6 Tips for Safely Evacuating During a Natural Disaster

Natural disasters are a frightening concept for all people. Pretty much every part of the world is susceptible to at least one form of disaster. This means that you need to have some idea of what you’ll do if you need to evacuate in an emergency situation. Here are six tips for safely evacuating during a natural disaster.

Create an Evacuation Plan Beforehand

The best way to safely escape a natural disaster is to be prepared for it. You should try to create an emergency evacuation plan for yourself and your family. The first step to putting together an emergency plan is to identify what’s mostly likely to affect you. Your geographic location will play a huge role in this. For example, if you live in Florida or the Gulf Coast, you will want to be mindful of hurricanes. People in California should have a plan in the event of an earthquake or wildfire. Once you have identified the main dangers, you can create detailed plans for how to get out in various scenarios.

Stay Informed on Emergency Updates

You will want to get continual updates during the evacuation process. However, if you’re without power or cell service, you might not be able to use your phone for this. It’s a good idea to have some sort of backup information source in case you need to evacuate. Battery-powered radios are a great option for people looking to stay in the loop.

Prepare Your Home Only if you have Time

You don’t want to leave your home exposed to the natural disaster. But you need to remember that your home is not more important than your life, or the lives of your loved ones. Sometimes, there will be time for you to prepare for the worst. For example, boarding up windows and doors can help prevent wind damage. You may also save family valuables by getting them to high ground in flood waters. These things, however, can’t be your first priority. Compare homeowners insurance quotes online to see how different policies will cover you in the event of a natural disaster.

Bring Your Personal Documents

Personal documentation is the key to your identity. Things like social security cards and other IDs should be brought with you in the event of an evacuation. First, you don’t want these things to be destroyed. It can be difficult to have them replaced. Additionally, people might try to break into your home while you’re away. If they find crucial documents, they may be able to steal your identity.

Bring First Aid, Food, and Water

There are a few things that are especially useful during an evacuation scenario. These are first aid, food, and water. All three of these can mean the difference between life and death if you’re in a dangerous situation. Clean water can be particularly difficult to come by in the aftermath of a disaster. Make sure to ration your emergency supplies so you don’t run out right away.

Know Your Escape Route and Destination

It’s wise to know exactly where you’re going to go when disaster strikes. You might not want to take the major highways, as these will probably be congested with other people desperately trying to escape. Take some time to identify the best route for arriving at your predetermined destination. This will greatly improve your chances of a safe evacuation.

Natural disasters can strike at any time. There’s no way for humans to negate the damaging effects of these catastrophes. However, you can prepare yourself by knowing how to safely evacuation during a disaster.

How Can I Find a Tax ID Number?

Your company’s tax ID number is necessary for many reasons. In addition to allowing you to obtain business permits and hire employees, you protect your personal identity and can create separate bank accounts and credit card accounts for your company. Depending on the situation, you may even benefit from an estate tax ID number.

Finding the ID Number

If you already have a federal employer identification number but can’t seem to remember it, you can find it in several places on your business or personal documents. If you are an organized person — and you should be if you hope to run a successful business — you can find the number in the original file that the IRS sent you when you applied for it. If you aren’t particularly organized, don’t worry. There are several other places you may be able to locate your tax ID number.

  • It may be on your business license
  • Your bank may be able to provide it for you
  • It should be on your tax returns

If all else fails, you can call the IRS. If you can prove you are authorized to have the number, the IRS can provide it for you.

What to Do if You Don’t Already Have a Number

If you don’t have an EIN and aren’t sure how to get a tax ID number in VA or any other state, don’t worry. The process is quite easy. In fact, it’s so easy that you can complete the application online. Choose the type of business you have or situation you are in and answer the questions that follow. Once you submit your application, you will be able to track its status online. In most cases, you will receive your federal tax ID number in a matter of a few business days. Depending on when you apply, you could even receive it the next business day if you apply via IRS-EIN-Tax-ID.

Find out more about how a federal tax ID number can help you create a better business. Contact IRS EIN Tax ID Filing Service today.

5 Vital Things No One Thinks About When Starting a Business

Starting, running, and owning your own company is the American dream. Do what you love, be your own boss, work on your own terms: what could go wrong? Well, as you probably know, many small businesses fall short of their founder’s goals for them. For one reason or another, a new company might not flourish as expected. The good news is, if you’re interested in starting your own business, there are measures you can take to guard against early troubles. Here are five important things few consider when starting a new business, but can give you an early advantage all the same:

Location, Location, Location

You might be thinking that where your business is located shouldn’t really matter very much. Especially if your company isn’t a customer-based enterprise (restaurant, bar, hair salon, etc.) However, with the advent of mobile phones and the ever-rising number of people who exclusively use their phone to access the internet, where you set up shop is nearly as important as what you do. Ensure that your business has high visibility in the “real world,” and on search engines, if you want sustained success.

Scrutinize the Competition

Smart business people aren’t arrogant. Instead, they recognize what their competitors do well, and try to learn from them. Don’t become so enamored with your own product or service that you close your eyes to outside ideas

Financing is Paramount

Passionate entrepreneurs sometimes skip over one of the most essential aspects of their business: financial viability. There’s nothing wrong with believing in your project. But before any serious work can get done, you need to have the funds available to cover your expenses. Secured business loans and merchant cash advances can be helpful tools in this endeavor, but no matter your fiscal situation, you need to be honest with yourself about it.

Hire Smarter

It’s difficult enough finding people who share your vision and are willing to work as hard as you are to make it come true. And hiring the right employee can prove one of the most difficult tasks for any new business owner. However, truly great employers find coworkers who can bring different skills to the table. Hiring people who think just like you do won’t help your company grow, it’ll just add another voice to crowd.

Get Comfortable with Working

Everybody likes orange juice, but few are willing to go through the trouble of squeezing oranges to get it. Starting your own business is like squeezing a thousand oranges every day. When you’re the boss, everything at your company reflects back on you. So prepare yourself to work harder than ever before. Just remember though, those long hours will pay off in the end.

5 Benefits of Using Reusable Bags to Promote Your Business

Reusable bags have taken the grocery business by storm right now, and for a variety of reasons. People are more environmentally conscious nowadays, and they’re asking the same from the companies they do business with. This is why there is such a huge trend towards eco friendliness, and you can’t afford to fall behind. Here are some of the benefits of using reusable bags to promote your business.

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Effective Promotion Tool

Branded reusable bags work for promotion on so many levels. First of all, they are a prime tool in increasing your brand’s recognition and building brand awareness. Not only that, but every time someone decides to use one of your bags for any reason, they will be reminded of your brand. Your bag will work as a sort of portable billboard that will advertise your brand wherever your clients go. And not only that, it will work as a sort of endorsement; your friends and family will see this bag as a personal vote for the brand, and might form a more positive image of that brand as a result.

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Since you’ll be using sustainable materials, you will be reducing your carbon footprint on the planet. Many reusable bags come from recycled materials, such as old bottles for instance, reducing our reliance on natural resources. And once the bag has served its purpose, it can be easily recycled and repurposed, or even composted in some cases.

Show Your Commitment to Going Green

Using reusable bags shows to your clients that you are actually willing to walk the walk and really do your part in protecting the environment. While this may work on a superficial level, you also have to follow through with actual measures if you want to be consistent. But this alone will do a lot to improve your image among your environmentally conscious clientele.

Allows You to Stretch Your Marketing Dollar

One of the great things about reusable bags is that they are a fairly cost-effective marketing tool. You could buy reusable bags wholesale and have them printed with your company’s logo for pennies. Not to mention that you’ll often charge clients for the bags themselves. So in a clever way, your clients will be paying to advertise your business on your behalf.

They Have Various Uses

Reusable bags are by far the star of the promotional item world. As a matter of fact, they are some of the most sought-after items at trade shows and people will literally make lines for them in some cases. So much so that they’ve become genuine items now, with Ikea’s iconic aqua reusable bag which has become sort of a pop culture cult. Because of their usefulness, people tend to hold on to them for many years, allowing your brand to gain even more visibility over time.

 

Recycled reusable bags have tons of benefits every business owner should consider. They’re cheap, convenient and are one of the most powerful and understated marketing methods you can use to build awareness for your brand.

What Does One Do if Their Business Goes Bankrupt?

If your business goes bankrupt, you must file for bankruptcy. It is helpful to hire a bankruptcy attorney to help you with the process and ensure you do not miss any important guidelines. When a business files bankruptcy, it may not need to pay creditors but will still be responsible for taxes. However, if you and your business met certain requirements, you may not be responsible for the entire amount.

When To Declare Bankruptcy

When declaring bankruptcy for a business, you must do so at a specific time. Wait at least two years after you file your last business tax return to begin the bankruptcy process. Doing so before the two-year mark means taxes charged under the EIN will not be dischargeable.

Back Taxes

The IRS may allow you to discharge your back taxes if you did not file business tax returns for at least three years. However, you must remember that every bankruptcy case is different, and the IRS will likely be more willing to negotiate if you hire a tax attorney to help you during your case.

Amended Taxes and Audits

If you amended your taxes in the past or were audited, you may need to wait additional time to file for bankruptcy. The reason for this is because you must receive tax assessment 240 days before filing. Because taxes are normally assessed when you file the first return, the audit will extend the time you need wait.

Penalties

The IRS may waive any penalties for back taxes when you are declaring bankruptcy but will continue to charge interest. In this situation, you will still need to pay the taxes and interest and can do so over a span of five years.

Tax Liens

If your business has a tax lien against it when you file bankruptcy, the IRS may choose to remove it. If they don’t, it may seize assets, even if it discharged taxes.

Do you need more information about filing for an EIN? IRS EIN Tax ID Filing Service provides a 24/7 online application on EIN-IRS-Tax-ID. Check it out to learn more about tax IDs, including obtaining an estate tax ID number.

Saving the Environment While Driving When You Can’t Afford a Hybrid

While you might love the idea of cutting back on the number of emissions your car churns out into the atmosphere, you might not be able to afford a hybrid vehicle. While you may not have any problem covering a hybrid with quality Austin insurance, it could be the monthly car payments that give you fits. Thankfully, there are other ways to do your part to save the environment without going broke as a hybrid vehicle owner.

Remove Your Junk

Before you head out again, clean out everything that you don’t need from the trunk, backseat and passenger seat. All that extra weight is negatively impacting your overall gas mileage, which sends you back to the pump faster. There’s also the fact that your engine is working harder to handle the stress of the extra weight, which certainly isn’t doing the air any favors.

Take It Easy When Stopping and Starting

There’s no need to gun the engine as soon as the light turns green. Not only does jackrabbiting chew up your gas and release more emissions, it can also lead to accidents should you collide with drivers trying to make lights just a second after they turn red. Easing to a gradual stop rather than stomping on the brakes is better on your brakes as well as your engine. This means you should make sure you’re going the posted speed limit and pay attention to cars and traffic lights ahead of you so you have time to respond accordingly.

Keep Your Car Tuned Up

Be sure to take your car in for regular oil and air filter changes. It’s understandable to want to put off an oil change for a while, but doing so can cost you more in the long run by eating away at your fuel efficiency and belching harmful fumes into the air. The same applies to tune-ups, which allow your engine to operate more efficiently and let you get as many miles as possible out of your vehicle. Something else about regular tune-ups even when your car seems to be running fine is that mechanics can let you know if there are any minor issues with your car that should be addressed in the near future, giving you time to start saving up for those needed repairs rather than learn of them when they’re more expensive.

Pay Attention to Your Tires

Proper tire pressure is essential not only to how your car maneuvers on the road, but also how much gas it burns. You want your tires to have the optimum amount of contact with the road so there’s just the right amount of friction and resistance to get you where you need to go without your engine or tires having to work harder than necessary. In the colder months of the year, you might have to over-inflate your tires to compensate for the cold air sapping air from your tires. In any case, a tire-pressure gauge or a professional mechanic’s help is essential for making sure your tires have the right amount of pressure.

Don’t Be Afraid to Turn Your Car Off

When you’re stuck in heavy traffic that moves slower than chilled molasses in the winter, go ahead and shut your engine off. Traffic jams can seem more like you’re in a parking lot and less like you’re driving on a road, so you might as well shut the engine off like you would in a parking lot. Imagine the reduction in emissions if every vehicle on the road was turned off during traffic jams. Do your part to start a positive trend all while saving gas.

Know that driving a hybrid only does so much if you don’t practice the basics of being an environmentally-conscious driver. How you drive is much more important than what you drive.

 

How to Spot the Best Broker for Your Needs

The first thing to know in trying to answer this question is defining what exactly your needs are.  It doesn’t take much shrewd detection to guess that if you are reading this article with more than a passing interest in its contents, you are probably a young or youngish man or woman just embarking on a career, full or part time, inForex trading.  We guess that you are not very experienced and because you are at the start of a long journey, will not be looking to spend too much of your precious cash.

It goes without saying that there are different kinds of brokers. Regular brokers deal with their clients directly and broker resellers who maintain contact between their clients and larger brokers. The former are generally thought of as more reliable but this isn’t necessarily always true.  There is also a difference between what are known as full service brokers and discount brokers. As the name implies, full service is what it says on the tin and they do have far more to offer than discount brokers. The full service includes the provision of one-to-one advice and suggestions tailor made for the needs of each individual.  Inevitably you will pay more to a “real” broker than you would for an online trade.

The probable and sensible choice for a younger, less monied, less experienced trader would therefore be a discount broker. They are well accustomed to dealing with this sector of traders, they are popular, and they make available a whole host of tools for investors lacking in experience who are nervous about what to do next.  Nonetheless the investor or trader is not being “nursemaided” and nothing beats the necessity of acquiring valuable experience.

Money will play a big part in the decisions you have to make. After all each dollar paid out is a dollar less in your pocket.  Let’s examine some of the other financial considerations. Firstly there is the minimum you will have to have as a balance to commence a brokerage account – with an online broker this will range between $500 and $1,000. If and when you are considering opening up a margin account, bear in mind that such accounts require a higher minimum balance than standard brokerage accounts.

Then there are the charges for actually taking out your money. Believe it or not it may be your money but you may have the devil’s own job getting hold of it! You may find that your broker charges you a fee to withdraw any money or refuse to allow you to take money out if that means that your balance falls below the minimum.  So when you are lining up a broker, just make sure that you know how easy or difficult it will be to get cash out of him.

Generally it pays to do your homework. Ask other people what their experiences have been and don’t be afraid or ashamed to put your questions and concerns to the brokers you are looking at. After all, it’s your livelihood at stake!