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Putting Together Your Hurricane Preparedness Kit

Hurricane season is upon us once again, and though the season has been relatively quiet so far, there’s no time like the present to prepare for the next big storm. Even though we usually receive plenty of advance notice when a tropical storm or hurricane makes its way toward the South Carolina coast, it’s important to be prepared ahead of time. The fact is while safety experts advise that we should always have an emergency kit put together for unexpected occurrences, many people don’t even have a basic first aid kit set aside for accidents. You might think that it’ll be simple to put together a kit when a hurricane threatens our coast, but the fact is that a lot of other people will be scrambling to do the same thing. That means stores sell out quickly when it comes to survival items like bottled water, canned foods, batteries, flashlights, and first aid items. To ensure your safety and self-sufficiency during and after a hurricane, it’s best to put together a hurricane preparedness kit now. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of the things we think are most important to have on hand in the event of hurricane weather.

Immediate Needs

  • Water—one gallon per person, per day, for at least three days
  • Food—at least a three-day supply of non-perishable items
  • Manual can opener
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Prescription medications
  • Formula and diapers for infants
  • Pet food and extra water
  • Personal hygiene items

Other

  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio
  • NOAA weather radio
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches and candles in a waterproof container
  • Documents such as ID’s, insurance policies, and bank account information
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape
  • Cell phone with battery charger, solar charger, or power inverter
  • Cash
  • Garbage bags
  • Moist towelettes and/or hand sanitizer
  • Sleeping bag or blanket for each person
  • Local maps
  • Activities for children (books, games, puzzles, etc.)

What other items do you think are imperative for a hurricane preparedness kit? Let us know in the comments section!

Friday Five // June 26, 2015

Lowcountry summers bring oodles of options for weekend activities. Need a few hints? We've gathered five events for you to choose from. Check them out below.

Holy City Brewing hosts Rhythm on Canvas on Friday night from 6-9pm. Dancers will create what promises to be a beautiful work of art through movement with charcoal on canvas. The event begins at 7pm and is open to the public with a suggested donation at the door to benefit the American Lung Association in South Carolina: Coastal. There will be live music, a silent auction, and other interactive activities.

Beginning Friday, June 26th, an all-star cast and band will celebrate the great American songwriter and showman Jonny Cash in Red, White, & Cash. This "feel good musical celebration" will be performed at the Woolfe Street Playhouse and will run through July 3rd.

Join the folks at Mixson Market on Saturday from 10am-3pm for the 3rd annual Tomayto Tomahto Festival. At this celebration of the tomato harvest, local chefs will prepare their best salsa for the Hot Chef Salsa Smackdown. The public is also invited to bring their best tomato pie for a contest that will be judged by celebrity guests. 

Miles for Missions: Charity Ride & Pig Pickin' will take place this Saturday, June 27th, in Summerville. The 100-mile ride and following pig pickin' will benefit Azar Missions, which supports women in recovery in the Lowcountry. This year's recipient is Magdalene House of Charleston. Registration for the ride begins at 8am at Coastal Coffee Roasters with the ride starting at 9am. The ride concludes at Doty Park, where the family-friendly pig pickin' will be open to the public at 1pm. There will be a shaved ice truck, horseshoes, prize drawings, and more!

Bay Street Biergarten presents the Chucktown Bike Down on Sunday, June 28th, from 2-6pm. Pick up your "passport" and get it stamped at the Palace Hotel, the Alley, HoM, and Bay Street Biergarten to be in the running for a custom New Belgium bike. Hit all three venues and be back by 5pm to be entered. Other competitions will take place at each location along with drink specials and raffles.

 

Choose Your Words Carefully

The words you use in your listing descriptions can send messages you didn't intend - ones that can either increase or reduce the closing price. Finding the words to vividly but accurately tell the story of each home can attract more buyers and close more sales.

Effective Listing Description

 Words There's Just No Getting Around

Sometimes there are words you have to use in a listing description to avoid misrepresenting the property or because there is no other way to describe it. In these cases, you might simply state that it needs work - or you can be forthcoming with the more unfortunate details. You might even take a tongue-in-cheek approach to the worst features, for example, by saying the lack of off-street parking makes the home "visitor repellant".

Effective Listing Description PART 2

 

 

Preparing Your Home for Hot Weather

As warm weather rolls across most of the country, it's time to start thinking about how to protect and care for your home when the mercury soars. What can you do to ensure the summer sun doesn't cause damage to your home?

 

Heat stays out, cool stays in.

That's the general idea, right? Check the weather stripping around doors and windows to make sure you don't have a leak where your air conditioning can escape. This is a good time to assess the state of your insulation as well. Many power companies also offer home energy-efficiency assessments - often at no cost - to help you pinpoint places where the heat is creeping in, and often they'll supply solutions too.

 

Perform an A/C checkup.

Don't wait until you really need the air conditioning to make sure it's working properly! If something goes wrong at the height of summer, it could be weeks before repairs can be made. Replace your HVAC unit's filters, and consider having your air ducts and vents cleaned out and the seals checked.

 

Turn it around.

Your ceiling fan, that is: Many types have a way to reverse the direction they spin. In summer, the blades should rotate counterclockwise in order to maximize the fan's beneficial effect on your home's temperature.

 

Scout the perimeter.

Most people spend more time outdoors when temperatures rise. Check the boundaries of your property for damage to fences, security lights, and gate locks. Clear away any long grass that may have grown up next to fences as they can harbor fleas and ticks. Reset timers on sprinklers and outdoor lights in consideration of the longer hours of daylight.

 

Paint: It's not just for looks.

Although we generally think of a new coat of paint as a cosmetic indulgence, it actually helps to protect the home from the effects of strong heat and sun. While you're at it, check the deck to see if it needs a fresh coat of sealant as well. Washing the windows will ensure you can enjoy the summer sunshine. And speaking of windows, check screens and shutters for damage too.

 

Prepare to party.

If you love to entertain outdoors, or you want to live off barbecue for the next few months, your summer fun equipment will need a good once-over. Hose down patio furniture and check cushions to see if they would benefit from a good wash and a chance to dry in the fresh air or if they'll need to be replaced. Clean off the bbq and fill the propane tank (or stock up on briquettes).

 

Scale the heights.

Before it gets too hot, an inspection of the roof and attic is a great idea. Check outside for missing shingles or other signs of damage. Trim back tree branches that could be used by local critters as stepping stones to get onto and then under your roof. Check out the gutters while you're up there too. Then head inside to examine the attic for leaks, holes, and signs of animal trespass.

 

We may think of summer as a time for vacations, but we never really get a vacation from taking care of our homes. I hope these tips help you have an enjoyable summer!

Charleston Real Estate Continues to Climb

May was yet another fantastic month for the Charleston real estate market. A total of 1,457 homes sold in the Charleston Trident area last month at a median price of $235,000. 

6,209 homes have sold year to date—19% more than 2014. The median price rose by 2%, making the 2015 YTD median price $220,000. Inventory is also up to 5,855. All in all, the Lowcountry is still seeing steady, sustainable growth. 

Breakdown by County:

 Berkeley County

homes sold: 337

median price: $202,726

 

Charleston County

homes sold: 815

median price: $287,100

 

Dorchester County:

homes sold: 246

median price: $194,950

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A friend of ours who recently bought a house enthusiastically referred us to Johnson & Wilson. Our friend's recommendation was top notch - Johnson & Wilson. is AWESOME! - Brian
 
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