.
Heat-loving summer bulbs are coming into their own. If you haven't planted any yet, get them in the ground now.
Deadhead annuals, perennials, and summer-blooming shrubs to promote additional blooms. This will also prevent them from self-seeding.
Watch for signs of garden pests -- if you catch them early, you can usually keep them from becoming an epidemic that ruins your yard.
Lacebugs are a big problem on azaleas, though you don't usually notice the damage until August or September. But now's the time to attack them. Look at your azalea's leaves for black spots on the bottoms and the black-and-white insects on the leaf tops. Spray with neem oil, insecticidal soap, or a similar product to keep them in check.
Examine junipers, birches, cherry and arborvitae for bagworms and other leaf-eating caterpillars, then treat with Bacillus thuringiensis as needed. Keep an eye out also for aphids and other small sucking insects, as well as whitefly. Spider mites can be treated with pyrethrums, an extract from mums.
Keep an eye out for containers of standing water in your garden -- they may be breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Change the water in your birdbaths daily and use environmentally friendly mosquito-control products.
Finally, this is a good month to take cuttings from the fresh growth of many trees and shrubs, including serviceberry, lemon verbena, chokeberry, angel's trumpet, bougainvillea, butterfly bush, hydrangea, jasmine, dogwood, magnolia, and stewartia.
We'll have the office open during a portion of both Saturday & Sunday for Va. Highland Summerfest. So, if you're walking by, stop in and chat...and grab a cold water! For more info. please visit https://vahi.org/summerfest
Please join us this Thursday, May 11th, from 6 pm - 8 pm for a meet & greet of Atlanta City Council District 6 Candidate Kirk Rich.
Kirk Rich is a native Atlantan and a 25-year resident of Morningside. His combination of real estate experience and service to the community give him a unique perspective on a variety of issues that the city will face over the next four years.
Through his career in commercial real estate, Kirk has provided brokerage and consulting services for commercial and residential properties and has closed more than 3,000 transactions. In addition, he recently concluded a three-year term with Invest Atlanta, an organization focused on strengthening Atlanta’s economy and enhancing its global competitiveness.
Kirk also has a passion for serving the community and as a result sits on a variety of arts, housing and health-oriented nonprofit boards of directors. He has also served as a real estate adviser to Georgia Equality, Families First and the NAMES Project and recently concluded a three-year term as Traffic Chair for the Morningside-Lenox Park Association Board.
According to Kirk, Atlanta has given him a great deal and after three years of involvement with Invest Atlanta, he sees how his skillset would benefit the citizens of District 6 and the rest of the city by serving on the Atlanta City Council.
Light refreshments will be served.
See more @ www.kirkforatlanta.com!