Cleaning Up After Floods or Renovations

Cleaning Up After Floods or Renovations

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When it comes to handling Disaster Preparedness in Washington State there are many things to be prepared for, but one of those things is floods.  When flooding happens it can have a large impact on both community resources and personal property.  It’s one of our missions at Washington Guard to safe guard the person and property of the State of Washington.  Today we will focus on the property, and how to restore and recover from a disaster should one happen.

Recovering from a flood, minor or major, can be very, very difficult.  Often times the damage done cannot be easily recovered from, and may require significant renovations.  Some of the damage done can include the follow:

Flooring/Drywall Damage

Rented Dumpster

A rolloff dumpster can be rented and used to fill with the trash from a renovation.

When a home floods the first thing to get damaged is, obviously, the floor.  Water that saturates the floor fanels can cause it to warp, which even after it dries can cause significant problems and may need to be fully replaced.  The best effort should obviously be taken to stop water from getting to an area where flooring is isntalled (i.e. places other than the basement), but if damage is done, it may be permanent.

Similarly drywall can be significantly damaged and require removal and repair.  Drywall is not made to withstand any real moisture or flooding, so the damage can be very quick.  When needing to renovate and remove drywall, it’s not an easy task, and may require a dumpster rental in order to collect and dispose of all the rubbish.

Mold and Bacterial Damage

When left unattended and untreated a flooded home can quickly lead to problems with mold and other harsh bacteria.  One of the most dangerous of these is the black mold, which can cause respiratory problems for residents if left untreated.

In addition to the medical problems there is also problems with the odor generated by moldy materials.  It can be quite a problem to get the stench out of a home once it becomes entrenched, hence it’s important to nip it in the bud as early as possible.

Basement Flooding

The most common type of flooding is basement flooding.  Many people deal with regular flooding of the basement and do not consider it a big deal or a significant occurrence.  In these cases a simple submersible pump is usually sufficient to get the excess water pumps out of the home and into the nearest sewer system.

When flooding becomes extreme a simple, small sump pump is not sufficient and professional water removal and flood damage experts may be necessary.  Excess water left in the basement for a prolonged period can have a dramatic impact on any wood or non-brick/metal portions of the home.

We hope this little bit of information can help you to recover from some damage done to your home from an unfortunate weather event like a flood or a storm.  For other repairs, such as damaged roofs, consider contacting a local roofer or handyman.  If you aren’t familiar with fixing these areas, don’t try it at home (consult a professional).  If you are in need of any emergency help please reach out to your local authorities and only worry about home damage after your family is safe and secure.




Preparation for Winter in Washington

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Winter in Washington State is a beautiful thing, but heavy storms and adventurous mountain goers have potential for disaster.

Winter in Washington State is a beautiful thing, but heavy storms and adventurous mountain goers have potential for disaster.

While everyone has already gone through a series of heavy winter months in Washington State, we are still preparing for some final weeks.  February is always the most brutal month of winter and as such we’d like to give a few tips as to how to prepare your home, your family and your person.

When and What to Prepare

We have an ongoing program of Disaster Preparedness in Washington State, and one aspect of that is dealing with winter problems.  Taking the right precautions is key for anybody, but especially crucial for anybody that fits any of the following roles:

  • Has a Mountain Home
  • Goes Hiking/Skiing
  • Any Offtrail 4-Wheeling or Other Activities
  • Livings More than 30 Minutes from a City Center

In any of these sitatuions it can become dangerous if a winter storm separates you from civilization.  Food, water, and heating can become problematic in those sitatuions, which makes proper preparation absolutely crucial.  Let’s cover a few of the these in moderate detail:

Food Stocks

While food isn’t as crucial as water or heating, it’s still important in order to maintain a positive attitude.  Having canned foods that are easily opened and eaten can be the difference between a miserable time and a moderately enjoyable time.  Canned and dried foods, while not luxury cuisine, can actually make for some enjoyable snacks and meals.  Consider some of the following:

Dried Fruits and Nuts (Mango and Peaches dry very well)
Canned Soups
Canned Beans (Good source of protein)


Besides heating, water is probably the most important element for holing out a snow storm/loss of power.  Each person should have at least 1/2 gallon of drinking water for each day, and you should add onto that for use in hygiene/etc.

Using that simple math can make preparation easy, just take the number of people in your home, multiple it by the number of days to prepare for (say 7 for good measure) and multiple that by 1/2 gallon.

For a 3 person home, that would be equal to:

3 Persons X 7 days X 0.5 Gallons = 1o.5 Gallons

To be adequately prepared for a week long drought of water supply you should have 10.5 gallons stocked in your home.  This may seem like a lot, but it’s really just 2 five gallon drums, which are available in many supermarkets.


For winter, problems such as hypothermia are much more pressing issues than dehydration or starvation.  Hence taking precautions with your heating situation is crucial.  This usually comes in two forms, proper clothing and proper backup heat sources.

Being prepared with proper clothes is crucial. While many people think they are prepared, actually surviving in the clothes they have is not often ideal (womens winter coats, for example, are often light, these should be supplemented by additional layers or a more winter-ready coat would be on hand).  Making sure you have clothing that is made specifically for prolonged outdoors wear is a necessity.

Trying to heat your home when the power goes out can often be the cause for tragedy if not done correctly.  Carbon monoxide poisoning and a killer during the winter months, as people make the mistake of either blocks a cars exhaust as they sit in it, or having a generator too close to a home (letting fumes into it).  Be sure you take care to not let any fumes accumulate in your home.


C.G. Newman


Military Families Taking on Part Time Work to Make Ends Meet

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military-familyLife for the spouses and extended family members of those serving in our military can be tough. There is the constant fear that your spouse or loved one will not return home. There is the worry about what you will do tomorrow should anything happen. There is the difficulty of living a life alone, without the comfort and joys that your serving military spouse used to bring to your life.

There are many responsible organizations that have taken the initiative towards helping to improve the lives of such individuals. Services provided by such organizations range from personal and professional guidance counseling, open-house talk sessions and group therapy to social networks, book clubs, weekly meetups and more.

In addition to the social and psychological services that these groups provide, there is a growing number of companies and businesses that realize that having your husband or wife serving overseas for months on end can hit you in other places where it hurts, such as in your wallet. These companies are striving to provide appropriate opportunities to the spouses of serving service members and have taken a more and more active approach towards landing military wives jobs.

The type of job that might be offered can vary greatly and can be anything from a writing editor or secretary to an office assistant or administrative clerk.

Although there are many different jobs that military wives in particular can take on, for some, the options are limited. However, people are always there to help, and one place that has taken in many women and has provided jobs for them is a professional house cleaning service in Seattle Washington. There are many companies that are involved in this kind of work, and there are many right here in the Seattle Washington area. They strive to do their part towards taking care of the community and giving back to the people who helped them established themselves over the years.

Such initiatives deliberately look to hire people who may be interested in joining a team of dedicated, experienced professionals. Workers sometimes join full-time, and at other times, part-time. There are almost always no strings to the work, no limits on the work, and workers can work whenever they want to and for as many hours as they like. In return what they get is a friendly environment, the opportunity to learn about home care and cleaning services and about how to give something back to the community.

This opportunity has been taken up by countless military wives who had been faced with the real challenge of not being able to put enough food on the table and who were looking for some extra income.

Because cleaning a house is no small task, cleaning companies often have very detailed lists that cover everything that needs to be cleaned in a house. There are separate checklists for bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms and living areas. Each checklist is separate and unique and endeavors to ensure that every type of cleaning service the client could possibly want is covered.

What’s interesting to note about this is that military wives often have an innate sense of how to do things well with little or no prior learning since living with a military spouse is in itself a form of preparation for the difficult tasks involved with maintaining a home on one’s own. Perfectionism comes easily to them and they already have a great deal of familiarity when it comes to finding out about something that needs to be done, learning how to do it and then executing consistently and effectively with little supervision.

It may not be very well known that military wives can join part-time cleaning services that help them during the service periods of their spouses but it is certainly an initiative that has helped countless women do better for themselves, that too completely on their own.

Branch and Tree Removal is Important for Disaster Preparedness

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That are many different important elements to preparing for potential disaster, and as part of Washington State Disaster Preparedness, Washington Guard has put together some guides on how to best handle preparedness for potential hurricanes, tidal waves, earthquakes and other disasters.  In this guide we will speak about one element that many homeowners and citizens neglect to account for, and that is the potential for fallen trees and branches ones a storm or disaster occurs.

There is no way to fully insure that trees won’t come down in the event of a hurricane or earthquake, perfectly healthy and sturdy trees can still fall victim in the event of a large natural disaster, but there are ways to avoid damage and potential injury during moderate storms or winds via the use of diligent tree removal and branch pruning.

Fallen Tree on Long Island, NY

Fallen Trees present a real danger to person and property. Diligent tree trimming and removal is strongly recommended by citizens.

A common source of injury and property damage is fallen tree limbs and branches.  High winds, rain and snow, or other events like earthquakes, can topple trees at a moments notice.  One way to mitigate some of this damage is to practice diligent tree removal and branch removal on your property and surrounding areas.  There are many experts that will handle tree removal for your private property, as well as many government agencies that are meant to handle it for public parks, streets and areas that affect power lines and other public utilities.

One tree expert from Tree Removal Long Island spoke with us about the importance of homeowner diligence, especially with the risk that hurricanes and other natural disasters pose on the live and property of citizens:

“We saw it in with Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Irene, Long Island was a disaster area.  Even healthy trees came down all over the place.  Weaker trees that should have been taken down and removed years back were sure goners.  Even moderate storms can bring down weak trees and branches, so it’s really important to keep them trimming and pruned back as much as possible”.

Some of the common mistakes that homeowners make:

  • Assuming a tree is healthy.
  • Not servicing overgrown limbs.
  • Not reporting trees that are impinging on power lines.
  • Letting Tree Disease spread throughout the property.

These common mistakes might not have immediate repercussions, but overtime the health and stability of trees and large plant life on your property could be adversely affected by elements such as “tree disease, rot and general weakness/death of the tree”, according to Rhode Island Tree Removal.  Some trees can remain standing for years after they have blossomed their last leaves, and each passing year means they will come closer and closer to collapse.

It is recommended that property and homeowners survey their lands at least once a year to account for any weakened, overgrown or diseases trees and plant life.  You can contract with a professional licensed tree service to get this done on a regular basis.

In addition, citizens are strongly encourages to call in any instances of downed trees, hanging limbs, impinged power lines or any other potentially dangerous situation to the local authorities.

Military Grade Computer Security and Why It’s Important Today

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Military Computers need to be the most secure, especially when containing sensitive data.

Military Computers need to be the most secure, especially when containing sensitive data.

For any website, including our very own, one of the most important things is the security. When it comes to military computers, security is one of the priorities, if not the most important priority. This is to ensure that no one can hack or intrude into the website and cause harm. That is why you need to be very careful when you are designing a military website. You need to take care of each and every security steps. This can be highly beneficial for the website to be safe and secured. If your website is not secured then you need to take some steps that will improve its security.

Technologies To Improve Security

Science has progressed a lot, undoubtedly. Many new technologies have been invented and discovered. With the help of these technologies, everything has progressed a lot, including high powered laptops that are able to process much more than years past. Even in case of military information and website, these modern technologies are used to make sure that the website is fully safe and secured. Military websites contain a lot of information regarding the country’s defense system which needs to be kept secret. Thus a good military computer security is very much important.

Hackers have got highly advanced and skilled nowadays. To match up with them and to stop them, security of the website has to be increased to stop them from intruding into your website. This can be dangerous if they can access all the information of the websites. Thus a proper security is very much important to ensure that your website is safe and secured. A secure military website or computer is very much crucial to safeguard all the data regarding the entire defense system, weapons, plans etc.

How To Choose The Best Security?

In order to choose the best security for a military computer, you need to make sure that you are relying on the best technology. Without a proper and great technology it is not possible. Also make sure you check the trail version to know more about the security. Without a trial version it is not possible to know everything about it.

Another handy tip, is to check the reputation, reviews and feedback of the service. This will give you a proper and clear idea about the effectiveness of the service. Thus you can make the computer fully safe and secured. You can also ask for the quotes from each of the web design experts to know more about the security policies and how it will work for you. Thus you can get a lot of information about this. So, do your research properly before taking a decision.

No doubt, military computer security is very important. Thus you have to be very much conscious about each and every step that you take. You need to know that the military or the defense system on the country is the base or foundation of it. If it is affected or attacked then the whole county is at risk. Thus you need to be utmost careful about it.

From Our Design Staff – Designing a Military Website

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When it comes to Government or Military website, you have to keep certain things in mind. You cannot go for flashy or stylish websites that people generally choose for other purposes. You need to keep them simple and minimalist. At the same time you have to keep in mind that it has to be user friendly so that people can easily navigate and full of essential information. But that does not mean you cannot make the website nice and good looking. Here are some of the points that you need to remember when you are looking for a design for military service.

#1: Templates Are Important

When you are choosing a website design for your military website, you have to keep to keep it simple. So, thus you need to look for the templates which are really great in looks as well as simple. There are many designs which are specialized for the military website. This can give you the best of the website. The design is the base of your website. If it is not up to the mark then, people will not like it at all.

#2: Easy To Use And Navigate

When you are choosing the best website design for military website, you have to keep in mind that the website is easy to use. You need to make it easy to navigate as well as informative. Make sure that the website has different blocks or columns which are allotted for different sections of information. Each of those sections should have proper information for the website. This is something very important.

#3: Pictures and Illustrations

When you are creating a website you need to know that picture and illustrations play a very important part. You can of course select the best design which gives you scopes to upload pictures. These pictures will help you to communicate with your clients properly. Thus you will get a lot of responses and feedbacks too.

How To Choose The Best Designer?

While choosing the best website designer for any government or military website, you need to look for experienced and skilled specialized designers. The designers who are meant for the designing of the websites related to military. Then you will undoubtedly get the best design for military or government websites you are creating. You also have to check out the past records and samples to get a good example. Reputation also very much important and you can know more about that from the feedback and reviews provided by the clients.


So, if you are choosing the best design for military website you need to keep all these above things in mind. If you search for the best service for web designing based on these, then you will surely get the best and the most reliable web designing company for yourself. A good website should have a proper design and all the essential information. Both of these go hand in hand. And thus, you need to keep in mind that you have to choose the best design.

Military Men and Women on Leave, Leave a Promise at Home

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Promise rings have been around for a long time. In this regard, there are many myths that surround the idea of giving these types of rings. It is critical to dispel the myths but at the same time understand why military men on leave will want to get a hold of a good ring for their girlfriend or partner. First though, what is the difference between these rings and engagement rings? Below is an insight into some of the elements that come to play in this respect.

Military men mainly use them to keep a promise and as a reminder of love, trust and commitment. The good news is that these rings are widely available in the market. Military men on leave can shop from the comfort of their space online and choose something suitable for their loved ones. Many rings are also affordable and depending on the budget you wish to spend, you will find specialist sites that provide you with the desired variety. Military men on leave can surprise their girlfriends or partners and there is noting more thoughtful than this. It keeps romance alive and boosts morale to tackle different field challenges for survival for military personnel.

Promise rings for men (and women, of course) are used to convey or deliver a message, a commitment. In the military, promises are critical because the nature of work can mean life or death. In this regard, every service man who has a special person in their lives will want to express their commitment and love and through this ring; this message is conveyed. In addition, a military man can reassure their partner that they will come back and live happily together after serving in their designated locations. Promises are excellent to hold on to and many military men have been able to fight and survive in the battle field to keep the promise they made to their partners.promise-rings

Rings that are given to convey a promise do not necessarily mean that marriage is around the corner. This is a myth that has formed over the years. These rings can simply symbolize a lasting commitment to love without necessarily having marriage in the picture. In fact, these rings enable military men who are not ready for marriage to cement their relationships and keep the flame of passion burning. Long term relationships based on commitment and trust is what these rings reinforce.

Unlike what people think, these rings are not just for teenagers. Although teenagers can use them for different symbolism, many young adults and older people alike will use the rings to achieve the desired results in their relationships. In the military, it really does not matter the age of a person because they will utilize the rings to make vital life promises to loved ones. Another element is that these rings can be exchanged by friends. It does not have to be a romantic relationship to give a promise and commit to it. In the military, the rings come in handy to communicate the promises to different types of people and relationships.

Family Programs Mission

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Taking Care of Our Guard Families and Veterans

Need Help?
Call 1-877-585-5655

Washington National Guard
Joint Services Support Directorate (JSS)
Building 3
Camp Murray, WA 98430
24/7 Hotline for all services 1-800-364-7492

The Joint Services Support (JSS) Directorate is designed to be a one-stop center for all Washington Guard Veteran and Family Readiness services.

Headquartered in Building 3 on Camp Murray, with locations at armories all across the state, the JSS is here to help no matter where you are located in Washington State.

The JSS is responsible for Transition Services, State Family Programs and a Resiliency Care Team.

Family Programs, Employment & VA Assistance………..……….……1-800-364-7492
Resiliency Training, Counseling, Suicide Prevention………..……….…..1-877-585-5655
Joint Services Support Front Desk……………………….……….……..253-512-7881
Joint Services Support Employment………………….………………….253-512-8540
Suicide Prevention LIFELINE……………………………………….1-800-273-TALK

Get Connected/Stay Connected
WA Guard Facebook………………………..…
WA Guard Twitter……………………….…… or @Wa_Natl_Guard
WA Guard Website……………………….……….……………
JSS Faceebook……………………………..……………
JSS Twitter…………………………………… or @JSSWA

Family Programs is primarily an Information and Referral Resource.

  • To support Service Member and their Families effectiveness
  • Train to build Family self-reliance
  • Coordination of programs and services that assists Family Members before, during and after deployment.

There are 12 Family Assistance Coordinators (FAC) stationed throughout Washington State in local armories to assist Service Members and their Families with numerous issues.

What FACs do…

  • They are a Federal, State and Local Family/Soldier Resource Center
  • Provide ongoing support for Military Families and outreach
  • Work in conjunction with military units and their commanders in providing necessary support with the Chain of Concern

If you have a question about benefits, resource or financial assistance please contact a local FAC and they will help you. If you don’t know who your FAC is please call this number and we’ll direct you to the right one. 1-800-364-7492.



Credit and Financial Advice From Family Assistance Coordinators

We understand how hard it is to manage your family budget.

We can make it easier for you!

Here’re just a few things we can take care of:

  • financial guidance for your family;
  • assistance with getting military loans,
  • expert advice on improving your credit;
  • special financial support for the poor veteran families;

You will receive all three scores from the major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. This will give you a deeper understanding of your current credit and how it works for your family.

Resources (Updated 2017):

How to Raise Your Credit Scores & Get the Best Interest Rates in 2017

Other Helpful Resources for Military Families publishes several resources on Disaster Preparedness, including information on how to protect your home and valuables.

US Federal Government Releases Web Design Standards

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The Federal Government has recently took up the challenge of documenting an official guide for how federal websites should be designed, structured and presented to the public.  This is a welcome modernization, as many critics have complained over the years over the lack of innovation and modern technical wherewithal of government bureaucracies.  Putting out an official “style guide” gives government websites the potential to be a consistent and enjoyable experience for users.

The guide comes from a relatively new government website,  It stands, apparently, for “Chief Information Officer” and is a nod to the title held by executive level computer professionals.  The site, as a whole, works to cover the changes in technology of the federal government.  A new section, however, has been added that gives a style guide to all of the federal government.

Some of the principles of the guides are:

“Make the best thing the easiest thing” – This is a standard in web design that is sometimes called the “priority of clarity”.  That is, if nothing else, the goal of design is to make things clear to the user.  Confusion is a failure of design.

“Accessibility out of the box” – Accessibility is making websites easily usable by people with disabilities.  Many people use the web with things like “Text to speech” readers, or require sub-titles/closed captions on videos.  “Making the web accessible to all users should be a priority of all web designers, but it often falls through the cracks.” say Tom, owner of MangoMatterMedia, a Brisbane web design agency, “It’s nice to hear that the federal goverment would make disabled accessibility a priority, moreso than standard web designers might”.

“Design for flexibility” – This is obviously necessary since the guide will be covering dozens, if not hundreds, ofunique and different sites.  Using a common style guide among all those sites means that it needs to be flexible enough to make each site unique, but also have commonality that the users will recognize.  This can be done through the creative use of color schemes and various structural design treatments.

“Reuse, reuse, reuse” – Like the old ecological mantra, “reduce, reuse, recycle”, this one is about making the most out of what is already made.  In other words, don’t invent the wheel, when you can reuse one someone has already developed.  The team as researched and reviewed the best practices of many different private and public sector design treatments to come up with something that was exemplified the best of the bunch.

Do you think Washington Guard has met up with the expectations of the style guide?  Or do we have some work to do?


Globalization Created More Need for Multilingual Troops

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Global Interpeters and Translation

Translators and Interpreters are increasingly important in a modern globalized world.

Spanish is the second most commonly used language in the United States. More and more we are seeing advertisements, television commercials, channels and products aimed at the Spanish speaking population. In larger cities such as NYC, San Francisco and others we even see text in Chinese or Japanese, targeting those native speakers. The world is becoming more and more globalized and as such our military and professional personnel need to become more adept at interacting in different languages.

English speaking nations have historically lagged behind other nations in our ability to communicate in different languages, largely because the widespread use of English throughout the world has made it “unnecessary”.  However the recent engagements in Iraq, Afghanistan and others combat areas have made the use of Interpreters and multilingual personnel a very high priority.

Additionally the rise of other nations in the global economic landscape, such as China, Korea and more recently a rebirth of Russia, have given more priority to the need for a multilingual employer base. If not to state the obvious, speaking Spanish is also a priority, as it is by far the second most commonly used language in the United States today.

All this adds up to a need to integrate multilingual communication both in the personnel as well as the technology of our military. For instance, the concept of software localization is of rising importance. It involves taking a given software, website or other technical implementations and making it suitable for use in different locales. Most military grade software has this capability built in, and it is now being expanded to cover civilian, professional and personal software implementations as well.

High tech interpretation software has also been assisted in this progression towards a multilingual environment.  IN fact this is so commonplace now that many of the software implementations needed to translate and interpret other languages on the fly are available to the common public and through common mobile apps.  The rise of “Siri” and other voice activated search engines have made the interpretation of human speech (and transcription of voice to text) a very common thing.  This then can feed the text into a translation engine (similar to Google Translate) and provide a impressive result of on-the-fly interpretation.

Of course these are always somewhat imperfect, even with the incredibly impressive results we have seen from consumer level translation software, the best results come from human beings.  Perhaps at some point in the future we will see software and AI approach the same level of detail as we see with human interpreters and transcribers, but we shall have to wait and see for it.

It is for this reason that interpreters are a common and integral part of the personnel of combat missions on foreign lands.  Software cannot be relied upon in high pressure situations.  However in lower pressure, time insensitive situations, a software solution can provide extremely impressive results.