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Friday Facts: Government Information You Can Use

This Week's Facts:

  1. Online Resources Prepare Readers for Winter Weather Challenges

  2. First EO of 2014 Declares Disaster Emergency

  3. Help Raise Glaucoma Awareness in January

  4. MyMoney.gov Presents Building Blocks for Managing Finances

DNR: Winter Events @ State ParksState Parks to Host Events & Programs this Winter

Have the people around you started exhibiting signs of cabin fever in the new year? Suggest some of these great winter events, courtesy of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources! The DNR has planned 2014 Winter Events and Programs across the state, available here on its online Program Schedule. All events are announced using the IN.gov calendar, where you can sign up for email alerts. You can also use the Special Events brochure PDF directly from the DNR to find events to get you outside and active when the weather’s better.


Friday Facts Editorial Team:

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator

Kim Brown-Harden
Federal Documents Coordinator

Andrea Glenn
State Documents Coordinator

Indiana Federal Depository Library Program


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Online Resources Prepare Readers for Winter Weather Challenges

Indiana Department of Homeland Security: Winter Weather PrecautionsThere are plenty of resources for you and your patrons from federal and state government sources for staying safe and warm in extreme winter weather. Let’s start with Ready.gov, which provides a complete overview of important actions to take before, during, and after Winter Storms and Extreme Cold. This website provides tips on winterizing your homes and vehicles, suggestions for contents of emergency kits, a mini-glossary of winter storm terms, and instructions on what to do if you are caught in a storm in your vehicle. It has a complete section on further information that leads patrons to links for the National Weather Service, the CDC, and other related websites. The 2014 Cold Weather Tips from the American Red Cross help us with protection from freezing temperatures, heating your home safely, and preventing frozen pipes. Older adult patrons need extra care in extreme weather, and the National Institutes of Health has tips on helping them avoid hypothermia during cold temperatures. See also the photo example of a vehicle winter survival kit on the National Weather Service’s Binghamton, NY Office website.

Indiana also has a specific Winter Weather Precautions overview from the Department of Homeland Security, which includes helpful links to the INDOT Road Conditions and County Travel Status maps. INDOT provides a Winter Driving Safety website with the motto - Ice and Snow, Take it Slow! – and links to several additional resources via video, brochure, and online. The Indiana Department of Insurance provides guidelines to follow with your insurance company if something happens to your home or vehicle during a storm.


Governor's First Executive Order of 2014 Declares Disaster Emergency

Governor Declares Disaster Emergency in 29 Counties

According to a January 6, 2014 press release, Governor Mike Pence declared a state of disaster emergency for 29 Indiana counties affected by the severe weather that began on January 5.Assessments are ongoing and more counties may be added if needed. You can view Executive Order 14-1 here.
 

“As a result of the severe snowstorms, extreme cold and dangerous wind conditions that have impacted counties across Indiana, I have declared a state of disaster emergency in the 29 counties that were most affected by the storm, and the State of Indiana stands ready to assist Hoosiers as needed,” said Governor Pence. “We will continue to respond to this serious winter storm and evaluate its impact on other Indiana counties going forward.”

The counties included in the declaration are: Clinton, Delaware, Elkhart, Fulton, Grant, Howard, Jasper, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Lake, LaPorte, Madison, Marshall, Montgomery, Newton, Noble, Porter, Pulaski, Rush, St. Joseph, Starke, Steuben, Sullivan, Tipton, Vermillion, Vigo, Wabash, White, and Whitley.


Help Raise Glaucoma Awareness in January

Help Raise Glaucoma Awareness in JanuaryHappy New Year! January is a time when people make resolutions and resolve to eat better, work out more, lose weight, stop smoking, and more, but when was the last time you had your vision checked?   

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month. This is the perfect time to add caring for your sight as a part of your new year’s resolutions. There are approximately 2.7 million people in the United States over 40 who have glaucoma. The National Eye Institute predicts this number will reach 4.2 million by 2030, a 58% increase. Glaucoma is called “the sneak thief of sight” since there are no symptoms and once vision is lost, it’s permanent. People can lose almost 50% of their sight without noticing. Glaucoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness. It is in a group of eye diseases that gradually steal sight without warning. Vision loss is caused by damage to the optic nerve, which acts like an electric cable with over a million wires. It is responsible for carrying images from the eye to the brain.

For African American and Latino populations, glaucoma seems to be more prevalent. The disease is six to eight times more common in African Americans than Caucasians. Although the most common forms primarily affect the middle-aged and the elderly, glaucoma can affect people of all ages.

There is no cure for glaucoma. However, medication or surgery can slow further vision loss. The type of treatment depends on the type of glaucoma. Early detection is vital to stopping the progress of the disease. You can help raise awareness about glaucoma by talking to family & friends, sharing resources such as Glaucoma.org, and getting a free educational booklet to send to family and friends. Please remember to take care of your vision health!


MyMoney.gov Presents Building Blocks for Managing Finances

My Money FiveSavings. Investments. Interest Rates. If these terms sound foreign or scare you, no need to worry!   MyMoney.Gov is the federal government’s website dedicated to teaching the basics of financial education. Making the most of your money begins with five building blocks for managing and growing your money - the MyMoney Five. Try to keep these principals in mind as you make day-to-day decision and plan your financial goals:

  • EARN:  Make the most of what you earn by understanding your pay and benefits. This principle is about knowing and understanding the fine print and details about your paycheck, including deductions and withholdings.  
  • SAVE & INVEST:  It’s never too early or late to start saving. You can save for future goals such as buying a house or retirement, even by saving small amounts. People who make a habit of saving regularly, even saving small amounts, are well on their way to success. It’s important to open a bank or credit union account to make saving simple and easy. 
  • PROTECT:  Take precautions about your financial situation, accumulate emergency savings, and get the right insurance. Be vigilant about identity theft, and keep aware of your credit record and the credit score.
  • SPEND:  Make sure you’re getting a good value, especially with large purchases, by shopping around and comparing prices and products. Make a budget or a plan for using your money wisely. It’s helpful to set short and long-term financial goals and manage your money to meet those goals.  
  • BORROW:  Borrowing money can allow some essential purchases and build credit, but interest costs can be expensive! If you borrow too much, you can acquire a large debt to be repaid. Your ability to get a loan typically depends on your credit history, and that largely depends on your track record at repaying what you’ve borrowed in the past and paying your bills on time.   

Whether you are buying a home, balancing your checkbook, or looking to invest, there are resources and information that can help you achieve your financial goals. Just like having good physical health, it’s also important to maintain good, stable, healthy finances.

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