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    Category: Manufactured Homes


    Clayton Releases New Website Tool to Help Home Buyers Across the Country "Find Land" – Tullahoma News and Guardian - June 30, 2020 by admin

    MARYVILLE, Tenn., June 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ --Clayton, a national home builder of site-built and off-site built homes, is excited to launch Find Land, a search engine tool to help home buyers find property listed for sale where off-site built homes could potentially be placed.

    Experience the interactive Multichannel News Release here: https://www.multivu.com/players/English/8481359-clayton-find-land-search-engine-tool/

    The new, digital experience taps into the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and allows future buyers to search by zip code for available lots on a regional map, while also displaying additional information, such as if a property is zoned for manufactured off-site built homes.* Users can filter land for sale by preferred distance from the chosen zip code and price range, while discovering photos, additional property details and real estate agent contact information.

    As the need for affordable housing becomes more crucial, Clayton is committed to continuously providing innovative housing solutions for its customers. More and more off-site built homes are being permanently attached to land with features like garages and porches, so Clayton naturally integrated the step to find land into its digital home shopping experience.

    "In a time when our customers may understandably prefer to shop digitally as they search for the perfect new home and property, innovative website tools like Find Land help make this possible," said Pat Egan, VP of Clayton Corporate Marketing. "Clayton remains committed to improving our customer experience by transforming the journey to find the perfect home for families who are seeking an affordable, quality housing solution. We know finding the ideal location to place a forever home is just as important as finding the dream floor plan."

    Find Land assists many home buyers, including those purchasing CrossMod homes**, the newest class of manufactured housing, which incorporates features that are more similar to traditional site-built homes. These beautiful homes are designed to be permanently affixed to land and have the potential to increase in value over time. Clayton's CrossMod home features include a permanent foundation, enhanced cabinets, drywall interiors, energy efficient standards and features, an elevated roof pitch and a covered porch, garage or carport.

    Find Land assists future home buyers by conveniently integrating the property buying process and the off-site built home shopping experience. Discover more about the process, browse homes and Find Land to start the journey tomaking a dream home a reality.

    *Properties without this label may still be zoned for off-site built homes. Work with a real estate agent to learn more

    **CrossModis a trademark of the Manufactured Housing Institute.

    AboutClaytonFounded in 1956, Clayton is committed to opening doors to a better life and building happyness through homeownership. As a diverse builder committed to quality and durability, Clayton offers traditional site-built homes and off-site built housing including modular homes, manufactured homes, CrossMod homes, tiny homes, college dormitories, military barracks and apartments. All Clayton Built homes are proudly designed, engineered and assembled in America. In 2019, Clayton built 51,964 homes across the country. Clayton is a Berkshire Hathaway company. For more information, visit claytonhomes.com.

    Media Contact:Caitlyn Crosbymedia@claytonhomes.com

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    Clayton Releases New Website Tool to Help Home Buyers Across the Country "Find Land" - Tullahoma News and Guardian

    Teen invents watch that warns you about touching your face so you don’t catch coronavirus – WXII The Triad - June 30, 2020 by admin

    We touch our faces for many reasons: to groom, to gesture, to scratch. The act can even be soothing in times of stress.But in the midst of a pandemic, such an ordinary habit can quickly turn fatal -- with our hands transferring germs from contaminated surfaces to our eyes, ears, noses or mouths.That's what inspired 15-year-old Max Melia from the United Kingdom to invent Vybpro, a watch that can help stop people from subconsciously touching their faces and possibly contracting the coronavirus."Watching this pandemic unfold on the news, it was clear the devastating effect it was having on people's lives across the world," Max told CNN. "However it wasn't until I saw the severity of the virus first-hand, when both my parents contracted COVID-19, that I truly appreciated just what we were dealing with."The watch works by recognizing gestures that are associated with hand movements towards the face. Combining unique technology and algorithms to differentiate between predicted face touchings and other hand movements, the watch vibrates every time a wearer's hand gets close to the face. Max recommends people to wear one watch on each wrist to monitor the movements of both hands.Max and his mother, Natalie Melia, first came up with the idea in 2018 when the family was discussing ways to prevent the cold and flu. But when the coronavirus pandemic began affecting people worldwide, the rising death toll inspired Max to get to work."I knew that this was the only time I had to try and make a difference and so I've had to be really committed, using my time away from school in lockdown wisely. I'm proud of where we are but I know that to get over the final hurdle it will take even more guts."Using concept work and research that his father, Richard Melia, gathered earlier in the year, Max collaborated with a product designer who was quickly able to produce a working prototype and a cosmetic prototype of the final version of the device.The rechargeable watch features a silicon waterproof band and sealed pod design to allow for water resistance, including sweat, rain and hand washing.Related video: Study finds face masks prevented thousands of COVID-19 casesMax has launched a $74,000 crowdfunding campaign to finalize the development and get the watch into production and finally take it to market. So far, he has raised $17,000. Donors can choose to pledge with no reward, pre-order watches for themselves or donate watches to nursing home staff.All profits made from early sales will go towards providing free watches to vulnerable people and front line workers, such as those in nursing homes and health care workers with the National Health Service (NHS)."I believe that this device can make a real difference in the fight against coronavirus and so I'm determined to do all that I can to bring it to market," Max said. "I really hope that the general public can see the potential and are inspired to get behind the campaign to fund the next stage of the development."VybPro is designed and manufactured in the UK and will retail from around $111, for a pair of wristbands. If the team hits their funding target, it could be on people's wrists by September 2020.

    We touch our faces for many reasons: to groom, to gesture, to scratch. The act can even be soothing in times of stress.

    But in the midst of a pandemic, such an ordinary habit can quickly turn fatal -- with our hands transferring germs from contaminated surfaces to our eyes, ears, noses or mouths.

    That's what inspired 15-year-old Max Melia from the United Kingdom to invent Vybpro, a watch that can help stop people from subconsciously touching their faces and possibly contracting the coronavirus.

    "Watching this pandemic unfold on the news, it was clear the devastating effect it was having on people's lives across the world," Max told CNN. "However it wasn't until I saw the severity of the virus first-hand, when both my parents contracted COVID-19, that I truly appreciated just what we were dealing with."

    The watch works by recognizing gestures that are associated with hand movements towards the face. Combining unique technology and algorithms to differentiate between predicted face touchings and other hand movements, the watch vibrates every time a wearer's hand gets close to the face. Max recommends people to wear one watch on each wrist to monitor the movements of both hands.

    Max and his mother, Natalie Melia, first came up with the idea in 2018 when the family was discussing ways to prevent the cold and flu. But when the coronavirus pandemic began affecting people worldwide, the rising death toll inspired Max to get to work.

    "I knew that this was the only time I had to try and make a difference and so I've had to be really committed, using my time away from school in lockdown wisely. I'm proud of where we are but I know that to get over the final hurdle it will take even more guts."

    Using concept work and research that his father, Richard Melia, gathered earlier in the year, Max collaborated with a product designer who was quickly able to produce a working prototype and a cosmetic prototype of the final version of the device.

    The rechargeable watch features a silicon waterproof band and sealed pod design to allow for water resistance, including sweat, rain and hand washing.

    Related video: Study finds face masks prevented thousands of COVID-19 cases

    Max has launched a $74,000 crowdfunding campaign to finalize the development and get the watch into production and finally take it to market. So far, he has raised $17,000. Donors can choose to pledge with no reward, pre-order watches for themselves or donate watches to nursing home staff.

    All profits made from early sales will go towards providing free watches to vulnerable people and front line workers, such as those in nursing homes and health care workers with the National Health Service (NHS).

    "I believe that this device can make a real difference in the fight against coronavirus and so I'm determined to do all that I can to bring it to market," Max said. "I really hope that the general public can see the potential and are inspired to get behind the campaign to fund the next stage of the development."

    VybPro is designed and manufactured in the UK and will retail from around $111, for a pair of wristbands. If the team hits their funding target, it could be on people's wrists by September 2020.

    Read more:
    Teen invents watch that warns you about touching your face so you don't catch coronavirus - WXII The Triad

    Charities benefit from extra support from The Rotary Club – expressandstar.com - June 30, 2020 by admin

    The Rotary Club of Cannock is part of a district wide project which is providing social distancing packs to charity outlets.

    In April this year when the country started to feel the affects of Covid-19, Rotary District 1210 applied to their own charity Rotary Foundation for a disaster response grant in order to provide support to the NHS, healthcare workers, refuges and food banks across the district.

    With the aid of the disaster response grant Rotary clubs are supplying social distancing equipment, made up of sneeze screens, hand sanitising stations floor graphics and information posters to more than 60 local outlets.

    Rotary has also made donations to womans refuges and food banks across the district.

    Also at the start of the pandemic in April Rotary clubs from across Staffordshire, Shropshire and West Midlands plus individual Rotarians, friends and local companies raised over 15,000 which has enabled some 12,000 full face visors to be manufactured and donated to care hospitals, care homes, medical centres and schools across the local area.

    The Rotary Club of Cannock has played a key part in coordinating these projects has recently donated a social distancing pack the Stafford and Cannock League of Hospital Friends, who operate the friends cafe at Cannock Chase Hospital.

    The clubs President Elect Chris Young helped the staff set up the equipment and the cafe is now providing a take-out service for staff and visitors at the hospital.

    For more information regarding Rotary and the work they do supporting the local community and international projects visit cannockrotary.co.uk or email secretary@cannockrotary.co.uk

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    Charities benefit from extra support from The Rotary Club - expressandstar.com

    Decreasing Construction Costs and New Public Opinion Pave the Way for More Affordable Housing – Propmodo - June 26, 2020 by admin

    Its no secret that America has an affordable housing problem, and economic strains from the pandemic have only made it worse. For example, many of the countrys eviction moratoriums set in place from the COVID-19 outbreak end in August, leaving a huge part of the population scrambling to find affordable housing. In New York City, finding affordable housing literally means winning the lotterythe New York City affordable housing lottery, which since its online inception in 2013, has seen over 25 million applications, all of which are vying for the 40,000 available units. This massive undersupply is why a randomized lottery system picks the winners. For the losers, it can mean living in bad neighborhoods and undesirable apartments, or worse.

    And New York is just one example of places throughout the country (and the world) that have little to no affordable housing options. According to the Urban Institutes interactive affordable housing development cost feature, created in conjunction with the National Housing Conference, only 29 affordable rental units exist for every 100 households in need. This means that not even two thirds of households in need of affordable housing will not be able to find it. So, if there is such a vast demand for affordable housing, why arent developers jumping to meet it?

    There has long been the notion that developments of any kind can taint a neighborhood through gentrification. There is an assumed fear that new developments somehow eradicate the character or charm of an area, buying out mom and pop businesses and replacing them with chains, eventually causing long-standing residents to move away due to a higher cost of living. The reason this notion exists is because it has happened in the past, but many developers are now seeking residents input, listening to their concerns, and working with them to ensure their needs are met along with the needs of the project.

    Residents also fear that affordable housing developments, specifically, will bring down their property value by inviting lower income families into the neighborhood. Stereotyping and racial discrimination have long played roles in these assumptions about affordable housing developments, but neighborhoods actually benefit from cultural diversification because it provides a mixture of businesses that attract foot traffic. Moreover, new research actually shows that the attitude towards new developments has drastically shifted towards a more positive viewpoint.

    CoUrbanize, a online community engagement platform for real estate professionals, recently conducted a survey of over 1,000 people across the U.S. to determine what their attitudes were concerning new developments. Perhaps surprisingly, they found that about 82 percent of respondents felt that developments provided benefits for their communities, including economic growth, new housing stock, job creation, and new public amenity offerings. About 55 percent of respondents felt that affordable housing was the most valued aspect of new developments. So while there may still be some stigmas associated with new developments, the viewpoint is changing as more and more people see a need to fill in affordable housing and understand how it benefits communities.

    While residents views on affordable housing may be changing for the better, there are other impediments that prevent developments from happening. The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies published a report last year that examines housing affordability and construction innovation in both single and multifamily dwellings from a builders perspective. Rising construction costs, including labor and materials, make it difficult for developers to achieve profitability on affordable housing projects. Depending on where the project is located, land acquisition costs can also be high, especially due to shortages of developable land in densely populated metropolises where many people need to live to be close to work. While subsidies like tax credits and grants can help developers close financing gaps, they are not always enough to cover costs, let alone to see real returns. In order for affordable housing developments to make sense as a profitable investment, construction costs need to be reduced.

    The solution to lowering construction costs lies in technology and innovation. When people hear the term modular housing, they often assume the quality suffers, but thanks to new technologies, modular housing, or factory built houses, offer affordable, quality housing on a larger scale. Construction companies like Boxabl, Blokable, and Skender are finding ways to automate parts of the construction process without sacrificing quality and using modular designs to create affordable housing options. Galiano Tiramani is the head of business development at Boxabl, a construction technology startup that is researching and experimenting with different ways of engineering to create a new building construction system. Housing is pre-industrial, pre-factory. Why not make houses the same way we make everything else? Our goal is to build houses the way we build cars, which is manufactured on an assembly line in a factory, essentially mass production, said Tiramani.

    While Boxabls goal is to create an automated factory model that can be replicated to meet global housing needs, they needed to start smaller before expanding. Our very first model is the Casita, said Tiramani, which is a twenty foot by twenty foot unit with a full kitchen, bathroom, and combined bedroom/living space. The Casita is currently priced at $50,000, completely furnished, and Tiramani anticipates costs will continue to go down as they upgrade to an automated factory that enables mass production and buying in bulk. We designed our units to be portable to cut down on shipping costs and restrictions, so the Casita packs up to be 8.5 by 8.5 feet. This makes it highway legal and complies with all shipping standards, which is one of the ways we lower costs, said Tiramani. They also lower costs by using efficient materials, including steel and concrete, that are still sturdy enough to withstand a variety of climates and weather conditions, including high winds, heavy rains and even earthquakes.

    Shipping, delivery, and installation often drive up costs for modulars. The Casita was designed to reduce labor costs through its portability. By creating foldable walls and roofs that extend on tracks, a unit can be set up in as little as an hour with just a few people. Unloading the unit doesnt require the use of a crane either. The driver is able to do it himself using a jack system. The Casita is currently targeted for backyard use in places like CA and NV as a rental unit or pool house where those additional dwellings are legal. All utilities connect to the same corner, on a wall rather than through the floor to make set up easier. Eventually, Tiramani said Boxabls goal is to expand upon the Casita with different sized floor plans that easily connect and stack to create customized structures of any size. Were trying to make a universal building box that is architecturally indifferent, meaning it works for any type of building. Its like legos. You can make anythingfrom single family homes to offices, said Tiramani.

    The affordable housing crisis is a multifaceted problem. Socioeconomic disparities and the wage gap rising slower than housing prices are also contributing issues that need to be addressed from multiple angles. Lowering construction costs that impede new developments is just one of the solutions needed to address the overarching issue of affordable housing. Technology startups are also working to expand co-living options, provide market transparency, give renters bargaining power, and give homeowners access to equity. These solutions are equally important in order to approach affordable housing in a holistic way, but it still may not be enough, especially when economic support from the COVID-19 crisis runs out.

    Without the inventory new developments provide, renters and buyers will be stuck in a constant struggle of trying to find a place that simply doesnt exist. But it could exist if construction costs can be lowered enough to incentivize developers to pursue affordable housing. Tiramani envisions a future where that struggle disappears: We are trying to change the industry by automating building construction, and through automation we can drive costs down without sacrificing quality.

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    Decreasing Construction Costs and New Public Opinion Pave the Way for More Affordable Housing - Propmodo

    Apples 5G iPhone 12 Is Back on Track for September, But May Be Missing Accessories – idropnews.com - June 26, 2020 by admin

    Over the past few months, weve heard an unprecedented number of conflicting rumours as to when this years iPhone may actually be launching, or even which models may appear when, with many reports pointing to possible delays due to manufacturing, engineering, and testing setbacks as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

    Reports have ranged from possible delays into 2021 to suggestions that only the Pro models will be delayed, and possibly only into October. However, now a new report from the analysts at Wedbush shared by 9to5Mac suggests that everything is in fact on track for a September launch.

    To be clear, this isnt just a repeat of the previous story that everything was okay; Wedbush acknowledges that there have been some delays in the supply chain, but that theyve apparently been busting their collective butts to overcome those delays and get everything back on schedule.

    The supply chain getting back to normalization ahead of expectations has been impressive and now ultimately puts Cook & Co. back in the drivers seat to launch this 5G cycle in its typical mid-late September timeframe

    This makes sense in light of previous reports, since of course these have been difficult times around the world and theres been a lot of uncertainty, but as Wedbushs analysts note, theres been a strong push both from Apple and its suppliers to make up for lost time so ensure that the 5G iPhone is ready in time for what is expected to be a 5G super-cycle this fall.

    In fact, Wedbush is expecting that the iPhone 12 will drive Apple to become the first $2 trillion company as a result of the pent-up demand for 5G smartphones in general, and for the iPhone 12 specifically, which could form a sort of perfect storm for meeting the expectations of tech-hungry consumers.

    However, the team at Wedbush echoes the report we heard from Ming-Chi Kuo last month that EarPods will no longer be included with this years iPhones, echoing Kuos reasoning as well that this should help to drive stronger demand for AirPods over the coming year, with the expectation that Apple could sell 85 million units of its true wireless earbuds as a result.

    Analysts at Barclays also share this belief, but theyre actually taking their predictions a big step further, suggesting that Apple wont even be including a power adapter in the box this year.

    In a research note obtained by MacRumors, the British bank analysts have spoken with multiple Apple suppliers and come to the conclusion that not only are EarPods being omitted this year, but that the iPhone 12 could ship with only a USB-C to Lightning cable in the box, leaving buyers to find their own power supplies.

    While this would be a massively positive move for the environment on Apples part, and could even appease European regulators (albeit in a more indirect way), it would leave at least some first-time iPhone buyers in the lurch.

    Its clear that Apple is aiming for a future without wires, and many users may already prefer wireless charging options, leaving the power brick unused in the box.

    There are also many other cases where users may not have any need for an included charger, such as homes with multiple iPhone users who share single charging stations, those who simply prefer to plug into their MacBook to charge, and those who have compatible chargers from prior iPhone models.

    Of course, Apple still sells all of its power adapters separately, with the basic 5W adapter available for $19, and the 18W power adapter, which Apple began including with last years iPhone 11 Pro models, selling for $29.

    However, this report from Barclays also flies in the face of a leak we heard this week that suggested Apple could be including a new 20W power adapter with at least some iPhone 12 models.

    Since analysts such as Barclays get most of their information from supply chain sources, its conceivably possible that both reports could be correct if the rumoured 20W adapter is being built by a different manufacturing partner; Barclays may be basing its predictions on production for the older 5W and 18W adapters not having been scaled up to match the number of iPhone 12 units expected to be manufactured.

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    Apples 5G iPhone 12 Is Back on Track for September, But May Be Missing Accessories - idropnews.com

    35 guns, thousands of rounds of ammo found during manufacturing firearm investigation – KSBW Monterey - June 26, 2020 by admin

    35 guns, thousands of rounds of ammo found during manufacturing firearm investigation

    Updated: 6:24 PM PDT Jun 24, 2020

    Two people were arrested for stolen firearms and illegally manufacturing guns and "destructive devices", according to the Monterey County Sheriff's Office. Deputies arrested James Lauderdale, 44, of Salinas, and Robert Lauderdale, 55, of Prunedale. A search of two different homes turned up 35 firearms, thousands of rounds of ammunition and evidence of manufactured firearms and destructive devices, reported the Sheriff's Office. Firearms located at both locations were determined to be stolen during a residential burglary in Salinas.James and Robert were both arrested and booked into the Monterey County Jail on several weapons related charges.Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Jason Sullivan at 831-759-7279 or Detective Sergeant David Vargas at 831-755-3771.

    Two people were arrested for stolen firearms and illegally manufacturing guns and "destructive devices", according to the Monterey County Sheriff's Office.

    Deputies arrested James Lauderdale, 44, of Salinas, and Robert Lauderdale, 55, of Prunedale.

    A search of two different homes turned up 35 firearms, thousands of rounds of ammunition and evidence of manufactured firearms and destructive devices, reported the Sheriff's Office.

    Firearms located at both locations were determined to be stolen during a residential burglary in Salinas.

    James and Robert were both arrested and booked into the Monterey County Jail on several weapons related charges.Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Jason Sullivan at 831-759-7279 or Detective Sergeant David Vargas at 831-755-3771.

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    35 guns, thousands of rounds of ammo found during manufacturing firearm investigation - KSBW Monterey

    Hurricane season is here and it’s time to get ready – Tampa Bay Newspapers - June 15, 2020 by admin

    If tropical weather threatens Pinellas County this year, residents and businesses on the barrier islands and those living in mobile or manufactured homes would be first in any evacuation order.

    That was just one of the messages shared during the first-ever Barrier Islands Virtual Preparedness Summit June 4 presented by Emergency management and beach representatives.

    The summit focused on extra preparedness needs for the barrier islands, but much of the information was pertinent to all residents. The biggest difference for those on the barrier islands is the threat from storm surge, which is the reason those areas are first to be evacuated.

    Joe Borries, Emergency Management operations manager, said when the order is given it is because storm surge is expected to get high enough to enter homes and businesses.

    Its not safe to stay, he said.

    And the estimated storm surge doesnt account for wave action. Borries said 4 feet of storm surge plus 4 feet of wave action would mean 8 feet of water inside homes and businesses.

    Run from water and hide from wind, Borries said, which is a common phrase when talking about tropical weather.

    He said all parts of the barrier islands were vulnerable to storm surge. And he cautioned those who live in a condominium that think they can evacuate up instead of out.

    Thats not a great idea, he said.

    Electrical equipment at ground level is vulnerable to salt water and when it gets wet, power losses follow, disabling elevators and other systems. Although some believe that Duke Energy cuts the power to the barrier islands during evacuations, Borries said thats not true.

    He reminded residents that heat rises, so it would be uncomfortable quick with no air conditioning. And winds are stronger up high with no trees to protect structures from straight line winds.

    Plus, vehicles would be parked on the ground, so deciding to stay instead of evacuating could cost you your car, Borries said.

    Fire departments move their equipment inland as does public works, so the equipment will be safe and ready to respond after a storm has passed.

    Mike Burton, chief of Pinellas Suncoast Fire & Rescue District, said his department had a plan to follow if tropical weather occurred, and he asked the community to do the same.

    When an evacuation order is given is not the time to think of where you would go, he said.

    He said there was a finite window of time to have a chance to leave safely. When sustained winds get to 50 mph, first responders will be grounded, so no one will be coming if you need help, he said. Even before that, bridges will be closed.

    Burton said 911 telecommunicators have the toughest job, as they take phone calls from desperate people and have to tell them help is not on the way.

    Thats gut wrenching, he said, adding that its a difficult decision thats in conflict with what they to do serve and help.

    Depending on the damage, it could be many hours or days before help will come. Before any response can happen, bridges have to be inspected and debris and downed power lines have to be removed to clear the roads. And thats before damage can be accessed on the barrier islands.

    Burton said there is just no way to know how long it might be before help will be available on the barrier islands after a hurricane.

    Many in Pinellas, including all those living in a mobile or manufactured home, will need to evacuate, depending on where you live and the strength of the storm. You can find out your evacuation zone by visiting http://www.pinellascounty.org/knowyourzone, looking at your county Utilities bill or property appraiser records. Those with a landline can call 727-453-3150.

    If your plan calls for evacuating, its not necessary to go hundreds of miles. Its better to go tens of miles and stay with family, friends in host homes or even check into a hotel, Borries said. Public shelters should be used as a last resort only.

    Mecca Serfustini, Health and Human Services program lead with Emergency Management, said there were three types of shelters special needs, general and pet-friendly. General and pet-friendly are essentially the same, except one accepts pets, she said. Special needs shelters provide different access and functional needs, she said.

    Serfustini said general shelters dont have generators, so evacuees are encouraged to bring battery-operated fans and flashlights. Space is limited and even more so this year, as social distancing is included in plans due to COVID-19. People from the same household can stay together, but apart from others.

    She said theres space for a twin-size air mattress, camping cot or pool lounge chair. Its noisy, so ear plugs are recommended, and the lights are on all the time, so people might want to bring a sleep mask.

    Speaking of masks, due to the pandemic, cloth face masks are required, so bring your own if possible, as well as hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes.

    Water and food will be available; however, Serfustini said its school food, so if you have special dietary requirements, you should bring you own. And snacks wont be provided, so bring those too.

    Bring necessary medications, regardless of which shelter type you choose.

    Evacuees going with their cats and/or dogs to a pet-friendly shelter should bring documentation that shows the animal has a county license. Bring them in a crate or carrier. Bring any necessary medications. Pets wont get to sleep with their humans because of potential allergies of others in the shelter. Serfustini said to bring toys, a favorite blanket or a shirt that smells like you to provide comfort to your pets.

    She also talked about staffing shortages. She said many of those who traditionally volunteer to help out in shelters are elderly and they dont want to risk exposure to COVID-19. She advised anyone going to a special needs shelter to bring a family member or other caregiver to look after them.

    People who have medical conditions, need transportation to get to a shelter or other special needs are urged to sign up now, so they can be included in the countys preparedness plans. Visit http://www.pinellascounty.org/specialneeds or call Emergency Management at 727-464-3800.

    Joe Primosch, commander of U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Flotilla 11-3 in Madeira Beach, offered lots of preparedness tips for the thousands of registered boat owners in the county.

    Everything starts with the plan, he said, including understanding your insurance policy.

    Decide what you will do, which could include pre-arranging boat hauling or going to protected water. If you plan to affix your boat to docks or pilings, make sure to orient into the wind. Use multiple anchors, chafe gear and new, larger lines.

    Whatever you do dont stay aboard, Primosch said.

    If your boat is on a trailer, check the trailer, tires and axle condition in advance. Find a safe place, then lash the boat and trailer together and block the wheels. Secure it to a fixed object and tie to screw anchors.

    If your boat is not on a trailer, put it in dry storage. Primosch said to never leave a boat on davits. If the boat is in wet storage, secure it in the marina berth, moor it in a safe area or haul it out.

    For all boats, regardless of anything else, Primosch said remove all you can from it. Tape up the seams, windows and doors and prepare early. The safest place is on shore, tied down with screw in projectiles on all four corners.

    If you plan to leave it in the water, use spring lines, 15-20 feet long, doubled up, stretched front to back to allow the boat to move up and down.

    Tampa Bay Newspapers interviewed Emergency Management Director Cathie Perkins on the first day of hurricane season, June 1.

    She said one of the most important things the public should do this year is to stay informed, as things will likely be changing between now and the end of the season on Nov. 30 due to COVID-19.

    Perkins recommends Alert Pinellas as a good place to get emergency notifications by phone, text or email. Sign up at http://www.pinellascounty.org/alertpinellas. She also recommended the Ready Pinellas app, which can be downloaded for free onto a mobile device.

    Ready Pinellas allows the public to look up their evacuation zone, create an emergency plan, provides a list of supplies for a hurricane kit, as well as a checklist of what should be done before a storm arrives. Ready Pinellas is available to download from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

    In addition, Pinellas County governments Facebook and Twitter accounts are good sources for updated information, and the website http://www.pinellascounty.org/emergency.

    A NOAA Weather Alert Radio is another good tool to receive automatic alerts from the National Weather Service. And dont forget to visit the National Hurricane Center at https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/.

    Tampa Bay Newspapers and other local media sources also will have information on any hurricanes or tropical storms that threaten the area.

    One of the best local sources is the countys All Hazard Guide available online at http://www.pinellascounty.org/emergency/PDF/All_Hazard_Guide.pdf or visit http://www.pinellascounty.org/emergency.

    The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is off to busy start with three named storms already on the books as of June 2.

    Tropical Storm Arthur formed May 16 off the east-central coast of Florida. Tropical Storm Bertha followed on May 27 forming near the coast of South Carolina and making landfall the same day.

    Tropical Storm Cristobal came next on June 2 and set a record for being the third named storm ever to form before June 5. Pinellas felt its effects with National Weather Service issuing a flood watch, coastal flooding statement, high surf advisory and rip current statement, as well as small craft advisories that lasted through the weekend and into Monday.

    NOAAs Climate Prediction Center released its 2020 Atlantic hurricane season outlook May 21. Forecasters say it is most likely that the season will be above average and could possibly be very active.

    Odds are 60% that the season will be above normal, 30% it will be near normal and 10% it will be below normal.

    Forecasters gave a 70% chance that 13-19 named storms would form with winds of 39 mph or higher, six-10 hurricanes with winds of 74 mph or higher and three-six major hurricanes, which are Category 3 or above with winds of 111 mph or higher.

    An average season includes 12 named storms with six strengthening into a hurricane and three becoming a major hurricane.

    Hurricane season runs from June 1-Nov. 30.

    Suzette Porter is TBNs Pinellas County editor. She can be reached at sporter@tbnweekly.com.

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    Hurricane season is here and it's time to get ready - Tampa Bay Newspapers

    Fire department called to unrelated fires on the same street, hours apart – Browncitybanner - June 15, 2020 by admin

    By wsmith@mihomepaper.com | on June 11, 2020

    Fire was visible from a home on Van Buren Court in Broadview Estate Mobile Home Community as firefighters worked to bring the blaze under control, June 5. Photo provided

    RICHFIELD TWP. A manufactured home on Van Buren Court in Broadview Estates, at Richfield Road and M-15, was mostly destroyed and a couple of surrounding mobile homes were damaged during at blaze, June 5.

    The Davison-Richfield Area Fire Department responded to the fire at about 7:15 p.m., but theyd already been on that same street earlier in the day when a car fire was reported. Chief Brian Flewelling said the two blazes were unrelated.

    The more serious fire took place in the mobile home and Flewelling said no one was injured, but the structure was destroyed, as well as a shed, where the fire is believed to have started. The heat from the fire also damaged to adjacent mobile homes.

    It started out in shed and spread to trailer, and did damage to two other homes, said Flewelling. There were no injuriesdespite the heat that day, everyone was just fine.

    He said the department spent three hours at the scene fighting the fire. They received assistance from the Forest Township Fire Department, while Atlas Township fire fighters manned Station No. 1 in their absence.

    Flewelling said the cause of the fire has not been determined and is still under investigation.

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    Fire department called to unrelated fires on the same street, hours apart - Browncitybanner

    Real estate and COVID-19 – the story so far – Livewire Markets - June 15, 2020 by admin

    Key points

    Sell in May and go away? Well, not quite.

    For equity investors, the rally that began 23 March continued through May. Incredibly, despite a one in 100-year pandemic, calendar year-to-date (at 1 June 2020) the Nasdaq is now up +8%, global equities (in AUD) only down -4%, and the S&P500 down -7%. By contrast, US REITs and listed global real estate are both down ~20%.

    Source: Bloomberg, Quay Global Investors

    Despite the tsunami of dire economic indicators (jobless claims, GDP estimates, industrial production), one can make an argument that the recent bounce in equities is based on the massive fiscal response from most governments. Indeed, last month we made the case using the Kalecki-Levi profit framework.

    So why has real estate lagged?

    One argument is that real estate is exposed to sectors that may be challenged in a post COVID-19 world. Retail and office (not a small part of the market) are good examples. However, like the broader equity market, the real estate universe includes many sectors that are unlikely to be impacted solely by the virus, such as industrial property, single family homes, apartments, data storage and self-storage, etc.

    Of course, if the world is headed for a deep and protracted recession, the performance of the real estate indices is justifiable. But the broader equity market is telling a different story. Either the recovery is extremely quick, or investors are willing to look past the downturn all together.

    Either way, there seem to be inconsistencies. In Australia, retailers such as JB Hi-Fi are down just -7% and Premier Investments -14%, while Scentre Group (a senior creditor to both the aforementioned businesses) is down around -40%.

    Of course, its early days, and the equity market may well be wrong the world could be headed for a significant and prolonged economic downturn and markets may need to re-adjust. Time will tell.

    However, we think a better explanation is a strong recency bias against real estate.

    During the GFC, real estate was one of the worst performing asset classes and justifiably so. Part of the reason was that the financial crisis began as a real estate crisis (US housing), before morphing into a credit crisis. Real estate relies on credit, and back in 2008 many real estate companies were significantly levered (50-60% loan-to-value ratios (LVRs) were not uncommon). Further, since it was almost 80 years since the last major financial crisis, little value was placed on access to liquidity. So when the crisis hit and liquidity was needed, the cupboard was bare; and for many, the only alternative was equity at painfully depressed prices.

    Big losses were locked in, and many investors today still remember those costs.

    Our observation is the current climate is different.

    While we cannot speak to the entire REIT universe, balance sheets across Quays coverage list (including investees) are in much better shape than those prior to the GFC. We estimate the average LVR across our portfolio at 26% measured by debt to enterprise value, or 5.4x measured by net debt/EBITDA. Additionally, all of our companies have significant access to liquidity. And even if they were to fall short, central banks have taken the highly unusual step of buying investment (and sub investment) grade credit, providing a credit backstop for all industries including real estate.

    By way of example, one of our investees, Camden Property Trust, issued 10-year notes at an all-in rate of 2.9% in the middle of April. There was over $8bn of investor demand for the $750m issue. Credit markets have improved since. In our opinion, access to liquidity and credit is generally not a problem.

    Therefore, its more about the economy. Which means it is hard not to conclude that either the equity market is wrong, or there is a significant opportunity in global real estate.

    One of the initial concerns stemming from stay-at-home orders was the inability (or unwillingness) of tenants to pay rent. Lack of rent would squeeze the cashflows of real estate owners, which (under a worst-case scenario) would lead to potential breaches of fixed-charge cover ratios within lending agreements.

    The swift response of governments around the world with payments supporting wages and small businesses has ensured rents continue to flow. Indeed, outside of retail, most US REITs have reported mid-90% cash rent collection (with May collections generally better than April for apartments, healthcare and malls). Most of the rents not yet paid are on deferral agreements. Only slightly worse cash rent numbers were reported from Europe/UK.

    Source: NAREIT

    While the current environment is challenging, there are other elements that support REIT pricing in the medium term.

    While there seems to be a disconnect between equity market euphoria and real estate depression, within the sector there appear to be anomalies.

    Last year, we highlighted sectors within real estate that historically outperformed or underperformed during economic downturns. The chart is re-created below.

    Source: Green Street Advisors, Quay Global Investors

    However, the performance of these sectors to date have not matched the last downturn. Traditionally defensive sectors not directly affected by COVID-19, such as manufactured homes and apartments, are performing just as poorly or worse (when adjusted for leverage) than the more economically sensitive sectors of office and industrial. Given the high rate of rent collection to date, we see no reason why this should be the case.

    Source: Green Street Advisors, Quay Global Investors

    Again, similar to the relationship between equities and real estate, it seems even within the real estate sector investors cannot make up their mind whether we are having a recession or a recovery.

    The opportunity is to buy the sectors where there is a prolonged recession implied in the market price this offers investors a skewed bet. If the worst-case economic scenario plays out, this should mostly be reflected in the price if not, significant upside is potentially available.

    Where to from here for the market is subject to much debate. While there seems to be a degree of enthusiasm reflected in equity market indices, listed real estate has been a significant underperformer. Across most of our investees, we are seeing solid rent collection with robust balance sheets and good access to credit. Despite this, in some instances many years of share price gains have been erased and we believe this represents opportunity.

    Continue reading here:
    Real estate and COVID-19 - the story so far - Livewire Markets

    Florida is more prone to tornadoes than you think – Tampa Bay Times - May 24, 2020 by admin

    The novel coronavirus isnt the only thing that has ravaged the U.S. this year.

    Tornadoes have killed 76 people in the first five months of 2020, already making it the worst year for tornado-related deaths since the historically deadly year of 2011. The National Weather Service tracked 351 tornado reports last month, making it the second most-active April on record.

    It is a frequent and deadly phenomenon. But scientists say the public has a misperception of who is truly at risk: The Deep South and Florida can be more prone to twisters than Tornado Alley itself.

    Professor P. Grady Dixon, a physical geographer at Fort Hays State University in Kansas, says Tornado Alley the Great Plains states running from South Dakota to Texas is a vernacular that he wishes would go away, because it doesnt accurately describe the regions most susceptible to powerful tornadoes.

    Its a misleading term, Dixon said. I understand why people use it, but I wish it would go away because I dont want people to think its only those square states in the Great Plains that get tornadoes.

    He is one of the authors of a 2011 study that discovered some parts of the South and Southeast are the most prone to tornadoes in the nation. So far in 2020, southern states have suffered the most deaths: Tennessee leads the nation with 28 deaths and Mississippi has lost 13. No lives have been lost in Florida this year.

    The study concluded that the Tampa Bay region and other parts of the Interstate 4 corridor experience as many tornadoes as some parts of the Great Plains however, theyre not powerful enough to cause significant damage.

    Youre not going to have strong tornadoes most of the time in Florida, Dixon said. Counting the number of days with tornadoes, though, Florida has as many as any other state in the country.

    The Washington Post wrote about how prevalent and deadly tornadoes have been in the south and why Tornado Alley is misleading.

    Villanova University assistant professor Steven Strader, who specializes in environmental hazards and societal interactions, told the Post that the South is more vulnerable to tornadoes because it is denser than the spread-out farmland communities of the Plains.

    Not only do Southern states have more sprawl, he said they also have more people living in mobile and manufactured homes. In Florida, those residents are always the first to be evacuated during a hurricane.

    When a tornado does occur in either region, odds are much greater in the [South or Southeast] of it hitting something, Strader told the Post.

    But Florida also has a natural advantage that protects it from the kinds of powerful tornadoes that have taken lives in other southern states. Its the Gulf of Mexico.

    Tornadoes form when fronts cold or warm collide, producing severe weather. Thunderstorms are the most common result. Pressure and temperature changes can also come together to form a tornado. Those violent columns last minutes, but can produce devastating winds of 100 mph to an extreme of 300 mph.

    Cold fronts can cause tornadoes in states such as Louisiana and Mississippi, but those fronts typically lose a lot of its power by the time they reach Central Florida.

    "The warm Gulf has a way of helping slow down the forward momentum of cold air that causes tornadoes elsewhere," Dixon said. "It comes down to latitude."

    The problem in Florida, he said, is that residents seem to keep being surprised by tornadoes.

    "Anytime this happens, people in Florida who have grown accustomed to great weather, say Oh my gosh, this isnt supposed to happen here, he said. Well, theyre wrong. Florida has tornadoes frequently.

    The difference between Alabama or Oklahoma with Florida is, they have far fewer tornadoes per event."

    Floridians should be especially cautious now that hurricane season is almost here. Twisters often accompany storms as they make landfall, and hurricane season officially starts June 1.

    The last thing you need during a hurricane is another hazard embedded with it, which is what makes the hurricane-induced tornadoes so scary, Dixon said.

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said on Thursday that the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season could be an extremely active one. If that prediction holds, that also means residents may find themselves dealing with more tornado watches and warnings this year.

    A tornado watch means conditions are ripe for tornadoes to form in the area, so residents should start seeking shelter or take precautions, according to the weather service. A tornado warning is issued when a potential twister has been detected or reported.

    During a tornado watch or warning, Dixon suggests residents take shelter toward the center of their home. An underground shelter isnt necessary.

    What about manufactured housing? Its not the units themselves that are at risk, Dixon said, its how theyre anchored to the ground. If those fail, the results could be catastrophic.

    For any tornado youre going to experience in Florida, you dont need a really strong storm shelter, Dixon said. Its about putting walls between you and the outside.

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    Florida is more prone to tornadoes than you think - Tampa Bay Times

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