Tips & Tricks for the new iPhone update

niPhone update

The recent release of an update to the new iPhone operating system took many by surprise because the changes are significant. If you have an iPhone, you’ve probably already updated to iOS7. We’ve found some tricks, tips and tools for making the adjustment easier so that you can be sure to access some of the great apps we’ve previously featured.

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It’s Child Passenger Safety Week: Are You Doing It Right?


Sept 15 – 21, 2013 is Child Passenger Safety Week and  Saturday Sept 21, 2013 is National Seat Check Saturday.  Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children 1 to 13 years old. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that three out of four parents do not properly use child restraints – and in 2011, more than a third of children under age 13 who died in passenger vehicle crashes in 2011 were not in car seats or wearing seat belts. Yet research shows that proper use of seats and belts saves lives.

Parents Central offers an interactive guide to finding the right child car safety seat, as well as instructions for properly installing the seat.

Here are some other great tools for parents:

Child car seat inspection station locator – Find a child car seat inspection station nearest you – certified technicians will inspect your child car seat,
in most cases, free of charge – and show you how to correctly install and use it. Search by zip code

Register for recall notices – To ensure you are notified in the event of a recall, be sure to register your car seat.

Child Passenger Safety Laws – Not only is it essential to keep kids safe, it’s also the law. First offense fines for not complying with a state’s child passenger safety laws vary from $10 to $500. Some states also use driver’s license points as an additional penalty for noncompliance. All 50 states require child safety seats for infants and children fitting specific criteria, and all but two states  require booster seats or other appropriate devices for children who have outgrown their child safety seats but are still too small to use an adult seat belt safely.

Consumer Reports offers tips on keeping children safe in cars and is also an excellent source of safety seats and booster seat ratings.

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How to build an emergency kit

September is National Preparedness Month – last week, we posted about emergency apps you could download. This week, it’s all about emergency kits – do you have one? Do you have a good first aid kit?

In terms of emergency disaster preparation, the Red Cross are our “go to” experts. They offer great resources to help you prepare for emergencies, but here’s the trick – you need to make it a priority to take action now. The time to act isn’t during or after an emergency – that’s too late.

After a serious weather event, you may be on your own for a few days and need to have the essentials to survive. Many experts suggest keeping a “grab and go” emergency bag in case you need to evacuate suddenly. Red Cross has a checklist for what you should include in a Survival Kit .

An important part of any survival kit – and a day-to-day household necessity – is  a good first aid kit. When’s the last time you checked yours? Red Cross offers Anatomy of a First Aid Kit .

Red Cross says: Get a Kit.Make a Plan. Be informed. They offer a one-page summary emergency prep checklist of things you should do and steps you should take to be ready.

We don’t usually make purchase recommendations, but if you aren’t up for assembling your own kits, they can be purchased at the Red Cross Store. Purchase Red Cross First Aid kits – there are a variety of options from $3 to $27. You can also get Car First Aid Kits.

You can also purchase Emergency Preparedness products – including Personal Emergency Bags ($20) for “grab and go” to deluxe kits ($95). There are many other items, too, such as emergency radios – “the rechargeable FRX3 emergency radio automatically broadcasts emergency weather alerts for your area, including hurricanes, tornadoes and severe storms.  Set the solar panel in the sun or spin the hand turbine for one minute to get 10-15 minutes of radio and flashlight use.”

Whether you opt to buy or build, don’t put it off. If you can’t do it today, it would be a good family weekend project!


Apps that could help save your life in an emergency

If you had to evacuate your home in the next hour or two, would you know what to do? An hour or two gives you a bit of a head start – often, people caught in emergencies have less time to prepare than that. September is National Preparedness Month – during the month, we’ll offer a few suggestions for preparing for the unexpected. Today, we’ll highlight a few apps that might help in the event of an emergency.

Smartphone with cloud of icons

The FEMA App (smartphone app for mobile devices) contains disaster safety tips, an interactive emergency kit list, emergency meeting location information, and a map with open shelters and open FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs). Also has Disaster Reporter feature allowing you to take and submit GPS photo reports of disasters so they can be displayed on a public map for others to view.

Red Cross has a great suite of free emergency apps. These include apps for weather related disasters such as tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, and wildfires , with state-by-state news, tips, and more. They also have apps for first aid and finding shelter in an emergency.

Pocket First Aid and CPR  from the American Heart Association offers quick, concise and clear first aid and CPR instructions from a user’s smartphone that can help a user save a life in the event of an emergency. This is the same app that helped save a life in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. Read the incredible story of Dan Woolley, who survived 65 hours under rubble by using this application